Exercise 3c: Creating new annotation features

Complexity: Intermediate Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data Setup Data Path: \ArcGIS\ArcTutor\Editing

About creating and editing annotation

With the completion of the exercises so far, you have learned how to create feature templates and set their properties. You created point, line, and polygon features by digitizing over an image, snapping to existing features, entering exact measurements, and using various construction tools and editing commands. In this exercise, you will learn how to create and edit annotation on your map, which has a similar workflow to creating other types of features. There are several different tools you can use to add annotation to the map; you will use two of them, Straight and Follow Feature.

Creating straight annotation


The Exercise3.mxd is open and you are in an edit session.

You will use the Straight annotation construction tool, which allows you to place annotation that has a straight baseline but may be rotated at an angle, to add some text to your map to identify canyons in the park.

  1. In the Create Features window, click the Canyons annotation feature template in the CanyonsAnno layer.
  2. When you activate an annotation template, the Annotation Construction window appears so you can enter the text and change the formatting of the feature you are going to create.
  3. Click the Straight construction tool Straight on the Create Features window.
  4. Type Zion Canyon in the Annotation Construction window. As you type, the text on your pointer changes as well.
    Annotation Construction window
  5. Click the map to the left of the road near Grotto Springs. The location you click is the center point of the new feature.
    Creating straight annotation
  6. Rotate the annotation sketch counterclockwise to create annotation that is aligned with the road, stream, and canyon.
  7. Click to place the annotation.
  8. Press the E key until you have activated the Edit Annotation tool. The E key switches among the construction tools, the Edit tool, and the Edit Annotation tool.
  9. Place the pointer over the red triangle on the edge of the Zion Canyon annotation feature. The pointer changes to the two-pointed Resize Annotation pointer, allowing you to resize interactively so the feature fits better.
  10. Drag the resize handle toward the middle of the annotation feature. The feature shrinks as you drag it.
    Resizing the annotation
  11. Drag the annotation feature if you need to reposition it again.
    Resized annotation feature

Creating annotation that follows the edge of a line

The next style of annotation you will create is follow feature annotation, which is designed to follow along or match the shape of lines or polygon edges. You will use the Follow Feature construction tool to create annotation that follows the shape of the road and use the road's attributes as the text for the annotation.

  1. In the Create Features window, click the Default annotation feature template in the RoadsAnno layer.
  2. Click the Follow Feature construction tool Follow Feature on the Create Features window.
  3. On the Annotation Construction window, click Follow Feature Options to set options for how the annotation will be placed as it is dragged along the stream. The options should still be set from when you constructed follow feature annotation. If not, make the annotation curved and constrained to be placed on the side the cursor is on at a 100-meter offset. Click OK when you are done.
    Follow Feature Options dialog box
  4. Click Find Text on the Annotation Construction window. Find Text allows you to click a feature and populate the annotation string with an attribute from another feature.
  5. Move the pointer over the road feature that branches off toward the east from the intersection with Zion Canyon Scenic Drive and snap to and click the road. Highway 9 should appear in the Text box on the Annotation Construction window and on the tool's pointer. If Zion National Park or Clear Creek appear, click Find Text, move the pointer over the road feature, then try again.
  6. Click the road feature, which becomes highlighted, and drag the Highway 9 annotation feature along the line. Press the L key if you need to flip the reading direction.
    Making the Highway 9 feature follow the road
  7. Click to place the annotation.
  8. You could continue to place unplaced annotation, edit annotation, create new annotation features, and delete unwanted annotation until the map suits your needs. This annotation is stored in geodatabase annotation feature classes, each of which can be reused on other maps. When you have completed your edits, stop editing and save them.
  9. Click the Editor menu on the Editor toolbar and click Stop Editing.
  10. Click Yes to save your edits.
  11. Close ArcMap if you are done working with the tutorial. You do not need to save the map document.
  12. To continue to the next exercise, click Exercise 4a: Editing shared features with a map topology.

In this exercise, you created new annotation features, edited their size and position, set the text string for a new annotation feature using attributes from another feature, and placed annotation features along a line.