Labels overlap Annotation

Discussion created by HealdsburgCA on Nov 2, 2011
Latest reply on Nov 2, 2011 by HealdsburgCA
  I am creating a wall map of my city which requires me to label my primary feature class using annotation stored in a personal geodatabase.   The annotation labels are two or three lines of text with leaders.  Unfortunately the automated labels of the base data feature classes (eg Streets & Addresses) are overlapping the annotation text and leaders.  This overlap is making my map hard to read and borderline ugly. 

For this map I have about 400 annotation labels and leaders and their placement is very particular.  I haven't used annotation very much and when I approached this map I was hoping that I could set a buffer on the annotation that would block out all of the background base data labels in the vicinity of the primary annotation labels.  There is no ability to buffer.

As the background labels are only for reference purposes, I've decreased the text and grayed them back as much as I can; however, since the background labels overlap my annotation, the annotation labels are still lost to the map reader (especially in the dense urban areas).

Is there method to making the automated labeling engine recognize annotation?  I dug around in Maplex and had no luck.  Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.