Convert the features in a coverage annotation subclass to a polyline shapefile

Last Published: April 25, 2020


ARCSHAPE does not support the conversion of annotation because there is not a shape type for annotation. Instructions provided describe how to convert the features in a coverage annotation subclass to a polyline shapefile.

For more information on supported shape types, see the link to 'Esri Shapefile Technical Description' in the Related Information section below.


  1. Download aianno2shape.ave from the Esri ArcScripts. Click the associated link in the Related Information section.
  2. Start ArcView and open a new project with a new view.
  3. Add the coverage annotation as a theme to the view.
  4. Check the annotation theme so it displays and is active.
  5. Copy and paste the aianno2shape.ave script into a new script window.

    A. Activate the Project window.
    B. Click the Scripts icon.
    C. Click New.

  6. Compile and run the script.

    The new polyline shapefile will automatically be added to the view. Each polyline feature maintains the orientation of the original annotation and has an attribute called Text, which contains the text string from the original annotation.

    The theme can be symbolized to not display the polyline features by using a NULL color symbol.
  7. Click Theme > Auto-label and specify the Text item as the label item.
    The Esri ArcScripts page also has AMLs for converting an annotation subclass to coverage point or line features. Click the link to ArcScripts in the Related Information section and do a keyword search for anno. After performing that conversion, the point or line coverage can be converted to a shapefile with the ARCSHAPE command.

Article ID:000002325

  • Legacy Products
  • ArcMap 8 x

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