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I can get the color of my annotation text like this:

IColor TextColor = lpLabelEngine.Symbol.Color;

How can I get / set the outline color?

Something like this, I want a black letter with a white outline, and the white outline is 3 pixels wide.

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I started to reply with I don't think you can. except to use shadow or halo.
But did a search and walla! Here are a couple of pages that might help...
annotation masks
arcobjects calls

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