My question is short-and-sweet..

I have text, pointers & lines to be added to a series of maps. ** Creating spatial data via an edit session is not an option ** This project is HUGE, and there will be hundreds of maps for each facet of the project. Consistency is important.

My question .... is there a tool in ArcView with the same functionality as [Match Properties][1]?

It would save me SO MUCH TIME!! This "one touch" functionality would be far superior to changing properties via the multi-stage process in ArcView (especially for rotation angles). I appreciate an feedback. Take care all

  • Some more information about what is changing and how would be helpful. I assume the pointers/lines are callouts for specific things on the map, and the text will need to be consistent as well as the callouts? But the location and values of the text will vary? – blord-castillo Jul 18 '11 at 2:33
  • Hey blord-castillo -- I edited my original post. I'm not sure I'm explaining things very well, but I hope this helps (and thanks). – Dano Jul 18 '11 at 14:29
  • No, there isn't a way to do what your asking for. – D.E.Wright Jul 18 '11 at 17:19
  • @ D.E. Wright - As I feared would be the case. I man can dare to dream though right? – Dano Jul 18 '11 at 18:55
  • It is much easier to achieve what you are looking for by embracing the editing environment in ArcGIS and managing any symbol updates etc via the tools there. – Craig Williams Jul 19 '11 at 7:04

You are restricting arcmap to what it doesn't do very well. I always say.
1. Design the final product.
2. Assess the tools for each task.
3. Draw lines back to each source with the tool that can accomplish it.

Anyway the only thing I see that might help in this situation is the default symbology properties on the draw toolbar.

match property

Since looking at your map I will add this Edit:

I have used successfully autocad drawings of text and a few graphics (georeferenced) pulled into my arcmap document.
I set up layers with styles and font sizes (for scale differences) to keep them easy to turn on and off.
You can even set up different drawings to use for each element so you only insert the annotation for one type of entity.
This has been especially helpful when I had labels that had to be in a specific spot (as arcmap decides where to put labels for you).
This would allow you to use the power of what you are asking about.

I really only suggest this as a workaround with items that you can't easily manage in GIS format.
Let me know if you have ?s

Second Edit:
If you don't need the locations of the text to move (after you get it placed), then I think you could easily use GIS to this.
It is not a touch this and everything changes but it is select this layer and apply this font, or color, or halo, or whatever to everything else in the layer.
Or even part of the items based on an attribute.
If you want the same locations to be labeled for ecology you simply export the points you want to a new layer.
turn off the point symbol and turn on the label.
Define the new style and now all of those will have that marker or label.
more ?s

| improve this answer | |
  • Hey Brad. I'll be a little more detailed. The text,pointers, etc I'm laying down on these maps will come in many forms, sizes, colours, angles, etc, etc, etc. Ultimately, I will be doing "hundreds" of these maps (huge study area). I know I can set the defaults as you've shown, but I would be changing them every minute or so, which amounts to the same thing (more steps than Match Properties which = more time on a project this big). I hoped ESRI had a similar tool I didn't know about. – Dano Jul 15 '11 at 19:55
  • I understand - I am an autodesker also. Nothing like using the tool that works! There is an old avenue tool called cad tools but it doesn't seem to have what you need. Maybe find the esri wish list – Brad Nesom Jul 15 '11 at 20:22
  • 2
    One of the biggest complaints from ESRI users at all the UC I have been to is for better cartographic tools, such as you see in Adobe. If they want to portray ArcGIS as a all in one tool, then they need to make it more flexible. Even AutoCAD had issues with this back in the late 90s, I would export from there into CorelDraw and do my presentation quality stuff there. Use the best tool for the job, if ESRI wants to be the best tool, they need to show it. – D.E.Wright Jul 15 '11 at 23:16
  • 1
    @ D.E.Wright - I tend to agree with you one the one hand, but I also think that each of these software packages has their place or serves their own niche. They can't ALL do EVERYTHING right? @ everyone - since there is no answer to my question, I guess I'll lose mt 50 reputation points to the answer with the highest vote tally right? Is there any way to cancel the bounty? I searched the site, but I don't see a way to do this. – Dano Jul 21 '11 at 23:08
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    @ Brad - Both great suggestions (re: your edits). Thanks you very much also! You have helped me many times on here. See my reponse to artwork21 below. In addition to the what I posted there, I have also been turning off the sat imagery for faster data frame re-loads while I work on the repetitive production aspects. I now have the benefit of a laptop I can bring home at my new job. That said, I will be trying out many things in ESRI & CAD as time allows at home. I am selecting your answer to give you this bounty. Thank you again. Your help does not go unappreciated. – Dano Jul 22 '11 at 14:21

The link below provides a code that you can use within ArcMap to import label properties as a .lyr file. You can then import the saved .lyr to any other layer that has the similar database criteria. Here is an example of properties that can be saved, e.g. field name for SQL Query = "ID" >= 10, font is 12 pt/bold/halo, color is blue, symbol = buffer leader, define label placement angle...etc.

You will have to request a VBA license from ESRI to use with ArcGIS 10 to implement this method to create a UI Control (easier option), or you could create a Add-In using Visual Studio Express (a bit harder to do if you do not have programming experience).


Edit Update

You could call a python script that can be used to search and update text within a layout.


| improve this answer | |
  • Hey artwork21 - they're not labels --- just text. I tried to explain a little better (see edit to original post). I'll be doing the same map areas over-and-over with differing themes, and I'm after a match properties tool. I fear no such tool exists in ESRI. – Dano Jul 18 '11 at 14:28
  • @Dano, have you looked into using python, see my Edit Update of my answer. – artwork21 Jul 18 '11 at 14:44
  • Might be out of my league. I will have to look into this after work (too much to do!!). Thanks, and I'll be back later. – Dano Jul 18 '11 at 14:57
  • +1 @ artwork21 - I have just been using the standard properties options in ArcMap. I have saved various text & line styles to my symbolgy options so I don't have to go searching for them, and I do the copy/paste thing wherever possible. One of the biggest constraints was waiting for the high res photos from the GPS camera to re-load every time. I have taken to turning them off (they're inserted in data frames) until I am finished entering the text (much faster). When I have more time, I will look at the Python suggestion (and thank you!). At a glance, it looks like it may have potential. – Dano Jul 22 '11 at 13:57

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