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Edit annotation symbol attributes

On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, Attributes Attributes opens the Attributes pane. When you select an annotation feature, the Annotation tab appears in the pane. You can change the subtype symbol to another symbol defined for the feature class, change symbol settings, and modify the symbol with inline formatting tags. On the Attributes tab you can override annotation symbol attributes and change the annotation class subtype.

Note:

When an annotation feature class is configured to only allow symbols from its predefined symbol collection, you cannot change the font name or edit advanced symbol or mask settings.

To learn about editing feature attributes for all features on a layer using the Attributes Table Standalone, see Edit an active table.

Override annotation symbol attributes

To override annotation symbol attributes, open the Attributes pane Attributes, select the feature, click the Attributes tab, and edit the attribute value. Changing the annotation class subtype displays the text on a different sublayer.

  1. On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, click Attributes Attributes.

    The Attributes pane appears.

  2. In the pane, click Select Select and select the annotation feature.

    The selection and the Attributes and Annotation tabs appear in the pane.

    Attributes tab
  3. In the pane, expand the selection and click the feature you want to edit.
    • If a warning icon Warning appears next to the feature, right-click and click Add To Map Add Data to add it to your map.
  4. In the pane, click the Attributes tab.

    Field colorDescription

    Orange

    Subtype field

    Purple

    Symbolizes the layer

    Yellow

    The Highlight property is enabled in the attribute table

    Attribute field color codes

  5. In the feature attribute table, click a field and type the new value or click its drop-down arrow and change the setting.
  6. To apply your changes, do one of the following:
    • Press Enter.
    • If Auto Apply is unchecked, click Apply.

    The new value is applied to the selected annotation feature.

Attribute reference

The annotation attributes that appear on the Attributes tab are described in the following table:

FieldnameDescription

AnnotationClassID

The annotation class subtype displayed as a sublayer in the current map

SymbolID

A value of zero or greater is the symbol number in the symbol collection for the feature class. A negative value indicates the annotation is not linked to the symbol collection, and the symbol is stored inline with the individual text record.

Status

Placed annotation displays in the map. Unplaced annotation does not display in the map and appears in the Unplaced Annotation Window.

TextString

The text for the annotation

FontName

The name of the font

FontSize

The size of the font

Bold

Whether the text is bold—True, False

Italic

Whether the text is italic—True, False

Underline

Whether the text is underlined—True, False

VerticalAlignment

The vertical alignment of the text—Top, Center, Baseline, or Bottom

HorizontalAlignment

The horizontal alignment of the text—Left, Right, Center, or Full

XOffset

Shifts the text position right or left

YOffset

Shifts the text position up or down

Angle

Rotates the text angle counter clockwise (0 to 360 degrees) or clockwise (0 to -360 degrees).

FontLeading

Adjusts the spacing between lines

WordSpacing

Adjusts the spacing between words

CharacterWidth

Adjusts the character width

CharacterSpacing

Adjusts the spacing between characters

FlipAngle

Adjusts the angle at which point-rotated text is flipped in place

Annotation symbol attributes

Change the subtype symbol

To change the subtype symbol to another symbol defined in the feature class, open the Attributes pane Attributes, select the feature, and click the Annotation tab. Click the subtype drop-down arrow and choose a subtype.

Tip:

If you need to temporarily change how your annotation displays against basemap imagery or other background, for example, enable a halo mask for all text on a specific layer, you can use a technique called symbol substitution. Symbol substitution changes the layer symbology in the current map but does not edit the source data.

To learn about symbol substitution, see Display geodatabase annotation.

  1. On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, click Attributes Attributes.

    The Attributes pane appears.

  2. In the pane, click Select Select and select the annotation feature.

    The selection and the Attributes and Annotation tabs appear in the pane.

    Annotation tab
  3. In the pane, expand the selection and click the feature you want to edit.
    • If a warning icon Warning appears next to the feature, right-click and click Add To Map Add Data to add it to your map.
  4. In the pane, click the Annotation tab.
  5. Click the subtype drop-down arrow, and choose a subtype.
  6. Click Apply.

Modify the annotation symbol with formatting tags

To modify the annotation symbol and use formatting tags to change the font style or create mixed-format text, open the Attributes pane Attributes, select the feature, and click the Annotation tab. In the text box, type the tags you want to apply to your text.

Caution:

Using formatting tags disconnects the feature from the symbol collection defined in the feature class and stores the text symbol inline with the individual text record. This increases the overall file size of your annotation features and can degrade display and query performance. If you have several annotation features with the same symbol requirements, consider creating a new annotation symbol for the feature class.

  1. On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, click Attributes Attributes.

    The Attributes pane appears.

  2. In the pane, click Select Select and select the annotation feature.

    The selection and the Attributes and Annotation tabs appear in the pane.

    Annotation tab
  3. In the pane, expand the selection and click the feature you want to edit.
    • If a warning icon Warning appears next to the feature, right-click and click Add To Map Add Data to add it to your map.

    The attributes appear in the feature attribute table.

  4. In the pane, click the Annotation tab.
  5. In the text box, type the tags you want to apply to your text.
  6. Click Apply.

Formatting tag syntax

Formatting tags adhere to XML syntax rules. Each start tag must be accompanied by an end tag in a nested structure. Any unrecognized balanced tag pair is ignored by the parser. Formatting tags temporarily modify the base text symbol and display text using the format specified in the tag. If a tag repeats an existing property of the base text symbol, the tag has no effect on the text.

To learn more about text formatting tags, see Available text formatting tags.

  • Syntax—Tags can be nested, but you must close the inner tag before closing an outer tag.

    <BOL><UND>Text</UND></BOL>

  • Quotation marks—Tag attributes can be surrounded by either single or double quotation marks. The following statements are equivalent:

    <FNT name='Arial' size='18'>My text</FNT>
    <FNT name="Arial" size="18">My text</FNT>

  • Special characters—The ampersand (&) and less-than sign (<) are special characters. To use them in a text string enclosed in formatting tags, use the equivalent character codes &amp; and &lt;, respectively.

    For example, instead of <ITA>John & Paul</ITA>, type the following statement:

    <ITA>John &amp; Paul</ITA>