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How to create transparent text in ArcMap

October 03 2008 | 2 comments
Categories: Labeling, Maplex

There does not appear to be a way to make a label or graphic text transparent. I can convert the labels to annotation and then make the annotation transparent. The problem with that is the other labels then draw on top of the transparent annotation and obscure it, defeating the whole purpose of making the text transparent. How can I create transparent text that is drawn on top of all features and labels?

Mapping Center Answer:

You're on the right track.  Your annotation should be acting as a barrier to other labels by default.  If you're using Maplex make sure you're not using the "Never Remove Label" option, which will cause overlaps to occur.


In your case, don't draw the white halos on the parcel numbers--it's visually brutal, as in you're using unnecessary force to give the parcel labels prominence.  That will also reduce the number of pixels or ink dots that are on top of your transparent annotation.  If that's not enough, make the transparent text even larger.

Still does not answer my question posted by Erik Kennelly on Oct 6 2008 11:37AM
Mapping Center,

I appreciate your response.

I’m not attempting to remove overlapping labels; I really do want the transparent text to appear over the top of all features and labels. The street names and addresses are the most important information and must have the “Never Remove Label” option enabled. The transparent text is also important, but is secondary. I was simply exploring a different way for that label to stand out without interfering with all other labels. Thus, what I really want to know is; is it possible to create transparent text that will draw on top of all features and labels?

Thank you,

Erik Kennelly
Got it--transparent anno on top of labels posted by Charlie Frye on Oct 6 2008 12:21PM
Sorry--I looked at the map and saw the parcel labels on top of the transparent anno and transposed the problem. There's no way to do what you're asking unless you convert the parcel labels to anno and then draw that anno underneath the transparent anno.

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