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How To: Apply data frame clipping to map document annotation

Summary

In some cases, it may be beneficial to clip the layers shown on the map by a specified extent, shape, or another layer’s boundary. When clipping is enabled on the data frame, it may also be required to exclude some map layers from being clipped.

For example, it may be best to keep certain layers, such as annotation, from being clipped. If clipping is enabled on the data frame for all layers, this can result in missing or incomplete annotation.

Procedure

When annotation layers are created, they can be created as geodatabase annotation layers or in map document annotation. The major difference between the two methods is that geodatabase annotation exists as an annotation feature class in the database, whereas map document annotation participates in either the default annotation group of the data frame or a separate annotation group added to the data frame and only exists in that specific map document.

Map document annotation may be added through the Drawing toolbar and/or by converting labels to annotation and selecting ‘In the map’ as the storage location. When annotation is created from the Drawing toolbar, it is typically assigned to the default annotation group. Thus, clipping the data frame does not allow excluding the associated layer to show the annotation.

Below are some suggested steps to convert graphic text so it can be excluded from data frame clipping.

A. Convert the text graphics to an annotation feature class, and exclude the layer from the data frame clipping.

1. Using the Draw toolbar, click the Drawing drop-down, and select the option for 'Convert Graphics to Features'.

2. Click the Convert drop-down arrow and select the text graphics. (See Converting graphics into features.)

3. Specify a geodatabase for the Output annotation feature class.

4. Check the box for ‘Automatically delete graphics after conversion’ and specify any other parameters needed.

5. Click OK to convert the text graphics to features.

6. Click Yes to add the exported data to the map as a layer. If not prompted, be sure to add the exported layer to the map before proceeding.

7. Open the Data Frame Properties window which contains the applied clipping. Right-click the active data frame in the Table of Contents, and select Properties.

8. Click the Data Frame tab, select 'Clip to shape' in the Clip Options section, click the Specify Shape button, and specify either the Current Visible Extent, Outline of Features (followed by selecting the appropriate features from the dropdown), Outline of Selected Graphic(s), or the Custom Extent option. Click OK to continue. (See Clipping the Data Frame.)

9. Click the Exclude Layers button, and select the layer(s) to exclude. The check box must be checked for the annotation layer created above.

10. Click Close, Apply, and OK to close the windows.

B. Create a new annotation group assisted with a specific layer and then exclude that layer from the data frame clipping.

1. Using the Draw toolbar, click the Drawing drop-down, and select the option for New Annotation Group.
(See About organizing annotation into groups.)

2. In the New Annotation Group window, type in the Group Name, select the layer to be associated with the annotation from the dropdown, and specify any other parameters needed
(See Associating an annotation group with a layer.)

3. If there is existing annotation on the map already, select all the annotation with the Select Elements arrow on the Draw toolbar, and cut the selected annotation by clicking Edit > Cut (or use Ctrl + X on the keyboard).

4. Ensure the active annotation group is the one created above by navigating to Drawing > Active Annotation Target, and clicking the name of the annotation group to which the annotation is to be added. This makes it the active annotation group (if it is not already).

5. Paste the annotation cut above by going to Edit > Paste (or use Ctrl+V on the keyboard). (See Using cut and paste to move text between annotation groups.)

6. Adjust the placement of the annotation as needed.

7. Open the Data Frame Properties of the data frame that has the clipping applied to it. Right-click the active data frame in the Table of Contents, and select Properties.

8. Click the Data Frame tab, select 'Clip to shape' in the Clip Options section, click the Specify Shape button, and specify either the Current Visible Extent, Outline of Features (followed by selecting the appropriate features from the dropdown), Outline of Selected Graphic(s), or the Custom Extent option. Click OK to continue.
(See Clipping the Data Frame.)

9. Click the Exclude Layers button, and select the layers to exclude. The check box must be checked for the layer associated with the annotation group created above so the features and their associated annotation are shown (excluded from the data frame clipping).

10. Click Close, Apply, and OK to close the windows.

11. In the Table of Contents, copy and paste the layer set to be excluded by right-clicking the layer name > selecting Copy, and right-clicking the data frame name > select Paste Layer(s). Once the new layer is pasted, rename the original layer so it can be identified as the associated annotation group layer. (Add ‘Annotation Group’ to the end of the name so it can be clearly identified.)

12. Change the symbology of the original ‘Annotation Group’ associated layer so the symbology has no fill or stroke. The symbology should be completely transparent or null.

13. Reorder the layers in the Table of Contents so the drawing order is correct in the map. The annotation should display as expected.

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