Is there a way to automate the placement and the text based on a field using callout labels?

One thing I've tried, which is quite cumbersome, is to convert the graphical objects after they have been drawn to an annotation class and then spatially joining the new features to the points they are labeling, then calculating the text field with attributes from the joined table.

I'm really hoping there is a way to generate box/callout labels in a more automatic fashion. I don't want to have to draw all several hundred callouts.

Software Version: ArcGis 10.3

  • please state the ArcGIS version you are using. maplex was an addition extension cost but now is included with arcmap. If you search this website you should be able to find answers to this issue which btw you have not been very clear in defining what the difficulty is (with placement control, or just with creating the label. etc). Any more clarity on your specific problem; please hit edit on your original question and add more.
    – Brad Nesom
    Dec 23, 2014 at 16:37
  • possible duplicate (once there is a definition of the question). What are you trying to accomplish a style of box, a specific content in the box? gis.stackexchange.com/questions/18190/… gis.stackexchange.com/questions/18128/… gis.stackexchange.com/questions/77900/…
    – Brad Nesom
    Dec 23, 2014 at 16:47

1 Answer 1


A solution came by digging deeper into the label style within the properties of the feature class. Before this, I was trying to use the drawing toolbar to place every callout label individually. The automatic placement of callout labels is achieved by...

1.)Right click the feature class and going to "Properties".

2.)Click the "Labels" tab.

3.)Click the "Symbol..." button.

4.)Click the "Edit Symbol..." button.

5.)Click the "Advanced Text" tab.

6.)Select the "Text Background" check box and hit "Properties".

Within this dialogue there are several options for producing callout labels. This, in combination with the MapPlex label engine make callout labels much more usable that I had originally thought when just using the "drawing toolbar". Here is a screen shot from the callout label dialogue.

enter image description here

  • There is much more that can be done also. Please depict what version. Also matk this ss your answer
    – Brad Nesom
    Dec 27, 2014 at 13:48

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