A very long numbered list related to ArcGIS
The trouble with displaying or importing annotation from CAD to ArcGIS is that my carefully placed text in autocad moves when I place it in ArcGIS.
After a bit of searching I have found some solutions like this one here: http://forums.esri.com/Thread.asp?c=93&f=1728&t=131939 (ESRI Support pages)
I thought I’d elaborate and do a step by step process, mainly so I don’t forget!

  1. First open ArcCatalog
  2. Open the ArcToolBox
  3. Find under “Conversion Tools” the “Import from CAD” tool
  4. Double Click on this “Import from CAD tool”
  5. Select your AutoCad file (the whole file not just parts)
  6. Then choose where you want the new Geodatabase file you are creating will go.
  7. Click Ok
  8. Now open up ArcMap
  9. Add the point layer under the “CAD Staging” Feature Dataset
  10. Notice that the points you have added are in the location you want your text to be in, (there are also points from other parts of your CAD drawing here as well, we’ll clean this up in a bit)
  11. Right Click on your newly added point layer and select Joins and Relates  Join.
  12. The field we will be linking is the EntID field.
  13. Now select the File Geodatabase Table called “Entity”, this is located with your newly exported CAD file in the Geodatabase.
  14. You will also be using the “EntID” field, Keep all records and click OK.
  15. Now for clarity I tend to switch off from view those fields I don’t need, right click on your point layer and select Properties.  Select the Fields tab and then go through the list switching off all the fields, except for : Point.OBJECTID, Entity.Layer and Entity.RefName.  Click Apply and then OK.
  16. Now right click on your point layer again and Open the Attribute Table, voila!  You should have your text matched to your point data (if you notice funny code around your text, relating to font and size, don’t worry I will deal with this, so keep reading).   It’s up to you how you clear up the data now, however I shall continue this so you get an idea of what can be done.
  17. I want a nice clean layer so, right click your point layer and select export data.  Now I would select only the items I want to label (remember the point layer is a consolidated file of ALL your point data from AutoCAD not just text!)
  18. Choose a location to save this new file and select okay, and click ‘yes’ to add this new data.
  19. When looking at my text stored in the RefName field I can see that it has brought through some extra information like this: “{\fVerdana|b1|i0|c0|p34;QUARTER 1}”.
  20. Start an edit session.
  21. Open the point file’s attribute table.
  22. We want to get rid of first the front part of this code, so select one of the fields and select the first part of the code like this “{\fVerdana|b1|i0|c0|p34;” once selected either right click and copy, or press “Control+C” on the keyboard.
  23. Select the RefName Column so the whole column is selected
  24. Now click on options and then Find and Replace.
  25. In find place the copied text “{\fVerdana|b1|i0|c0|p34;” (or whatever text you have)
  26. And leave the Replace with blank.
  27. Now click “Replace All”
  28. You should now be left with something like this in your fields: “QUARTER 1}”.
  29. Now select and copy (or just type) the last bit of this data and repeat the process (“}”).
  30. So now stop editing (making sure you have saved it).
  31. Now right click on your point layer and select properties, now click on the labels tab.
  32. Check the label features in this layer box.
  33. Now click on the Placement Properties button, here I tend to choose “Place Label on top of the Point”, click OK.
  34. I would also effectively switch off the point symbol by making it 1pt transparent with no outline.

Phew, I hope that made some sense if I can clarify something please let me know!


  1. at 7 step i am getting error of not converting the file in .shp or any other formate is ther any specifice formate in which i need to give a input from AUTOCAD
    please find the solution of my Problem
    my mail address:- kadamdiptesh@yahoo.co.in

  2. Thanks for reading my blog, I not sure what you are asking, if it's what version of AutoCAD file , I think you can use DWG or DXF. I've found that using earlier versions of the CAD format is better than using the latest (2004/2006 versions).

    I tend to convert data to Geodatabase as well some maybe try that? If you can provide more details perhaps someone out there could provide some help?

  3. Hola amigos:
    Ya e seguido los pasos de cambiar de CAD a shape de puntos pero el detalle es que el nombre de mis calles no sale en el mismo angulo que lo exporte que hago?

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