Add a leader line to a text annotation feature in an annotation feature class

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to add a leader line to individual text annotations in an annotation feature class.


Follow these steps to add a leader line to an annotation feature in a map.

  1. Open the Annotation toolbar (click the View menu > Toolbars > Annotation).
    [O-Image] Annotation_Toolbar
  2. Start an edit session (click the Editor Toolbar > Editor > Start Editing) and set the target layer as the annotation layer containing the text feature(s) to be altered.
  3. Click the first button on the Annotation toolbar, the Edit Annotation tool.
    [O-Image] Annotation_Editing_Btn
  4. Using the Edit Annotation tool, click the annotation feature for which the leader line needs to be created. A highlighted box is drawn around the annotation.
    [O-Image] Select_Annotation_1
    Hover the mouse over the annotation and the mouse pointer may change to several icons. Disregard the different icons as it is still possible to right-click the mouse while it is on the annotation, and select the Add Leader command.
    [O-Image] Add_Leader
    The leader line does not show up immediately because it is drawn between a point at the center of the annotation and the current location of the annotation, but this is currently the same point.
  5. Click the mouse on the Select Elements (black pointer icon) tool on the Tools toolbar, and click the annotation to which the leader line was added. A dotted line is displayed around the annotation.

    When the mouse icon hovers over the annotation, it is a 'plus' sign with arrows pointing in four directions. Click and drag the annotation off to one side. Now the leader line is visible.
    [O-Image] Move_Annotation_2
  6. Reposition the starting or 'anchor' point, which is the center point of the original annotation location, by hovering the mouse over the anchor point until the cursor changes to a tiny rectangle with an arrowhead in each direction. Click and drag the anchor point to a new location; the leader line follows it.
    [O-Image] Move_Leader_Anchor_Pt
    ArcMap may change the leader line's point of attachment to the annotation by moving it to the start or end of the annotation.

  7. Additionally, it is possible to assign an arrowhead to the leader line. Click the Edit Annotation tool button on the Annotation toolbar. Right-click the annotation or leader line > Attributes > Annotation tab > Leader > Symbol > Properties > Type: Cartographic Line Symbol > Line Properties tab > Line Decorations: Left-pointing arrow (arrow pointing to anchor point of leader line).
    [O-Image] Leader_With_Arrow
  8. The arrowhead may also be changed to a different symbol by clicking the properties of the Line Decorations. Click the Properties button > Symbol > Properties > Type: Arrow Marker Symbol. Change the Type to another option such as Character Marker Symbol, for instance, and select a different font and character to represent the symbol on the end of the leader line.

Article ID:000010559

  • ArcMap 9 x

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