Create annotation feature classes with Maplex properties without converting labels to annotation

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to create an annotation feature class having Maplex properties without first creating labels and converting them to annotations.


This capability is available only for feature-linked annotations in a feature dataset, which means that the feature class to which the annotations are linked must reside in the feature dataset.

The Maplex extension must be available and enabled.

  1. In ArcCatalog or the Catalog window, right-click the feature dataset and click New > Feature Class.
    a) Enter a name, and under Type, select 'Annotation Features' from the drop-down list.
    b) Check 'Link the annotation to the following feature class'.
    c) Select a feature class from the drop-down list, and click Next.
  2. a) Choose a Reference Scale and Map Units.
    b) Select the options for Editing Behavior.
    c) Set the Label Engine to the Esri Maplex Label Engine, and click Properties to set additional general and Maplex properties if desired.
    d) Click Next.
  3. Add, delete, or rename annotation classes for this annotation feature class, set the properties for the respective annotation classes, and click Next.
  4. Specify a configuration keyword if necessary, and click Next.
  5. Review the fields in the annotation feature class. Add, delete, and alter fields as necessary, and click Finish.

    The annotation feature class and its relationship class are created in the feature dataset.
    The annotation classes appear in both the Symbol Collection list in the annotation feature class Properties > Annotation page and in the Annotation Classes list in the Annotation Classes page. These properties, including the reference scale, can be changed on these pages.

Article ID:000011215

  • ArcMap

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