Label/annotation boxes with custom placement

Discussion created by ajburkemper on Mar 12, 2014
Latest reply on Mar 12, 2014 by ajburkemper
I'm looking to label a dense set of points with multi-line data boxes where I can manually place/organize the boxes so that they are aesthetically logical and can be easily traced back to the points they apply to.  I've created the boxes as I want them using a labeling expression, but I don't like the way ArcMap automatically places them...the points are dense enough that either some labels won't show up or they'll overlap each other (depending on the placement properties I choose).  I know I can convert the labels to annotation, then move/place them manually, but as far as I can tell, once I do this, the annotation is no longer linked with the attribute table or each other, so that I can't make any universal changes to the content or formatting of the boxes...is this correct?  Basically, once I have the boxes manually placed where I want them, I want to be able to modify the content in all the boxes (e.g. add or remove a line of attribute data) without them moving, or without starting over with the conversion of labels to annotation and having to move them all manually again.  Currently, I save the annotation within the map during the conversion...does it make a difference if I save them within a geodatabase??  I'm just not that familiar with geodatabase files and have always worked mostly with individual shapefiles.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!!