Ask A Cartographer

Gap on Callouts

June 11 2008 | 8 comments
Categories: ArcGIS Methods, Labeling

How would you control the width on a callout leader line where it joins the text box portion of the callout?

Mapping Center Answer:

When you're editing annotation, select the annotation feature with a leader line, and in the attributes window click the Leader button. (shown below)

Another VERY important thing to know when you're editing annotation where you may be adding leaderlines interactively, is to set the Editor Options so that the new leader lines use the correct symbol.  From the Editor menu choose Options, then show the Annotation tab, and click the Leader button (in the Leader Symbol section).  Unfortunately the editing experience doesn't explicitly manage this, i.e., determine the correct leader symbol based on the text symbol for the annotation feature you have selected, so you may need to adjust your leader symbol in the Editor Options each time you edit a different annotation feature class (if they use different colors or styles of text).


Balloon Callout posted by Mamie Anding on Jun 11 2008 12:46PM
I'm sorry. I was not clear on the type of callout I'm using.

I'm using balloon callouts, not line callouts. I need to control the width of the leader where it joins the text box. When the balloon callout is moved closer to or further away from the base point, the leader becomes wider or narrower. I'd like to make it remain one width.
Balloon leader connection posted by Charlie Frye on Jun 11 2008 1:39PM
Unfortunately there is no way to control the width of the balloon callout's leader where it meets the background box.
callout leader width posted by marie ducharme on Jul 15 2010 8:19AM
It is very unfortunate that there is no way to control the width of the balloon callout's leader where it meets the background box. It is an issue that I struggle with almost weekly. If anyone has a work-around for this, please share it!
Known issue posted by Aileen Buckley on Aug 18 2010 12:35PM
This is a known issue that I understand we plan to address in a later release.
Balloon Callout posted by Mark Shields on Jul 8 2015 7:55AM
Actually you can add some control to the balloon callout width, add your balloon callout with Maplex extension on (I think it comes loaded with latest ArcMap 10.1), in Layer properties Labels tab set your leader tolerance in symbol settings between 0-5, if you notice you probably have some varying balloon widths, I have also noticed the higher tolerance the thinner the balloon width so keep it low.

Now in Layer properties Labels tab, open the Placement Properties... select the Label Position tab, then select Label Offset... set your Preferred Offset distance, now the default for "% of preferred offset" is zero, change that value to 800 or more, and check off Measure offset from the feature geometry. These setting will give you allot more consistency in your ballon widths even if the leader lengths vary.
Helpful hints posted by Aileen Buckley on Jul 8 2015 7:57AM
Thanks for the helpful hints, Mark!
Balloon Callout... posted by Mark Shields on Jul 8 2015 8:41AM
I also failed to mention, if you're using text nodes, the more lines you have the wider your balloon leader width and set your tolerance to 5, 0 tolerance can vary your balloon leader widths, but 5 adds consistency.
Good luck mapping!!

Mark S. Shields
Lead Cartograph Technician
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
New Olreans District
Geospatial Section
Engineering Division
Thanks again! posted by Aileen Buckley on Jul 8 2015 8:48AM
Thanks again, Mark!

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