Edit vertex z-values

The Edit Vertices tool Edit Vertices edits vertex z-values stored with z-aware point, polyline, and polygon features. This tool is available on the Modify Features pane.

You can drag a vertex vertically, edit z-values individually, or apply the same value to multiple fields. In 3D scenes, to preserve the x, y coordinates of a vertex while dragging it, press and hold the H key.


The z-value field is a property of a feature class that is enabled when a feature class is initially created.

Z-values provide the ability to model and analyze point, polyline, and polygon features in three-dimensional (3D) space. For example, z-values can define the height of an aircraft or elevation changes along an underground transportation linear feature.

Clear or edit z-values

To clear or edit z-values in the geometry properties table, click the individual fields. To apply the same values to multiple rows, select the rows and click Update Z Values.

  1. On the Edit tab, choose your snapping preferences, and show the Modify Features pane.
    1. In the Snapping group, click the Snapping drop-down menu List By Snapping and enable your snapping preferences.

      To temporarily turn snapping off while you edit a feature, press and hold the Spacebar.

    2. In the Features group, click Modify Modify Features.
  2. Expand Reshape and click Vertices Edit Vertices.
  3. In the pane, click Select Active Select, and select a polyline or polygon feature.
    • To refine the selection, right-click a feature in the tree view, and click Unselect Clear Selected or Only Select This List By Selection.
      Context Menu
  4. Clear or edit z-values in the geometry properties table.
    • To clear an z-value and set it to NaN, click the field and press Backspace or Delete.
    • To apply the same value to multiple vertices, select the rows, and click Update M Values Edit M-Value.

      Update z-values.

  5. To finish the feature, right-click and click Finish Finish, or press the F2 key.

Keyboard shortcuts

Edit vertices

Keyboard shortcutActionComment


Show vertices within the snapping tolerance.

Flash a square at vertices that are within the current snapping tolerance of the pointer.


Select multiple vertices.

Drag multiple segments in unison between the selected vertices.


Add a vertex Add Vertex.

Create a vertex where you click a segment.


Delete a vertex Delete Vertex.

Delete the clicked vertex.


Edit the elevation.

Move a z-enabled vertex vertically and preserve its x,y coordinates. Hover over a control handle until the pointer becomes a vertex and drag the vertex. This shortcut is available in 3D scenes.


Move a Bézier curve.

Move a Bézier curve and preserve its shape. Hover over a curve until the pointer becomes a segment, and drag the curve.


Move a Bézier handle.

Move a Bézier control handle that can't otherwise be selected when it is coincident with another vertex. Hover over a control handle until the pointer becomes a vertex and drag the handle.


Move the z-value to the pointer.

Move the z-value for the selected vertex to the elevation of the pointer. The x- and y-values are preserved.

This is available only when stereoscopic mode is enabled.


Move the pointer z-value.

Move the pointer z-value to the elevation of the selected vertex.

This is available only when stereoscopic mode is enabled.

Keyboard shortcuts for the Edit Vertices tool