Edit annotation symbol attributes

The Attributes tab appears in the Attributes pane Attributes when you select an annotation feature. On this tab, you can edit any editable symbol display properties, including the attribute that defines the text string that displays in maps. This pane is available on the ribbon Edit tab, in the Selection group.

When you edit annotation symbol attributes, consider the following:

  • The text string property for feature-linked annotation is overwritten when the attribute field on the feature to which it is linked is modified. For this reason, it is recommended that you modify the attribute directly on the origin feature, for example, a linked line feature.
  • To manage annotation feature class properties, right-click the feature class in the Catalog pane, and click Annotation Feature Class Properties Annotation Feature Class Properties. You define these properties when you create an annotation feature class.
  • Changing an annotation symbol or its display properties can change the SymbolID attribute field value.

    When the SymbolID field value is -1, the feature is not referencing a text symbol and all symbol properties are stored in line with the feature. This increases storage requirements and can degrade display and query performance for the annotation layer.

To change the text string or editable symbol attributes, complete the following steps:

  1. Add the data and configure the editing settings.

    Confirm that the feature layer you are editing is editable, the coordinate system assigned to the active map is suitable for the type of edits you're performing, and snapping is configured to help you work efficiently and accurately.


    To migrate annotation features from ArcMap, create a backup and upgrade the feature class. Similarly, you may need to upgrade annotation created in older versions of ArcGIS Pro. To learn more, see Manage annotation feature classes.

  2. On the ribbon Edit tab, click Attributes Attributes in the Selection group.

    The Attributes pane appears.

  3. Click the Select tool Select and select the annotation feature.

    The selection list appears in the pane.


    To filter the selection, right-click a feature in the pane selection tree view, and click Unselect Clear Selected or Only Select This List By Selection.

  4. Click the Attributes tab.
  5. Click the feature in the selection tree view whose attributes you are editing.

    To edit a field that is common to several features, press the Ctrl key while clicking the features in the selection tree view.

    The attributes for the selected feature appear on the Attributes tab.

    Attributes tab
  6. To edit the text string that displays as text in a map, click the TextString field and type the text.
  7. To edit editable symbol display properties, click the corresponding field and type the value.

    When an annotation feature class is configured to always maintain its connection to a text symbol, editable attributes include the following:



    The text string for the feature


    The name of the font, for example, Arial


    The name of the font style, for example, Regular


    The size of the font


    Specifies whether the text is underlined—true or false


    Specifies the vertical alignment of the text—top, center, baseline, or bottom


    Specifies the horizontal alignment of the text—left, right, center, or full


    Shifts the text position right or left


    Shifts the text position up or down


    Rotates the text angle


    Adjusts the spacing between lines


    Adjusts the spacing between words


    Adjusts the character width


    Adjusts the spacing between characters


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

  8. To apply the changes, press Enter or click another field.

    If Auto Apply is turned off, click the Apply button.

Field color codes

If a field or a field border is highlighted or shaded, the color indicates a specific status or how the field value is defined. The color codes are described in the following table:

Field colorDescription

Orange shading

This is the subtype field.

Purple shading

This symbolizes the layer.

Yellow shading

The Highlight property is enabled in the Fields view.

Gray border

The field is read-only and can't be edited.

Green border

The field is not using the geodatabase default value.

Blue border

The field is using the geodatabase default value.

Yellow border

The field value is an invalid entry for the optional contingent values assigned to the field.

Red border

The field value is an invalid entry for one of the possible reasons:

Attribute field color codes

In this topic