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Exporting annotation to AI - 10.1 introduces more problems

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#1
Brian Moran

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We've been dealing with the problem of labels exported from ArcMap to AI dropping the last letter due to the text path being slightly too short for years. There are workarounds to this and in the end it is not a big deal.

 

As far as I can tell, 10.1 (SP 1) has introduced a much more serious problem: the first letter is being dropped from many text-on-a-path labels, and it isn't just hidden, it is completely missing. I've run several experiments using different annotation databases, different MXDs, different fonts, running on different machines, etc. It seems to be a consistent problem, and unique to 10.1. Luckily I still have access to 10.0, but as far as using 10.1, this is a deal breaker for us.

 

Has anyone else noticed this or am I totally missing something?  Any solutions?

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#2
David Medeiros

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I'ver never been happy with Arc's AI export capabilities and thankfully I can use MAPublisher instead but understand that this is required work flow for others. My preference would be to manually add all levels in AI if I didn't have MAPub. With Arc's label placement you'd almost need to touch each label anyway.

 

10.2 is out now I wonder if it does any better? I might run a test later to see.

 

Is there a way to systematically add an extra space to the front of each label in ArcGIS? Maybe the text alignment makes a difference in how its handled on export?


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#3
kinesava

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I am happy using Maplex to get me 90% of the way on labeling, and that is far better than creating thousands of labels by hand in AI (assuming no MAPublisher). Yet, the text export problems continue. I have been told on good authority that the new graphics engine (which includes the new PostScript/PDF driver) is finally about to be delivered in ArcGIS 11 later this year. Of course, I've been hearing "next version" for 13 years now.

 

I haven't noticed this in 10.1 so far, but I wouldn't be surprised, and it may be a new symptom of the same problems. I know of 2 issues: The text curves are converted to polylines (and very poorly at that), and the text itself often "shortcuts" the inside of the curve (which is why it doesn't all fit), especially on tight curves. Is my workaround the same as yours?

1. Select all text and simplify paths with 98% match

2. On the labels that are obviously not matching the curve (the tightly curved ones), direct select the label, and wiggle the start and end brackets (the long control lines perpendicular to the curve), which will snap the text to the curve.

3. If this fails (which it rarely does for me), reduce the tracking.



#4
David Medeiros

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I am happy using Maplex to get me 90% of the way on labeling, and that is far better than creating thousands of labels by hand in AI (assuming no MAPublisher). Yet, the text export problems continue. I have been told on good authority that the new graphics engine (which includes the new PostScript/PDF driver) is finally about to be delivered in ArcGIS 11 later this year. Of course, I've been hearing "next version" for 13 years now.

 

I haven't noticed this in 10.1 so far, but I wouldn't be surprised, and it may be a new symptom of the same problems. I know of 2 issues: The text curves are converted to polylines (and very poorly at that), and the text itself often "shortcuts" the inside of the curve (which is why it doesn't all fit), especially on tight curves. Is my workaround the same as yours?

1. Select all text and simplify paths with 98% match

2. On the labels that are obviously not matching the curve (the tightly curved ones), direct select the label, and wiggle the start and end brackets (the long control lines perpendicular to the curve), which will snap the text to the curve.

3. If this fails (which it rarely does for me), reduce the tracking.

 

That's what used to work, what Brian is reporting is the letter is not just hidden but missing all together so no amount of fiddling will bring it back.

 

Having been a street map cartographer for over ten years creating and editing detailed road maps of California by hand in Adobe Illustrator (no MAPub, no Arc imports), I can sympathize with you wish to not hand label the entire map. We hand labeled every map to the tune of thousands of pieces of type each. I can't imagine what it was like to do this in mylar and scribe coat!

 

I will say though, label placement makes the map, and doing it manually is the best way. Using Maplex to get you most of the way there is great, but I would never leave it at that if it's an important map. I think manual label editing is time well spent for most maps and it usually shows in the end.


GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

www.mapbliss.com

 


#5
Brian Moran

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I am happy using Maplex to get me 90% of the way on labeling, and that is far better than creating thousands of labels by hand in AI (assuming no MAPublisher). Yet, the text export problems continue. I have been told on good authority that the new graphics engine (which includes the new PostScript/PDF driver) is finally about to be delivered in ArcGIS 11 later this year. Of course, I've been hearing "next version" for 13 years now.

 

I haven't noticed this in 10.1 so far, but I wouldn't be surprised, and it may be a new symptom of the same problems. I know of 2 issues: The text curves are converted to polylines (and very poorly at that), and the text itself often "shortcuts" the inside of the curve (which is why it doesn't all fit), especially on tight curves. Is my workaround the same as yours?

1. Select all text and simplify paths with 98% match

2. On the labels that are obviously not matching the curve (the tightly curved ones), direct select the label, and wiggle the start and end brackets (the long control lines perpendicular to the curve), which will snap the text to the curve.

3. If this fails (which it rarely does for me), reduce the tracking.

 

That's what used to work, what Brian is reporting is the letter is not just hidden but missing all together so no amount of fiddling will bring it back.

 

Having been a street map cartographer for over ten years creating and editing detailed road maps of California by hand in Adobe Illustrator (no MAPub, no Arc imports), I can sympathize with you wish to not hand label the entire map. We hand labeled every map to the tune of thousands of pieces of type each. I can't imagine what it was like to do this in mylar and scribe coat!

 

I will say though, label placement makes the map, and doing it manually is the best way. Using Maplex to get you most of the way there is great, but I would never leave it at that if it's an important map. I think manual label editing is time well spent for most maps and it usually shows in the end.

 

David is correct that the problem I'm finding in 10.1 is new and separate from the "old problem" of labels not quite fitting on the paths.  The "new problem" is that the initial letter is completely missing, not just hidden.  My workaround for now is to use 10.0.

 

Maplex is better than the stock labeling engine, but for our purposes doesn't get us all the way there. I have not found any software that can automate label placement in tight, dense areas adequately.  I agree that hand placing labels is usually time well spent, especially on street maps and topographic base maps.  I think any algorithm that could match the label placement decision-making abilities of a good cartographer would have to be one hell of a complex algorithm.  It is certainly possible-- it would be a cake walk compared to such technology as artificial intelligence and robotics, but our little map-making niche doesn't attract that level of effort or the money it would require!



#6
wick

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Brian,

It's different at version 10.2 where the paths are actually extended beyond the end of the word. In my screenshot you can see the length of the path I have selected. This AI export is of a map with dynamic labels placed with the standard label engine from 10.2.

At 10.2 the AI exports still have lots of anchor points on each text path that need to be simplified, they still need the text nudged up then down and they still have clipping masks. The clipping masks are different though. Instead of 1 mask for each layer, each layer has multiple masks with many nested groups of objects - also visible in the screenshot. Just takes some getting used to.

Attached File  CurvedTextSample2.png   34.3KB   1 downloads

 


Jesse Wickizer
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