Adding text that flows within a graphic

  1. Specify the active annotation target on the Draw toolbar.
  2. Click one of the Paragraph Text tools on the Draw toolbar.
  3. Choose either New PolygonPolygon Text, New RectangleRectangle Text, or New CircleCircle Text.

  4. Click where you want to position the text and drag to create the graphic shape, then double-click to complete the shape.
  5. Before adding text
  6. Double-click the graphic to change the text and modify its display properties.
  7. After adding text
  8. Click OK.
When in data view, text added to the data frame is added to the <Default> annotation group by default. You can change this by setting the Active Annotation Target (available on the Drawing menu) before you add your text.
When in layout view, ArcMap will, by default, add new text to the layout.

Learn more about adding text to the layout

You can set the default symbol properties for new text by clicking Drawing on the Draw toolbar and clicking Default Symbol Properties.
The Select Elements tool Select Elements becomes active, by default, after you add new text. To have the New Text tool stay active so you can add more text, you need to change a setting using the ArcMap Advanced Settings utility. Find this in your ArcGIS installation directory in the Utilities folder.
You can use the Create Text from Graphic Elements tool to create paragraph text from an existing graphic. To use this tool, click Customize > Customize Mode, click the Commands tab, find the Page Layout category, then drag the tool onto any toolbar. Next, select an existing graphic and click the Create Text From Graphic Elements button.

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