I've set up a map document with a number of maps, using DDP with a polygon feature class as an index layer. Two of the layers have labels and I need to manually adjust the position of many of the labels. The only way I know to do this is by converting the labels to annotation, however because the index layer polygons and map data frames are all different sizes this means that the maps are drawn at different scales and so the labels are different sizes on each map. I would like them to all to be font size 10 on all maps.

Is there a way to do this?

2 Answers 2


Create multiple annotation classes for each scale you are using. I did that for the maps in this publication and it worked out pretty well.

  • Thanks for the suggestion. Unfortunately I've got a lot of pages, each with different scale. I've tried using the 'Tiled Labels To Annotation' tool hoping this would save the annotation features at different sizes according to the index layer. I thought this annotation feature class could then be used with a Page Definition Query to show the correct subset of annotation features (saved at the correct scale) for each page.
    – Robert
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 10:24
  • I'm currently struggling with this. I was expecting ArcMap to have a way to enable manual positioning while maintaining font size - like other desktop mapping applications.
    – Robert
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 10:34
  • @Robert - see my answer - you need to remove the scale reference.
    – jbalk
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 3:33
  • @cl3 - you can remove the scale reference from the annotation, then you only need one annotation group
    – jbalk
    Commented Sep 2, 2016 at 5:30

There is actually a simple solution for this problem.

  • Go into the dataframe properties dialog: enter image description here
  • Go to the annotation groups tab
  • Double click the annotation group you are using to open the properties
  • Set the reference scale to none: enter image description here

Now when you scroll through you DDP at different scales, the labels will always be the right size.

Here is a sample pdf output (exported as a series). As you can see, the font size stays the same regardless of scale: enter image description here enter image description here

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