Convert CAD annotation to geodatabase annotation in ArcMap

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided are for converting text from CAD files to geodatabase annotation.

Starting with version 9.0, there is a new Geoprocessing tool for converting CAD annotation to geodatabase annotation. This tool is found in ArcToolbox under Conversion Tools > To Geodatabase > Import CAD Annotation.


The following is the sequence of steps to convert CAD annotation to geodatabase annotation in ArcMap using any version of ArcGIS.

Either ArcInfo or ArcEditor are required to import into a feature-linked annotation feature class.

  1. If necessary, use ArcCatalog to define a Coordinate System for the CAD file.
    <a href='' target='_blank'>Problem: CAD data spatial references are lost</a>
  2. Open ArcMap and add the CAD text to the display. Adjust the display to the desired map scale.
  3. In ArcCatalog create a new personal geodatabase.
  4. Create a feature dataset inside of the geodatabase. When defining the Spatial Reference for the new feature dataset, click the Import button and navigate to the CAD file to import its spatial reference.
  5. Create a new annotation feature class inside of the feature dataset. For the Reference Scale parameter, enter the map scale value set in ArcMap.
  6. In ArcMap, add the 'Convert Coverage Annotation' tool to the interface.
    <a href='' target='_blank'>How To: Add the Convert Coverage Annotation tool to ArcMap</a>
  7. Click on the 'Convert Coverage Annotation' tool.
  8. Click the 'Into a Database' radio option and then browse for the new annotation feature class which was just created in ArcCatalog.
  9. Click the Convert button.

Article ID:000004169

  • ArcMap

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options

Related Information

Discover more on this topic