Convert coverage annotation to a geodatabase, eliminating required fields

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to convert annotation from an ArcInfo coverage to a personal or file geodatabase or an SDE database, eliminating all but two 'required' fields for the coverage annotation feature class from the geodatabase feature class in ArcCatalog. The Convert Coverage Annotation tool, a Customize tool available in ArcMap, is used for this procedure.


  1. Create an empty annotation feature class in the geodatabase feature dataset in ArcCatalog and click Next.

    A. Right-click the geodatabase or feature dataset to contain the annotation.

    B. Select New > Feature Class.

    C. Name the feature class, and change the Type: radio button to select Annotation. Feature-linked annotation can be specified in this first dialog box.

    D. Click Next.

    In the next dialog box, enter a Reference Scale value for the annotation feature class, drawn in an ArcMap document (MXD).

  2. A. Determine an appropriate reference scale for the annotation.

    i. Open ArcMap with a new, empty map.

    ii. Add an annotation feature class from the coverage to ArcMap.

    iii. In the Data View, zoom in to the annotation features until the annotation appears legible and at a size that is suitable for use in an ArcMap document.

    The scale is displayed in the Standard Toolbar. This is a proportional ratio, such as 1:4,000, in which one unit in the map is equal to the number of units specified on the ground. The number on the right becomes the reference scale value to enter in the New Feature Class dialog box in ArcCatalog.

    iv. Minimize ArcMap, return to ArcCatalog, and in the New Feature Class dialog box, enter the Reference Scale value determined above.

    v. Click Next.

    B. Enter the Reference Scale for displaying the annotation and click Next.

  3. Make changes as needed to the default annotation properties and click Next.

    These changes only affect new annotation features added to the feature class in an ArcMap edit session.

  4. • For a personal or file geodatabase feature class:

    Accept 'Default' configuration keyword and click Next.

    • For an SDE database:

    Change the radio button to 'Use configuration keyword', and enter the keyword that is used to store the data in the database. Click Next.
  5. Click Finish in the final New Feature Class dialog box and close ArcCatalog.

    ArcCatalog must be closed, not just minimized, to perform the following steps.

  6. Start ArcMap with a new, empty map and add the coverage annotation to be converted to the map document.
  7. Add the 'Convert Coverage Annotation' tool to ArcMap. See the link in the Related Information section for more information on adding this tool.
  8. Right-click the name of the coverage annotation feature class, select Properties > Fields tab. Click 'Clear All' to remove the checkmarks next to all fields. Click Apply and OK.
  9. As an option, change the display properties of the annotation feature class in ArcMap, and select a different font and color for the annotation before converting:

    A. Right-click the name of the coverage annotation layer, and click Properties > Symbols tab.

    B. Select a Symbol number from the box, and change the Font and Color as desired.

    C. Click Apply and OK.

    Changes to the SIZE will not be made.

  10. When the display properties of the coverage annotation are set, click the 'Convert Coverage Annotation' button. In the dialog box, accept the default option 'Into a Database'. Browse to the database and the empty annotation feature class created in Steps 1 through 5, click Add, and Convert. The annotation is added to the database.
  11. Four fields are added to the annotation attribute table in the database. These are:


    The fields named <SUBCLASS_NAME>_ and <SUBCLASS_NAME>_ID can be deleted in the Feature Class Properties dialog > Fields tab, in ArcCatalog.

Article ID:000008630

  • Legacy Products
  • ArcMap

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