I'm collaborating with a designer who's using Avenza MAPublisher, while I'm using ArcMap Basic. We're still figuring out where the handover between GIS and Illustrator will be.

Can I create labels or annotations using ArcMap and Maplex, and pass these to the designer to refine in Illustrator? The designer will need access to the individual letters and words in the annotations, in order to adjust each letter's size, placement, etc.

I've tried exporting in *.AI format, and saving the labels as annotations in a file geodatabase. But the designer isn't able to import either of these into MAPublisher/Illustrator. In the case of the AI file, the layer has lost its georeferencing and needs to be placed manually, which isn't suitable for this high-precision work. The "add data" function in MAPublisher simply doesn't see the annotation featureclass in a file geodatabase.

Does the designer need to generate the labels himself using the Label Pro extension to MAPublisher?


1 Answer 1


Maybe you could try to import MXD project to Avenza. MAPublisher is able to do that:

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  • Thanks for the tip - but are you sure about that? I don't have access to Avenza but the designer tells me it's not possible to open an MXD. And a search for 'MXD' fails in the Quick Start Guide Sep 7, 2014 at 10:41
  • Sure it can. Have a look at pic below: pl.tinypic.com/r/34h8cud/8 MAPublisher 9.5
    – Roman
    Sep 7, 2014 at 18:58
  • Cool, thanks. If you have time, would you mind testing whether an MXD containing fGDB annotations is imported? There might be 50 imaginary internet points in it for you ;) Sep 7, 2014 at 23:21
  • 1
    I can confirm that MAPublisher can import geodatabase with annotations via MXD. I created fGDB with polygon shapefile and annotation. It was imported without any errors pl.tinypic.com/r/29zneb/8 but quess what...I was able to import that fGDB without importing MXD also (directly). But I think you must have annotation together with vector layer in base. Try to download latest version.
    – Roman
    Sep 8, 2014 at 5:43
  • Problem solved - the designer was using the 64-bit version of Illustrator, which (currently, at least) doesn't support fGDB or MXD. He downgraded to the 32-bit version of Illustrator, and it all works. Sep 9, 2014 at 11:53

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