Interactive feature selection involves clicking on a single feature in the view or digitizing a shape to select a set of features. Selecting features allows you to highlight and choose a subset of features on your map to use in subsequent exploration or analysis of your data. For example, applying a selection allows you to specify the features for which you want to calculate statistics, view attributes, edit, or define the set of features that comprise a layer.
As you interactively select features by clicking or digitizing a shape on the map, the number of features selected is displayed in the bottom of the view. Zoom to the extent of the selected features by clicking on the selected features count.
Prepare to select features
Before you begin to select features, you should review and set your selection option preferences. Click the Project tab, click Options, and click Selection to customize the default selection experience for the application.
- Selection color: Choose the color you want selected features to be shown with by default.
- Interactive selection mode: Specify how the shapes you digitize will be used to select features. There are two options:
- Select features that are partially or completely within the selection graphic shape.
- Select features that are completely contained by the selection shape (2D only).
- Selection combination mode: Specify if you want to select a new set of features or modify the
existing set of selected features. The default is to create a new selection. Keyboard shortcuts for the other options allow you to modify your selection on-the-fly while interacting with the view. You can do the following:
- Create a new selection set of features each time you digitize with a selection tool.
- Add to the current selection set (Shift + Click).
- Remove features from the current selection set (Ctrl + Click).
- Select features from the current selection set (Shift + Click).
- Save layers and tables with their current selection: Keep the selection for the layers or tables when reopening the application.
- Display the interactive selection graphic: After drawing a selection shape, maintain the shape as a graphic that can be used to make additional dynamic interactive selections. Click and drag the graphic to a new location and update the selection. You can also resize the graphic by clicking and dragging one of its handles.
- Show the selection chip: The selection chip appears near the pointer when you select coincident or overlapping features and displays the selection list so you can click the desired feature.
- Keep invisible features selected with a new selection: Keep the selection set for layers that you turn off before making a new selection.
It is also a good practice to set and manage the list of selectable layers in the Contents pane. To view organized layers listed by selection status, click the List By Selection button in the Contents pane.
Once you set up your selection options, you can select features interactively using any of the following selection tools listed in the Selection group on the Map tab. Selection tools for editing scenarios are also listed on the Edit tab. Click the map, and drag or digitize the prescribed shape across the feature or features. For points and line layers, you can select a feature by clicking anywhere on its symbology. In a scene view (3D), features blocked by terrain or other features will not be selected.
- In the Selection group, on the Map tab, click the selection arrow drop-down and choose a tool.
- Drag the respective shape across the feature or features using the chosen selection tool.
- Rectangle —Click a point feature or segment, or click and drag the rectangle across the feature.
- Polygon —Click the map to create the vertices of the polygon. Double-click to close the polygon and select the feature.
- Lasso —Press and hold the left mouse button and drag the pointer to create the lasso.
- Circle —Press and hold the left mouse button and drag the pointer to create the circle.
- Line —Click the map to create the vertices of the line. Double-click to end the line and make the selection.
- Trace —Click a line or polygon segment and drag the pointer along the boundary and other contiguous features connecting segments by tracing along them. Double-click to end the trace and make the selection (2D views only).
- Work with the selected features or clear the selection by clicking Clear in the Selection group on the Map tab. You can also deselect all selected features at once, by clicking somewhere in the view where there are no features or clicking a feature of a layer that is not selectable.
Selection keyboard shortcuts
There are a few keyboard shortcuts that can make the selection process more efficient.
- Shift—Press and hold to add features to an existing selection. You can click individual features or drag around a collection.
- Ctrl—Press and hold to remove one or more features from the existing selection.
- Ctrl+Shift—Press and hold to select from the current selection and deselect all others.
- C—Press and hold to navigate the view. This is useful in 3D to select features that are blocked by the current view. The tool's cursor temporarily switches to navigation so you can use the left, middle, and right buttons to navigate. Releasing C returns you back to selection mode so you can complete your task without leaving the view to change tools.