Using text formatting tags

ArcGIS text formatting tags let you modify the formatting for a portion of text. This lets you create mixed-format text where, for example, one word in a sentence is underlined. Text formatting tags can be used almost anywhere text is placed on or around the map in ArcMap. You can use the tags anywhere you can specify both a text string and a text symbol. For example, you can use tags in dynamic label expressions, annotation, legend text, map titles, and in the values of fields used to label features. Tags aren't resolved by the ArcMap table of contents, Table window, or Identify Results window, so tags added to field values will be visible as tags in those windows.

View a table of the text formatting tags available in ArcMap.

Dynamic text is another type of formatting tag, which changes graphic text dynamically based on the current value of its respective property. It is only available in layout view. Dynamic text tags can be used together with text formatting tags to create dynamic mixed-format text on the page layout.

Learn more about working with dynamic text

Formatting tag syntax

Formatting tags have different syntax depending on whether they are used in annotation or in a label expression. In annotation the tags are concatenated to the text string with no special characters:


While in label expressions the formatting tags must be surrounded by double quotes and concatenated to other parts of the expression using the & operator:

Label Expression
"<BOL>" & "Text" & "</BOL>"
"<BOL>" & [LABELFIELD] & "</BOL>"

Learn more about building label expressions

The following syntax rules apply to formatting tags in ArcMap:

Additional tips for building label expressions

The following tips will help you build your label expressions:

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