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I am using ArcGIS 10.1. Is there a way to select on the typed text on the screen? I have standard text not assoicated with anything that I would like to delete. Is there anyway to select all?

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  • Do you mean text in the Layout view added via Insert > Text? Just select the text box using the mouse and press the Delete key. There's no way I know of, short of scripting, to select all text and delete it, other than holding down the Ctrl key while selecting each text box. If you have to do this for a lot of documents, a python script could do this, but maybe overkill for one or two maps.
    – recurvata
    Feb 9, 2015 at 16:34

2 Answers 2

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You can Select All Elements under the Edit menu. Beware that this select all graphics in the current view (either Data or Layout View), both on- and off-screen. That means all lines, map annotation, markers, etc.

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You can do this pretty quickly using Python. Open up your python window in ArcGIS and type the following to delete all text elements:

mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument("CURRENT") 
textElements = arcpy.mapping.ListLayoutElements(mxd, "TEXT_ELEMENT")
for element in textElements:
    element.delete()

If you'd like to delete text elements which contain a particular text string, modify the above script as follows (to delete all elements which contain the text "GIS"):

mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument("CURRENT")
textElements = arcpy.mapping.ListLayoutElements(mxd, "TEXT_ELEMENT")
for element in textElements:
    if "GIS" in element.text:
        element.delete()

This could easily be modified to run on multiple MXDs.

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