Adding text associated with a single feature with the text string derived from a feature attribute

  1. Specify the active annotation target on the Draw toolbar.
  2. Click the Label Manager button Label Manager on the Labeling toolbar.
  3. Choose a label class under the layer you want to label.
  4. Click the Label Field drop-down arrow and click the attribute field you want to use as a label.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click the Label tool Label on the Draw toolbar.
  7. You may have to click the drop-down arrow to choose the Label tool.

  8. Click Place label at position clicked.
  9. If you click Automatically find best placement, ArcMap finds the best location for the label using the Label Engine that is specified for the data frame and the label properties that are set for the layer.

  10. Click Choose a style and click the label style you want.
  11. If you choose the option Use properties set for the feature layer, then as you click features, the labeling properties of the feature layer you click are used to create the new text.
  12. Click the feature you want to label.
  13. ArcMap labels the feature.

If features conflict, the topmost feature will be labeled.
Labels are 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, the Label tool is unavailable unless the data frame is focused. To focus the data frame, click the Focus Data Frame button Focus Data Frame on the Layout toolbar or right-click the data frame on the layout and click Focus Data Frame.

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