Resizing imported CAD annotation

This workflow demonstrates how to resize annotation after it has been imported from a CAD file.

A common application for this workflow is when a CAD file is created in U.S. survey feet and not assigned a coordinate system before using the Import CAD Annotation tool or the CAD to Geodatabase tool. As a result, the conversion tool uses meters as a default unit of measure to calculate the FontSize field. The linear difference between one U.S. survey foot and one meter causes the font size to be calculated much larger than the original CAD text.

For this workflow, use the field calculator to apply a conversion factor to existing attribute values in the FontSize field. This example assumes the target coordinate system is also in U.S. survey feet and uses the following conversion factor:

1200/3937 meter = U.S. survey foot

  1. Start an editing session. This is optional. An editing session enables you to undo your results but is not required to perform field calculations.
  2. Right-click the annotation feature layer and click Open Attribute Table.
  3. Right-click the field heading for the FontSize field and click Field Calculator Calculator.
  4. Double-click the FontSize field in the fields list to enter it into the expression box.
  5. Type *(1200/3937).

    The complete expression should read: [FontSize]*(1200/3937)

  6. Click OK.
  7. Close the attribute table.

Verify your results.


The display size for annotation is determined by the units set in the Data Frame Properties dialog box, on the General tab. If a coordinate system is not defined for the data frame and the units are set to unknown, the text size may continue to display incorrectly. To correct this, set the map units equal to the unit of measure that your conversion factor calculated. For this example, choose feet.

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Published 6/8/2010