Frequently asked question

Is it possible to set the transparency of a text box created using the Text tools in ArcMap?

Last Published: September 13, 2023


No, it is not possible to set the transparency of a text box created using the Text tools in ArcMap. Transparency can be set for symbolization, but it is only applicable to layers. However, transparency can be set for text in a text box after the text is converted into an annotation feature class, as described in the following method.

Ensure Data View is enabled in ArcMap, and the Draw toolbar is activated. The map scale must be adjusted accordingly as this affects the reference scale of the text. For more information, refer to ArcMap: Reference scale.
  1. On the Draw toolbar, click the Text drop-down arrow and select Text.
The picture shows the Text tool in the Draw toolbar
  1. Click any point on the layout to activate the text box. Once activated, edit or add the desired text by typing in the text box.
Move the text created to the desired location before converting it into a layer because once converted, the text cannot be moved.
The picture shows the text box being activated
The picture shows how to type the desired term
  1. In the Table Of Contents, right-click Layers or the title of the data frame, and click Convert Graphics To Features.
Ensure the text in the text box is active before right-clicking Layers or the title of the data frame.
The picture shows how to right -click layers and select Convert Graphics To Features in the Table Of Contents
The Convert Graphics to Features tool can also be accessed by clicking the Drawing menu on the Draw toolbar.
  1. In the Convert Graphics To Features dialog box, click OK. This converts the text into an annotation feature class.
The picture shows the Convert Graphics To Feature dialog box
A prompt to add to add the exported data to the map as a layer is displayed. Click Yes to add the layer to Table Of Contents.
The picture shows the prompt
  1. Right-click the newly-entered layer inĀ Table of Contents, and click Properties.
The picture shows how to open Layer Properties dialog box
  1. In the Layer Properties dialog box, on the Display tab, adjust the percentage of transparency for the text in the Transparent text box. Click Apply and OK.
The picture shows the Layer Properties dialog box

A transparent copy of the term is produced in a color that honors the transparency settings.

The picture shows the end results

Article ID:000014077

  • ArcMap

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