I keep running into this:

  • Export Labels in Layer A & B to annotations (In Map, In current extent only)
  • Enable Focus Data frame
  • Click on annotation exported from Layer A
  • Click the Edit Vertices button - No problem
  • Click on annotation exported from Layer B
  • Edit Vertices button is DISABLED

What's the problem? When I export the same labels to geodatabase annotations, I can easily edit the vertices on any annotation.

Figure 1: Click on Layer A annotation - Edit Vertices button enabled enter image description here

Figure 2: Click on Layer B annotation - Edit Vertices button DISABLED enter image description here

  • Maybe this is a bug... I just made a new map and created two new map based annotations. I then went to the drawing toolbar and did one of two things (first set the 'active target annotation' to something like the rivers/creeks) - 1) Copy and pasted a text element into that annotation target, 2) created a new one using the text tool on the drawing toolbar. Both of those newly created annotations do not have the ability to edit vertices whereas the original sets of annotation do! Maybe that is a piece of annotation that was either created manually or copy and pasted at some point in time.
    – SaultDon
    Dec 2, 2011 at 21:08

1 Answer 1


Edit vertices is disabled for multi-part annotation when edited with the drawing toolbar because these tools don't support editing this type of annotation. I highly recommend that you use Geodatabase annotation with the Edit Annotation tool for a more streamlined experience overall. Geodatabase annotation editing has been the focus of text editing experience improvements since ArcGIS 8.3 while the drawing tools have remained unchanged.

  • Thanks. I use GDB Annotations in most situations but in some instances I prefer the graphics. Why can I edit the "Fisher Road"(a multi-part annotation) but not "Crazy Jack Creek" (also a multi-part annotation)? I am leaning towards the "bug" theory. Jan 26, 2012 at 16:00
  • It doesn't look like Fisher Road is multi-part from the screenshot. Multi-part is when each word has a separate baseline for individual positioning. Maplex will create this type of annotation when it places words specifically in some placement situations. Jan 26, 2012 at 20:02

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