I'm working on a project where the workflow includes performing routine data updates from clients. They send me their updated FCs, and I truncate and load all of their data into (what should be) an identical FC on our side. (Delete Rows tool -> Append tool) Recently I did an update where there were some discrepant attribute fields between the two FCs:

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You will see that in the Field Map, the fields without links are at the bottom, in all caps. Mysteriously, our FC contains these fields, and theirs does not (I'm relatively new to this project, so I have no clue why). Usually I'm told to ignore fields with no link and append anyway, so I do so.

Afterward, I find that some, but not all annotations in the newly appended FC have been replaced with red boxes:

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The red boxes should actually appear as this:

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I've never seen anything like this before. I figured our FC was possibly corrupt, so I created an entirely new one, and appended all features into that, but still got the same problem.

Does anyone know what causes annotations to instead appear as red boxes? MY intuition is that it has something to do with the discrepant fields, but as far as I know, we don't use those fields for anything.

I am working in ArcGIS 10.3


I suspect the text value isn't getting added to your destination feature class because of a missing field map.

The field names you see in the field map window should be that fields from the destination FC, ie. your FC. If there is no plus beside them then ArcMap could not automatically match these fields with the source FC. Try manually matching them by right clicking on one and choosing Add Input Field. Then pick the correct source attribute from the window that appears.

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  • Thanks for your reply. Part of my question involves the fact that there actually don't exist matches for the unlinked fields. – Alex92 Aug 30 '17 at 20:45
  • The source FC must have a text value attribute. Can you map this to the text values attribute in your destination FC? – Dowlers Aug 31 '17 at 3:21
  • there isn't a text value attribute in there that hasn't already been mapped to another. I tried double mapping the "TextString" value (the normal text value attribute) to the TEXTVAL attribute as well, and got the same problem. What's strange is that if I delete/append this data into another identical FC WITHOUT the extra unmapped attributes, everything looks just fine. Something about those attributes is corrupting some of the annotations, even though they aren't being filled. – Alex92 Aug 31 '17 at 13:59

"Does anyone know what causes annotations to instead appear as red boxes"

I have had red boxes appear when the 'symbol id' field in the attribute table has values that do not match the Symbol Collection ID found in the FC properties annotation tab. The annotation is not participating in a known symbol collection so it appears as a red box. (desktop doesn't know what size, font, etc to assign to the annotation).

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