A comparison of annotation groups vs. geodatabase annotation

ArcGIS Desktop fully supports two types of annotation: map document annotation stored in annotation groups and geodatabase annotation stored in geodatabase annotation feature classes. Other annotation types are read-only in ArcGIS Desktop.

Learn more about annotation

The decision about where to store your annotation is an important one. You will need to choose a storage option if you want to manually add text to your maps, when you convert labels to annotation, or when you convert ArcInfo Workstation coverage or SDE 3 annotation.

Generally, if you are working in a multiuser GIS environment or if you have any more than a few hundred pieces of text, you should store your annotation in geodatabase annotation feature classes. If you are not working in a multiuser environment and you have less than a few hundred pieces of text, annotation groups may be a better choice. Annotation groups are also a good place to temporarily store text.

Several significant differences exist in ArcCatalog and ArcMap when working with annotation groups compared to working with geodatabase annotation feature classes. This is especially true when managing your annotation and editing individual pieces of annotation. To learn more about these differences, see the table of text-related tasks in An overview of working with text.

In ArcGIS, labels are the primary alternative to annotation for storing text.

Learn more about labelingLearn more about working with text

Here are some guidelines for storing text:

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