Can anyone tell me why do I have attribute table text on my layers in ArcMap 10 and how I can get rid of those texts? I have no idea when the texts appeared into my workspace. I have been digitizing and copying and pasting polygons from layer to another. However, the texts seems not to be part of any layer because they stay on the screen even I chance the visibility of all my layers.

Printscreen-picture of my view

  • Open a new mxd to where you drag your layers one by one. Then you can narrow down which layer the text is associated to, if any. You don't seem to have overly many layers, so shouldn't be too time consuming.
    – Martin
    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:47
  • Thanks for the tip! That solved it! The text was not part of any layer (like I assumed) and didn't appear in the new mxd.
    – Blueridge
    Feb 12, 2014 at 8:59

2 Answers 2


The text you see is the result of Paste operation. The most likely reason for that is that you had either created a report in ArcMap or copied rows from Attribute table by using Copy (or just Ctrl-C shortcut). This piece of data was stored in your operation system clipboard and when you were trying to copy/paste a layer in the table of contents or a feature, you have pasted what you had latest in the clipboard which were those rows.

You will likely be able to select this object by using the Select Elements tool on the Standard toolbar and then delete it.

  • +1 I think you've nailed the steps that would have led to the symptom seen.
    – PolyGeo
    Feb 12, 2014 at 9:55

Not knowing the history of this map it is not possible to be certain, but from the description of what solved it, I would say that you were seeing Graphic Text that was created in your map at some point in time.

There is an Online Hep Page entitled Essential annotation and graphic text concepts that may be worth reviewing if you want to know more about Graphic Text (and Annotation).

If they are Graphic Text then they should be selectable for deletion (with the Delete key) by using Edit | Select All Elements.

  • Thank you all! The texts were indeed Graphic Text. I pasted some texts again for testing and I was able to delete the texts by Edit | Select All Elements (and Delete key). Much easier than dragging all layers to new mxd!
    – Blueridge
    Feb 13, 2014 at 13:46

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