Frequently asked question

What is the process used to convert labels to annotation in ArcMap when creating geodatabase annotation?

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Use the Convert Labels to Annotation dialog box in ArcMap to create geodatabase annotation from ArcMap labels. Two types of geodatabase annotation can be created: Standard annotation and Feature-linked Annotation.

- Standard annotation can be created from any type of feature labels with any of the ArcGIS Desktop products (ArcView, ArcEditor, ArcInfo).

- Feature-linked annotation can be created only in the same Geodatabase as the features being labeled. This requires an ArcEditor or ArcInfo license.
Annotation in a geodatabase is always stored in an annotation feature class.

For both types of annotations, two main options are available when converting labels to geodatabase annotation:

1) Convert Labels to Annotation creates a new annotation feature class in the geodatabase to store the annotation.

2) An annotation feature class can be created in advance in ArcCatalog. Use ArcMap's Convert Labels to Annotation to create annotation in this feature class.

There are three scales to note:

a) The current map scale in ArcMap (this is the scale seen in the bottom-left of the conversion dialog box under Reference Scale).
b) The current map reference scale in ArcMap.
c) The annotation feature class reference scale. Once the annotation feature class is created, this value is fixed. This value is important because it determines how large the annotation text appears on the map in combination with the text symbol size.

If Convert Labels to Annotation in ArcMap is used to create a new annotation feature class, the reference scale (c) is taken from the current map scale (a), not the map reference scale (b).

If an annotation feature class is created in advance in ArcCatalog, it must specify (c) in creation wizard.

When Convert Labels to Annotation is used to write new annotation into this feature class, the map scale (a) is not used for the annotation feature class reference scale (c) because it was defined in ArcCatalog when it was created.

In ArcGIS versions 8.2 and earlier, the conversion dialog box shows an incorrect value for 'Reference Scale:'. The value shown is always (a).

Article ID:000005547

  • ArcMap 9 x
  • ArcMap 8 x

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options

Related Information

Discover more on this topic