Adding text with a callout box and leader line

  1. Specify the active annotation target on the Draw toolbar.
  2. Click the Callout button Callout on the Draw toolbar.
  3. Click a start point for the leader line and drag and release the mouse pointer where you want the callout and text to be placed (in the image below, the start point is the yellow dot).
  4. Add callout text
  5. Type the text string.
  6. Click Enter.
You can click and drag the endpoint of the callout to position it correctly.
When you're 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 in the Drawing menu) before you add your text.
When you're 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 New Text 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.

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