Manage annotation feature classes


Feature-linked annotation is read-only in ArcGIS Desktop Basic.

You work with geodatabase annotation feature classes in the Catalog pane and Catalog view much like you work with other feature classes in your geodatabase. You can create, rename, copy, paste, or delete annotation feature classes. You can also view and modify their properties.

Manage feature class properties

To access annotation properties in the Catalog pane, right-click an annotation feature class and click Annotation Feature Class Properties to open the Annotation Feature Class Properties pane.

Learn more about managing annotation feature class properties

Manage feature-linked annotation

When you create a new feature-linked annotation feature class, a relationship class is created to link it to the feature class it's annotating. This relationship class can be managed like any other relationship class.

You cannot begin with a standard annotation feature class and make it feature linked by only creating a relationship class. Actually, there's nothing you can do to make a standard annotation class truly feature linked. You can, however, do the opposite. If you delete the relationship class for a given feature-linked annotation class, it becomes a standard annotation feature class.

Learn how to re-create this relationship class

Learn more about relationship classes

When you copy and paste a feature class in the Catalog pane or Catalog view, any linked annotation classes, as well as the associated relationship class, are also copied and pasted. The reverse is also true: if you copy and paste a feature-linked annotation feature class, the linked feature class (and relationship class) are also copied and pasted.

Learn more about copying feature datasets, classes, and tables to a geodatabase

Upgrade annotation feature classes


Always create a backup before upgrading.

ArcGIS Pro 2.0 changes the storage of annotation feature classes to support the full cartographic model of ArcGIS Pro and facilitates future sharing with the ArcGIS platform. If you have annotation feature classes created in ArcMap, you can display and query them. However, to edit them or modify their properties, you must upgrade them. Once upgraded, the annotation feature class is no longer usable in ArcMap. Feature classes linked to the annotation are read-only in ArcMap. Feature classes in the same feature dataset as the ArcGIS Pro annotation are also read-only in ArcMap.

Learn more about upgrading annotation feature classes using the Upgrade Dataset tool


Graphics that are not text graphics are not supported by the upgrade process and will be deleted. A list of their OIDs will be created.

To bring these graphics into ArcGIS Pro for editing, you first need to copy and paste them into a map annotation group in ArcMap. Once they are part of a map annotation group, you can convert the graphics into features using the Convert Graphics to Features tool or import the map document (.mxd) into ArcGIS Pro, and they will imported into the graphics layer.

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