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Annotation in a geodatabase scale problem

12-23-2011 12:50 AM
New Contributor III
Hi guys,

I have converted labels to annotation in a geodatabase. There are three layers I've converted the labels for, into separate annotation classes as I did not know I could put labels from all three in one annotation class at the time. This should not matter for the problem I'm facing. The problem is, I have gone and shifted all the labels to their optimal location relative to the points on the map. Yes, I used maplex first to try to get them in the right place automatically. It helped somewhat. So, I've shifted all the labels and am happy with them. Then I used data driven pages to skip between four districts. The only thing is the districts are of different sizes, hence DDPs takes it to different scales. The annotations, however, do not behave like normal labels and remain at a constant size regardless of scale. For the smallest district the labels are noticeably too large.

I read on the Arc forum


that a way to do it is to make the the reference scale zero in the annotation groups tab of the data frame properties. I did this (finding only one of the three annotation classes was in an annotation group anyway) to no avail. I also read in an Arc 10 help page that I can get the annotations to dynamically scale, like normal labels, by setting the reference scale to zero:

It does, however, also say "You cannot specify a zero reference scale for geodatabase annotation classes."

Therefore, I am wondering if I should abandon the idea of putting these particular annotations in a geodatabase and just put them in the map? Is this the only way to create annotations that will remain the same geographic size regardless of the scale of the map, like normal labels?

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2 Replies
New Contributor III
fixed by converting in the map and setting the annotation group reference scale to zero in the data frame properties.
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Occasional Contributor III

The same issue was frustrating me for a long time. I'm unsure if this problem is easier to handle in newer versions of ArcMap, but certainly in 10.3 I was surprised to find this was the resolution.

Converting labels to annotation in a geodatabase locks in a single reference scale. This is no good if you have Data Driven Pages with differing scales.

By converting labels to annotation In the map, you are then able to go into the Data Frame properties > Annotation Groups tab and you will see a new Group has been created. Turn off the <Default> Group and change the Reference Scale on the newly created Group to <None>. 

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