Edit text to follow a feature

In the Modify Features pane, Annotation Edit Annotation includes commands on the context menu that enable you to edit an annotation feature to follow a feature boundary. You can edit standard annotation or feature-linked annotation, and wrap the feature along any polyline or polygon feature.

Follow Feature Mode is a temporary modal setting on the context menu that is available when you are actively editing annotation to follow a feature. When you edit feature-linked annotation that is following a feature, you can turn this mode off temporarily and move the text.

Feature-linked annotation is typically set to automatically follow its related feature. Editing feature-linked annotation to follow a different feature does not change its existing relationship with the feature to which it is linked.

For steps to create feature-linked annotation, see Generate feature-linked annotation.


Optional project settings to enable or disable follow feature mode for linked-annotation are not available with this release.

Wrap text along a boundary

When following a feature, text is wrapped along the boundary of a polyline or polygon feature. Right-click the feature you want the text to follow and drag the text along its boundary.

  1. On the Edit tab in the Features group, click Modify Modify Features.

    The Modify Features pane appears.

  2. Expand Alignment and click Annotation Edit Annotation.

    The tool opens in the pane.

  3. In the pane, click Select Annotation Select Annotation and select the annotation feature.

    The selected feature appears in a list and a selection graphic appears around the feature.

    Edit annotation

    The formatting toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

    Formatting toolbar


    To move the toolbar, hover over an edge until the pointer changes to the move pointer, and drag the toolbar to a new location.

  4. If you select more than one feature, click an item in the list to flash it in the map, right-click the feature you want to edit, and click Only Select This Unselect on the context menu.
  5. On the Edit tab in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    • Press and hold the Spacebar to temporarily turn off snapping.
  6. Right-click the polyline or polygon feature you want the text to follow and click Follow This Feature Follow This Feature.

    The annotation feature moves to the polyline or polygon feature and reshapes to wrap along the feature boundary.

  7. To zoom to or flash the feature that is followed, click the following:
    • Zoom To Zoom to Selected—Zooms the view to the selected feature.
    • Pan To Pan to Selected—Pans the view to the selected feature.
    • Flash Flash—Flashes the selected feature in the map.
  8. Hover along the selection bounding box until the pointer changes to the move pointer, and do the following:
    • Drag the text along the feature boundary.
    • Press Crtl and drag the text to change the distance between the annotation feature and the boundary feature.

    Follow feature

  9. On the editing toolbar, click Finish Finish or press the F2 key.

    Editing toolbar