Unable to move graphics or annotation below features in the draw order

Last Published: April 25, 2020


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Cannot modify draw order for annotation or graphics in ArcMap. Changing the Table of Contents order for geodatabase annotation layers does not affect the draw order.


ArcMap always draws annotation and graphics on top of all features. This is a known limit.

Solution or Workaround

Try one of the following workarounds:

  • Use a definition query on the annotation layer to prevent annotation features from drawing at all.
  • Use multiple data frames to display annotation below features in the draw order. Place the annotation in the bottom data frame and the feature layers in the top data frame. Use the Size/Position tab on the data frame properties dialog to ensure that the data frames align.
  • Display annotation below features in the draw order with a single data frame.
    In ArcMap select File > Export Map to create a TIFF image of the annotation.
    Add the image to the bottom of the data frame in ArcMap.

Article ID:000005449

  • ArcMap 8 x

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