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Create polygon features

In the Create Features pane, feature templates for polygon layers include Polygon Polygon and Freehand Freehand. These tools create single-part and multipart polygon features. To create them, you click the map, right-click and use the context menu to specify coordinates or apply constraints, and use tools on the construction toolbar to create straight and curved segments.

When you create z-enabled 3D polygon features, vertices are assigned the current z-coordinate elevation setting. For steps to specify z-values, see Specify an elevation for 3D features.

Polygon

To create a new polygon feature, click Polygon Polygon and click the map, or right-click and specify a coordinate location for the first vertex. Right-click and use the context menu to specify coordinates or apply constraints, and use tools on the construction toolbar to create straight and curved segments.

  1. In the Catalog pane, do one of the following to add the layer to your map:
    • Expand Databases Databases, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • To create a new data source, right-click the default database, click New, click Feature Class Polygon feature class, type the feature class name, choose Polygon for the geometry type, select the coordinate system, and click Run Run.

    The layer is added to the current map, and a feature template with default settings is automatically created.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. In the pane, click a polygon feature template.

    The template expands to show the tool palette, and the construction toolbar appears in the current map.

    Construction toolbar
  4. Next to the tool palette, click the forward arrow Forward.

    The tool palette and the feature attribute table for the active template appear in the pane.

  5. In the attribute table, type the values you want to apply to the new feature.
    • For group templates, click a template icon to display its attribute table.
  6. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, click the Snapping List By Snapping arrow and enable your snapping preferences.
    • To temporarily turn snapping off as you create the feature, press and hold the Spacebar.
  7. In the pane, click Polygon Polygon.
  8. Create the new polygon with the active tool or other tools on the construction toolbar using one of the following methods:
    • Click the map, drag the pointer, and click the map again.
    • Right-click and use the context menu to specify x,y,z coordinate locations, distance, and direction.
  9. To finish a component part of a multipart feature, right-click and click Finish Part Finish Part, and repeat step 8 to create the next component feature.
  10. To finish the feature, right-click and click Finish Finish, or press the F2 key.

Freehand

To create a free-form polygon feature, click Freehand Freehand, click the map, and drag the pointer to create the shape. All segments convert to Bézier curves when you click Finish Finish.

  1. In the Catalog pane, do one of the following to add the layer to your map:
    • Expand Databases Databases, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • To create a new data source, right-click the default database, click New, click Feature Class Polygon feature class, type the feature class name, choose Polygon for the geometry type, select the coordinate system, and click Run Run.

    The layer is added to the current map, and a feature template with default settings is automatically created.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. In the pane, click a polygon feature template.

    The template expands to show the tool palette.

  4. Next to the tool palette, click the forward arrow Forward.

    The tool palette and the feature attribute table for the active template appear in the pane.

  5. In the attribute table, type the values you want to apply to the new feature.
    • For group templates, click a template icon to display its attribute table.
  6. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, click the Snapping List By Snapping arrow and enable your snapping preferences.
    • To temporarily turn snapping off as you create the feature, press and hold the Spacebar.
  7. In the pane, click Freehand Freehand.

    If snapping is on, it is turned off automatically and restored when you finish the feature.

  8. Click the map, drag the pointer, and create the feature.
  9. To finish the feature, click the map.

    Finish Finish runs automatically and segments are converted to Bézier curves.

Note:

Polygon feature classes contain the vector geometry of a feature and its descriptive attributes. When you create new polygon features, consider the following:

  • Polygon features are fully enclosed areas bound by straight line segments, circular arcs, elliptical arcs, and Bézier curves created between vertices. You can create objects that have closed planar regions. Examples include lakes, vegetation boundaries, and building footprints.
  • Multipart polygon features are used to store one or more polygons as a single polygon feature with one set of attributes. For example, you can create a series of noncontiguous island polygons and store them as one island feature. You can create single-part and multipart features on the same layer.


In this topic
  1. Polygon
  2. Freehand