From what I can tell python at ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 cannot create new textElements nor GraphicElements. Yet, 10.1 seems to support the ability to at least create a clone, of a existing GraphicElements, but not create one from scratch.

Can someone confirm this?

Does anyone know of any workaround to create a textElement from scratch?

1 Answer 1


This is true.

ArcPy at ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 cannot create or copy/clone graphic or text elements using the arcpy.mapping module.

ArcPy from ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop has a clone option is available, but it is still not possible to create a graphic or text element from scratch.

This software behaviour is the same in ArcPy from ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop where the TextElement (arcpy.mapping) help says:

The TextElement object provides access to properties that enable its repositioning on the page layout as well as modifying the text string and font size.


Existing text elements can be cloned and deleted. This capability was initially added to support the creation of dynamic graphic tables. To accomplish this, a map document must be authored with the text elements having the appropriate symbology.

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