Edit text

Once text has been added to the layout, you can modify it inline or using the Element pane.


Text in a single text element can be placed in multiple columns in the Element pane. Open the pane by right-clicking a text element in the Contents pane and choosing Properties. To add columns, expand the Paragraph header and set the number of columns in the Columns control. Set the distance between columns using the Column Gaps control, and set the distance between the edge of the text element and the start of the text using the Margin control.


Columns are only available for Rectangle Rectangle text, Polygon New Polygon Paragraph, Circle New Circle Paragraph, and Ellipse New Ellipse Paragraph text.

Text symbols

Text symbols control how text looks, including the color, font, size, and more. Common text symbol properties such as the font, font size, and color are available on the contextual Text tab that appears whenever a text element is selected. The full set of text symbol properties are available in the Element pane.

To access these properties, right-click a text element in the Contents pane and choose Properties to open the Element pane. Then choose Text Symbol to see the full list of text symbol properties.

Edit in-line text

After you've added text, you can make further edits on the layout directly.

  1. To make changes to the text on the layout, double-click the text.
  2. Use the keyboard arrows to move the pointer and delete text or type new text.

Use text editing shortcut keys

You can use keyboard shortcuts to work with text elements on the page. These shortcuts require that you select the text first.




All caps


Small caps



Ctrl+Shift+Plus Sign


Ctrl+Equal Sign

Use the following shortcuts to commit your changes:

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

Format with tags

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 Element pane. For more information about using tags, see Text formatting tags.

Use spell-check

Spell-check is available for text elements in layouts. Other layout elements, such as legends and scale bars, cannot be spell-checked. Misspelled words are marked with wavy red underlines in the layout view and in the Element pane. Right-click a word marked as misspelled to correct the word or add the word to the custom dictionary so it won't be marked as misspelled in the future.


If incorrect words are not marked as misspelled, confirm that spell-check is enabled.

To see a list of all misspelled words in a layout, on the Layout tab, click the Check Spelling button Spell Check. The Check Spelling pane appears, listing all misspelled words in the project. Right-click a misspelled word or words in the pane to correct the word, add the word to the custom dictionary, or zoom to the text element or elements containing that word.


Spell-check does not work for acronyms or other words written in all caps. These are ignored by spell-check.

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