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Moving selected annotation labels without mouse only keyboard

June 04 2009 | 3 comments
Categories: Labeling

Thanks for the great post "What I wish I had known about annotation before I started using it". My question concerns moving annotation text when in the select mode. Can selected text (or objects) be moved and/or tweaked by using the Up/Down/Right/Left Arrows on the keyboard?
This is what I'd like to be able to do:
1. Use the mouse to place text in the general area. (This I can do, obviously).
2. Refine the placement of text without using the mouse. Instead I want to be able to 'nudge' the text into position by using the keyboard's Up/Down/Right/Left Arrows (or any other localized keys). This is a feature available in Adobe Illustrator.

Can this be achieved in ArcMap? I've looked for ways to do this via the Custom Toolbox without any success. Using the mouse for fine movement seems to quickly lead to repetitive motion issues.

Any suggestions on this would be most appreciated.

Mapping Center Answer:

Nudging text for more refined placement using the Up/Down/Right/Left arrow keys is something that you can't do in ArcMap (because each nudge would essentially be a database edit!)

What we suggest is after you place your text in the general area where you want it, then zoom in further to refine the placement even more.


Follow-up Moving Selected Anno Using Keyboard posted by Dennis Davidson on Jun 10 2009 7:05AM
Thank-you for getting back to me on my question. I've used the "zoom in for fine adjustment" method for fine-tuning text placement. This certainly does the task but usually requires several 'click-drag' mouse movements (whether zoomed in or not) which I am trying to avoid since it leads to 'mouse-click fatigue'. Also, keyboarding is usually much faster than the 'pull-down menu/mouse-click' route.

With regard to your reason why ArcMap cannot 'nudge' text. I'm perplexed
by your answer. If, as you say, using the Up/Down/Right/Left Arrow keys
requires a database edit, why wouldn't a Mouse Down-Mouse Drag-Mouse Click
input also require a database edit? Or, for that matter, why wouldn't most
other input choices require database edits during an Edit session? If so,
then what is the difference between a database edit in response to a
keyboard input versus a database edit in response to a mouse input? Thanks again.
You can nudge in ArcMap posted by Andrew Walz on Mar 26 2013 8:16AM
Simply switch from the edit annotation tool to the select elements tool, click on your label, and you can nudge with arrows keys as described here:
Thanks! posted by Aileen Buckley on Mar 28 2013 3:11PM
Thanks for your tip, Andrew!

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