How to Use the Anno Pack

Exporting Annotation from PC ARC/INFO

UNGANNO.SML exports annotation to GENERATE-compatible text file(s). (See the GENERATE command reference for details on file format.)

Usage:  &r unganno [anno_cover] [text_file] {arrow_file}

[anno_cover] - coverage containing annotation
[text_file] - GENERATE file to be created for text
{arrow_file} - GENERATE file to be created for arrows
Sample Annotation Text Output:

21793.86 -16777.07 0 200 HUMAN RESOURCE OFFICE
Sample Annotation Arrow Output:

The resulting files are used by the ArcView Anno Tools extension to create graphic objects representing the annotation.


Using the Anno Tools Extension

Copy ANNO.AVX to your ARCVIEW\EXT32 directory. When you open a new or existing project and load the extension, a new document type will be created:

The "ATools" or AnnoView document is a View with some controls removed and some new ones added.


The "Import Anno" button imports annotation using the one or two GENERATE files created by UNGANNO.SML. Annotation are imported as GraphicText objects. Backslashes "\" in the text are converted to newline characters. Text color is set to palette default.

If an arrow exists for an annotation, a PolyLine is created to represent it, and its object tag set to "ARROW". An additional PolyLine mimicking the annotation-style arrowhead is created, and its object tag set to "ARROWHEAD". The arrow color is set to that of the text, and the line width to 0.1. Then the PolyLines are grouped with the GraphicText and the object tag of the GraphicGroup is set to "ANNO".

(Hereinafter, "annotation" will refer to GraphicText objects or to GraphicGroup objects with the object tag set to "ANNO".)

Warning: The map units of the AnnoView should be set prior to importing annotation (under "View|Properties"). Otherwise, the imported text will be sized according to the palette default, and positioning will not be as precise.

The "Export Anno" button creates GENERATE files from selected annotation (to export all annotation in the AnnoView, click "Edit|Select All Graphics" first). Newline characters in the text are converted to backslashes "\". If the map units of the AnnoView are not defined, the annotation size will be set to 0.

The "Edit Anno" button allows editing of annotation text (if an annotation has an arrow, double-clicking on it will not bring up the editor).

The "Resize Arrowhead" button changes the size of an arrowhead by a given scale factor (e.g., 0.5 will resize an arrowhead to 50% of the original). All selected annotation with arrows will be affected.

The "Delete Arrow" button removes the arrows from all selected annotation.

The "Pin Text Size" button pins the text size of all selected nonscaling annotation to the current scale (thereby making them scaling). If a nonscaling annotation has an arrow, the arrow must be deleted before the text size will pin.


The "Text" tool creates nonscaling annotation. This is identical to the "Text" tool in a normal view. To convert nonscaling annotation to scaling annotation, use the "Pin Text Size" button.

The "Add Annotation" tool is similar to the "Text" tool save that it creates scaling annotation. The user may also define a two-point line with the tool to position the text!

The "Set Arrow" tool creates or repositions an arrow for the currently selected annotation. To apply it, define a line of 2-3 points, double-clicking the final point. To resize the arrowhead, use the "Resize Arrowhead" button.

Importing Annotation back into ARC/INFO

GENANNO.SML imports annotation from GENERATE-compatible text file(s).

Usage:  &r genanno [out_cover] [text_file] {arrow_file} {level} {symbol}

[out_cover] - coverage to be created
[text_file] - GENERATE file containing text
{arrow_file} - GENERATE file containing arrows
{level} - annotation level (default 1)
{symbol} - annotation symbol (default 1)

Mark Cederholm

Home brew software, home brew beer -- Yahoo!!!!