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.

Is there a tool in ArcMap (ArcView level license) with the same functionality as Match Properties in AutoCAD?

This "one touch" functionality would be far superior to changing properties via the multi-stage process in ArcView (especially for rotation angles).


2 Answers 2


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.

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.

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.


The TextElement documentation provides 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).

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


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