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Thread: Making Text Transparent

  1. #1
    Melissa Rivnie
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    Default Making Text Transparent

    Searching through the archives, I found some threads about making annotated text transparent, or posts from ESRI people saying (in 2003) that making text transparent is an option they were working on/hoping to have available in future versions.

    So my question is: Is it possible to make text transparent yet?
    Using the text tool in the Draw toolbar, I've created a couple of lines of text that I'd like to make transparent so the layers beneath them will still be visible. I'm working strictly in layout view, and I'll need to print out the map, so having the text print transparent as well is important.
    Is there another way to apply transparent text to a map that I'm not aware of?

    Thanks for any help,
    Mel

  2. #2
    Michael Stead
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    Default Re: Making Text Transparent

    You could convert it to a line. I think there is some conversion function related to CAD import/export.

  3. #3
    Paul Cook
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    Default Re: Making Text Transparent

    Mel,

    Here is a workaround that might help if you really need transparent text. I have used it a couple of times and it works well. Come to think of it if you are using ArcGIS 10 this might not work as it uses VBA.

    Create Annotation in a geodatabase first. Use the VBA and instructions in this link to convert the annotation to polygons. It takes a little experimentation to find the right scale and resolution to use for good looking results. When you have the resulting polygons just set the amount of transparency that you need.
    Paul

    Two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left

  4. #4
    Melissa Rivnie
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    Default Re: Making Text Transparent

    Unfortunately, I am upgraded to 10, so have no idea if VBE is available. I'm pretty limited at this point, only have Arc 10 and no extra licenses (like Editor).

    Thanks for the tips, though.

  5. #5
    Dana Nolan
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    Default Re: Making Text Transparent

    Transparency can be simulated/approximated by dot screening. This lets some of the background content show through (in between the dots). Unfortunately, there is no nice dot screen in the base ESRI background styles. I am working on a BMP one now. I have used dot screens for backgrounds for legends; they look OK if the dot color is close to the background. In text, they will interfere with readabilty (as would standard transparency) unless the text is fat and outlined and the screen color is different than your background.

    Try changing the symbol to Arial Black, then under Advanced Text Properties, select Text Fill; set the fill to Picture Fill; pick a background with lots of small dots; set the color. Avoid the picture fills that do not support transparent backgrounds. Use the Outline properties to create a thin text outline. The picture background can be made more or less dense by adding another layer of picture fill or by playing with the scale and offset properties for the picture fill.

  6. #6
    Tim Spivey
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    Default Re: Making Text Transparent

    Mel - the closest I've been able to come is using outline text with no interior fill. Works with larger point sizes, not sure what size your text is. I had a set of mapbooks with color aerial imagery and created "hollow" text that had an outline color (yellow in my case) and allowed the imagery to show through the center of each character.

  7. #7
    Fall Troy
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    Default Re: Making Text Transparent

    Convert the text to annontation and then use the display tab to make the text transparent. See attached...
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