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Create annotation feature classes

License:

You can create feature-linked annotation only in ArcGIS Desktop Advanced and ArcGIS Desktop Standard.

You can create an empty annotation feature class and create the annotation for it later, or you can create an annotation feature class with annotation by converting labels to annotation.

Create a new annotation feature class

  1. In the Catalog pane, right-click the geodatabase or feature dataset in which you want to create the new annotation feature class and click New > Annotation Feature Class.

    Caution:
    Feature classes that are linked to this new annotation feature class are read-only if you open them in ArcMap. If you created the annotation feature class in a feature dataset, feature classes in that feature dataset are read-only if you open them in ArcMap.

  2. Type a Name and optionally an Alias.
  3. To create feature-linked annotation, check Link the annotation to the following feature class and choose the feature class to link to from the drop-down menu. The feature class must be in the same feature dataset as the annotation feature class you are creating.

    When creating feature-linked annotation, specify either the Standard Label Engine or the Maplex Label Engine to use for the creation of the linked annotation.

    Note:

    It is not possible to change the feature class linked to, or the label engine used, after the feature class is created.

  4. Click the Reference scale drop-down arrow and choose a scale, or type a scale value. Next choose the Map units in which your annotation will be stored. The units should match the map coordinate system.

    The scale should be equal to the scale at which the annotation will normally display.

    If you are creating an annotation feature class inside of a feature dataset, the map units are set automatically. The units match those of the feature dataset's coordinate system. If the feature dataset coordinate system is unknown, the units default to meters.

    Note:

    It is not possible to change the reference scale or the map units after the feature class is created.

  5. Specify a spatial reference for your annotation feature class. You can browse to and choose a coordinate system, import from an existing feature class, or define a new custom coordinate system.

    If you are creating an annotation feature class inside of a feature dataset, the coordinate system is automatically set.

  6. The XY Tolerance is calculated based on the coordinate system specified. You can type a different x,y tolerance, but the default should be sufficient for most cases.
  7. If you want to use a custom storage keyword, click Use configuration keyword, and choose the keyword you want to use from the drop-down list. If you don't want to use a custom storage keyword, leave it as Defaults.

Adding editing behavior, annotation classes and symbols

Once the annotation feature class is created, use the Annotation Feature Class Properties pane to add editing behavior, additional annotation classes, and symbols.

Note:

When you create a new annotation feature class, it uses the default font. Change the font used in the Annotation Feature Class Properties pane.

By default, several fields are added to an annotation feature class. Some of these are required, whereas others are optional. To see a list of the required fields, see Managing annotation feature class properties. If you don't require the optional fields, you can delete them after you've created the feature class. You can also add new fields to the feature class.

Learn more about creating, modifying, and deleting fields

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