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FAQ: Is it possible to apply transparency to a text box created using the Text tools in ArcMap ?

Question

Is it possible to apply transparency to a text box created using the Text tools in ArcMap ?

Answer

No, it is not possible to apply transparency settings to a text box created using the Text tools in ArcMap. Transparency is applied for symbolization but it is only applicable for layers. However, transparency can be applied to the text in a text box after the text is converted into an annotation feature class, as described in the following procedure.

Note:
Ensure Data View is enabled in ArcMap and the Draw toolbar is activated. Ensure the map scale is adjusted accordingly as this affects the reference scale of the text. For more information, please refer to ArcGIS Desktop Web Help: Reference Scale.
  1. On the Draw toolbar, click the Text drop-down arrow and select Text.
The picture shows the Text tool in the Draw toolbar
  1. Click on any point in the layout to activate the text box. Once activated, edit the text by typing the desired text in the text box.
Note:
Move the text created to the desired location before it is converted into a layer because once converted, the text cannot be moved.
The picture shows the text box being activated
The picture shows how to type the desired term
  1. In the Table Of Contents, right-click Layers or the title of the data frame, and click Convert Graphics To Features.
Note:
Ensure the desired text in the textbox is active before right-clicking Layers or the title of the data frame.
The picture shows how to right -click layers and select Convert Graphics To Features in the Table Of Contents
 
Note:
Convert Graphics to Features can also be accessed by clicking the Drawing menu on the Draw toolbar.
  1. In the Convert Graphics To Features dialog box, click OK. This converts the text into an annotation feature class.
The picture shows the Convert Graphics To Feature dialog box
 
Note:
A prompt is displayed asking to add the exported data to the map as a layer. Click Yes to add the layer to the Table Of Contents.
The picture shows the prompt
  1. Right-click the newly-entered layer in the Table of Contents, and click Properties.
The picture shows how to open Layer Properties dialog box
  1. In the Layer Properties dialog box, on the Display tab, adjust the percentage of transparency for the desired text in the Transparent text box.
The picture shows the Layer Properties dialog box
  1. Click Apply and OK. A transparent copy of the desired term is produced in a shade that reflects the transparency level.
The picture shows the end results

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