This brief article discusses the differences between labels and annotation and provides a workflow for dealing with static map labels.
Labels are only drawn at display time meaning that the physical text element is not added to the design file. In addition, labels are dynamic which means that if the property value changes, then the label will automatically update. Since labels are dynamic, they are ideal for properties that continuously change and require updating.
Annotation text are physical text elements that are extracted from the display-only labels. They are typically placed in an Annotation Model and then used as a reference. Since annotation is text, they can be manipulated like other MicroStation elements. For example, you may want to do a bit of overposting clean-up or resize selected text items for clarity. Since annotation is static, it's important to realize that the text value will not update when the feature property is changed.
Let's take a closer look:
On the map below, the blue water utility nodes have been labeled with their ID numbers which are likely not going to change. For this reason they are good candidates to be converted to annotation.
From the features right-click menu, select Annotation and adjust the settings as needed. For most purposes, the default settings are just fine.
Once exported, the feature labels can be turned off in the Master Model.
Since there's a bit of overposting clean-up that needs to be done, open the Annotation Model and attach the Master Model as a reference. To do that, simply drag and drop the Master Model from the Models dialog into the view. The Attach Source Files dialog will open, click OK and the model is attached as a reference. If there's a display issue with the ordering of the features, simply rearrange the display stack so get the annotation text above all other features. You can do that in the Map Manager.
At this point, the annotation text can be moved to avoid any overposting with other features. When done, return to the Master Model and attach the Annotation Model as a reference. Again, this can be done by simply dragging and dropping the Annotation Model from the Models dialog into the open view of the Master Model.