About importing coverage, CAD, or VPF annotation into geodatabase annotation

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.


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

You can import one or more coverage or VPF annotation feature classes with the Import Coverage Annotation tool. Similarly, you can import one or more CAD annotation feature classes with the Import CAD Annotation tool. Both tools import into a new standard or feature-linked annotation feature class they create in the process. Importing from these formats into a feature-linked annotation feature class does not link annotation to features but does create the relationship class.

Learn how to link the imported annotation

Values stored in regular text attributes in the annotation feature classes you import are carried over to the new feature classes.

Coverage, VPF and CAD annotation import into the geodatabase as they appear in ArcMap. For this reason, you should carefully set up the display of the annotation before you import. If you’re importing several tiled annotation feature classes at the same time, you need only to set up symbology for the first annotation feature class you list in the Import Coverage Annotation or Import CAD Annotation tool. The tools allow you to apply the same symbology to all the other feature classes you import.

Coverage pseudo items and annotation appearance

When you display a coverage annotation feature class in ArcMap or ArcInfo Workstation, pseudo item fields in the coverage's text attribute table determine how the annotation is displayed. Pseudo items are used differently in ArcMap than they are in ArcInfo Workstation, and geodatabase annotation feature classes do not store pseudo items. Consequently, there are a couple of rules to keep in mind when importing coverage annotation:

The pseudo item $SIZE stores the text size in map units for coverage annotation. Since ArcGIS stores annotation text size in page units (for example, points), when you convert annotation whose $SIZE does not equal zero, ArcMap will automatically calculate a text symbol size in page units for the converted annotation based on the $SIZE value. In the other situation—where $SIZE equals zero—the text symbol size you specify on the Layer Properties dialog box for your coverage annotation is used for the converted annotation text symbol size. The size you choose is the size in which the new annotation will be displayed at the scale you’re zoomed to.

As with all other annotation, the display of coverage annotation is not affected by the data frame reference scale. This means that unlike converting labels to annotation features, when converting coverage annotation, the data frame reference scale is not important. However, when you convert, you must make sure that the current map scale matches the reference scale of the target annotation group. Unlike converting labels to annotation, you will not be shown any warning messages if these scales do not match.

Learn more about coverage annotation pseudo items

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