Nonie - Here are some thoughts from one of my old graphics gurus ... 'We have software called Avenza out of Canada that we can use with AI. It is a plugin that cost about $700 plus. I found 5-6 years or so ago it was much easier for me to trace, create and edit simple shape files in AI than in ArcGis. The ability to export those files with a projected shapefile from AI was really a quick work-around for me. Esri has really improved a lot in the last 5 years. But I still use AI to create a special finished presentation map when needed without using Avenza. I just export my layout depending on the size of the map at about 300 dpi as an AI file. The beauty of this is everything comes in on its own layer. So if your text is annotation it will have it's own layer. I have found when you have say 20+ layers in the view ArcGis will try to take say, the bottom 2 layers and combine them into a raster file instead of vector. This is a pain if you want to change something. But I've worked out a way to prevent that most of the time. It is so much easier to add graphic changes in AI than in ArcGis. When you do this the map is no longer projected. (Over the years I have always asked myself why doesn't Esri hire AI to design their graphic interface.) Also nice that you can export or save your finished map in many, many formats. I look at every map layer as graphic information, just in ArcGis it has data attached to it. I treat ArcGis data exported to AI for presentation map as graphic layers, no differently than if I am designing a logo in layers. Of course I have to keep the integrity of the map such as scale etc. I have to agree with some of the Shrugs comments I have read in the last few days. Text placement is very time consuming. Probably everyone knows this, but I stumbled on this a month ago. It has sped up text placement for me. I would adjust my text in my view but when I went to my layout to see it, it would be to far or too close or too small or too large. So it was back and forth. Then I found that as long as my text was annotation in my view, I could adjust everything in my Layout. Just doulble click with the back arrow and it is highlighted in the layout. In layout what you see is what you get.' Hope that helps, Tim Spivey Tift County -----Original Message----- From: Nonie Castro [mailto: Source.