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Maps convey information about geographic features, yet displaying only features on a map—even with symbols that convey their meaning—isn't always enough to make your point. Adding text to your layout improves the context of geographic information and its overall presentation. For example, a map title can focus the reader's attention to the intent of the map. You might also consider adding other information such as map author, data source, and date.

Add and modify text

  1. To add text to a layout, ensure that you have added a layout to your project.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click the New Text dropdown and select Rectangle New Rectangle Paragraph.
  3. Place the pointer on the desired location of the layout and click to start typing your text.
  4. To customize the appearance of the text, ensure that it is selected on the layout and click the Format contextual tab.

    The Format tab allows you to change the text symbol (size and color), its alignment on the page, and its size and position.


Using the handles of the Rectangle text bounding box, you can reshape the paragraph into multiple lines. If you choose Text New Text from the New Text dropdown, the aspect ratio of the text will be maintained regardless of size.

In-line text editing

After you've added some text, you may want to make further edits or additions.

  1. To make changes to the text on the layout, double-click the text.
  2. Use the keyboard to move the cursor and delete or type new text.
  3. Optionally, on the Format tab, change the text's color, font, alignment, size, and position.
  4. In the Contents pane, right-click the Text element and click Properties.

    In the Format Text pane, you can change the name of the element, change its visibility, add tags, and adjust its placement.

  5. To modify appearance, position, and rotation, in the Format Text pane, click the Text Symbol tab. Halos, shadows, and callouts can also be added to the text element.

Text editing shortcut keys

Use keyboard shortcuts to work with text elements on the page. These shortcuts require a selection first.




All caps





Ctrl+Shift+Plus Sign



Use the following shortcuts to commit any changes you've made:

  • Press Ctrl+Enter.
  • Press F2.
  • For area, point, and curve text, click outside of the element.
  • Press Esc to cancel the edit.

Format with tags

ArcGIS Pro text formatting tags allow you to modify the formatting for a portion of text. This allows you to create mixed-format text where, for example, one word in a sentence is underlined. Text formatting tags can be used almost anywhere text is placed on or around the map. You can use the tags anywhere you can specify both a text string and a text symbol. For example, you can use tags in map titles and legend text.

Tags can be formatted in the Format Text pane. For more information about using tags, see Text formatting tags.

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