Feature templates

Feature templates are the primary tools with which you create features in ArcGIS Pro. A feature template consists of construction tools, feature attribute field values, and properties that create features on specific layers.

Feature templates appear on the Create Features pane with a symbol and a name. Clicking a template shows its construction tools. You can search for saved keywords, descriptions, and filter templates that create specific content. Search criteria is not case-sensitive.

You create feature templates in the Manage Templates pane and configure them in the Template Properties dialog box. The symbol that appears next to the template name is derived from the source layer symbology. For Group templates, it's the primary template layer.

To learn more about creating features, see 2D and 3D features.

Authoring methods

ArcGIS Pro includes several template types that can help you streamline your workflows. Some are autogenerated when you add data to a map or a scene. Others can only be created manually. The different template types and their authoring methods are listed below.

Template typeAuthoring methodFeature creation capabilities

Feature template

Manual and automatically generated

Single layer

Group template


One or more layers

Preset template


One or more layers

Table template


One or more layers

Template types and authoring methods

Feature templates

Feature templates create features on one layer with a single data source. They are the default template type in ArcGIS Pro. If you used feature templates in ArcMap, then you are familiar with their properties and how they work.

The same feature templates can be used as a standalone templates and as component templates for Group templates. The attribute values you want to apply to new features in either case are typed on the Attributes tab and saved with the template.

Feature templates

When you add data to a map or scene, feature templates are automatically created for you with default settings. You can also create them manually. By default, the template name matches the layer name or its unique symbol value sublayer. The name is customizable.

To get started, see Create a feature template.

Group templates

Group templates automate the creation of interrelated features on multiple layers with multiple data sources, for example, you can draw a water service line and automatically add a fitting and a valve at preconfigured distances and offsets along the line.

Group templates are authored manually by adding existing feature templates on the Builders tab. Each template is then assigned a builder that generates a feature. The attribute values for each feature is maintained on the source feature template.

Group template

To learn more, see Feature builder reference.

The template you choose to start its creation is designated as the primary template. The primary template influences what you draw, the tools that appear on the tool palette, and the source feature templates you can add as component templates.

To get started, see Create a group template.

Preset templates

Preset templates recreate existing features in a fixed cartographic pattern, for example a cluster of trees, or the components of a utility switching cabinet. They add features to maps using point construction tools. The attribute values appear on the Features tab.

Preset template

Preset templates are authored by selecting the features you want to duplicate and choosing one of the layers to start its creation. The features can be on the same layer or on multiple layers and data sources. By default, the insertion point is the geometric center of the selection.

To get started, see Create a preset template.

Table templates

Table templates are added to feature templates to create new records (rows) in destination tables when you create a feature, for example, adding owner information to an owners table when you create a building footprint.

Using a table template requires a relationship class in the current project that defines the features you create as the origin object and the table to which you are writing records as the destination object.

A common practice is to set the feature template to store or prompt for an origin primary key value. When you create a feature, a new record is generated in the destination table with the associated foreign key and the attribute values you specified with the table template.


To view the primary and foreign key for a relationship class in your project, show the Catalog pane, right-click the relationship class, and click Properties.

To learn more about relationship classes, see Relationship class properties.

Table templates are added to a feature template's properties on the Relationships tab. This tab appears when a feature participates in a relationship class. Table templates function solely as component templates and do not contain construction tools, nor do they appear in the Create Features pane.

Table template

When you add a table to a map or scene, a table template is automatically created for you. You can also create them manually. By default, the template name corresponds to the layer name. The name is customizable.

To get started, see Create a table template.


Table templates can streamline workflows that update non-spatial tables and reduce the need to use Add New To Relationship Relates.

To learn more about adding new feature to a relationship using the Attributes pane, see Edit feature relationships.