I'm trying to set up an annotation labels for several feature classess in a map and would like them to display proportionally - relatively to map scale. I use ArcMap 10.1 and its Maplex label engine.

As an example, I am working on a regional map at a scale of 1:700K. My annotation on a FC (within GDB) is set to 12pt size. When I zoom in to a larger scale of 1:350K my annotations appear exactly the same size and are consequently too big!

I understand one can work with map document annotation or geodatabse annotation. I've seen some posts about setting a data frame reference scale to zero (eg http://forums.arcgis.com/threads/74004-Annotation-labels-at-different-scales), which should make mxd annotations display proportionally to map scale. However cannot seem to add custom reference scale of '0' to the customized list.

1 Answer 1


No need to convert to annotation for this, try the following steps:

  1. Set up multiple labeling classes per scale range within the layers Properties>Labels>Method>"Define classes of features and label each class differently"
  2. Define scale range for each class, under "Scale Range" button
  3. Update label font

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