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Create circles and ellipses

In the Create Features pane, circle and ellipse construction tools for polyline and polygon features create single-part and multipart features. These tools create prescribed geometric shapes.

Vertices for z-enabled features are assigned z-values based on the current elevation input mode setting. To learn more, see Specify an elevation for 3D features.

Create a circle

A circular polyline or polygon feature is constructed from two sketched points. The first point defines the center of the circle and the second point specifies the radius. You can drag and click the radius, or type a radial value.

  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.
    • Right-click the default database and create a polyline or polygon feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

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

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a polyline or polygon feature template.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  5. Next to the tool palette, click the Active template button Forward.

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

  6. 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.
  7. Click Circle Circle.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  8. On the toolbar, click Circle Circle.
  9. Create the center point by using one of the following methods:
    • Click the map.
    • Right-click, click Absolute X,Y,Z Absolute XYZ, type the coordinate values, and press Enter.
  10. Specify the radius by using one of the following methods:
    • Drag the pointer and click the map.
    • Right-click, click Radius Radius, type the radial value, and press Enter.

    The tool finishes the feature automatically.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcutFunctionDescription

F6

Absolute X,Y,Z Absolute XYZ

Opens the dialog box to specify absolute x, y, z coordinates.

R

Radius

Opens the dialog box to specify a radius.

Keyboard shortcuts for the circle construction tool

Create a three-point circle

A three-point circular polyline or polygon feature is constructed from three points you sketch along a specified circumference. The first two points draw the endpoints of a chord through which the circle passes. The third point specifies the radius.

  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.
    • Right-click the default database and create a polyline or polygon feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

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

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a polyline or polygon feature template.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  5. Next to the tool palette, click the Active template button Forward.

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

  6. 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.
  7. Click Circle Circle.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  8. On the toolbar, click Three Point Circle Circle.
  9. Create two points through which the circle passes by using one of the following methods:
    • Click the map, drag the pointer, and click the map again.
    • Right-click and use commands on the context menu.
  10. Specify the radius by using one of the following methods:
    • Drag the pointer and click the map.
    • Right-click, click Radius Radius, type the radial value, and press Enter.

    The tool finishes the feature automatically.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcutFunctionDescription

F6

Absolute X,Y,Z Absolute XYZ

Opens the dialog box to specify absolute x, y, z coordinates.

R

Radius

Opens the dialog box to specify a radius.

Keyboard shortcuts for the circle construction tool

Create an ellipse

An elliptical polyline or polygon feature is constructed from four sketched points. The first two points define the center and angle of the ellipse. The third and fourth points specify the total length of the major and minor axes, respectively.

You can drag the pointer and click the map to sketch the third and fourth points, or right-click and type the width and height of the ellipse.

This tool does not show the segment construction toolbar.

Ellipse

  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.
    • Right-click the default database and create a new polyline or polygon feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

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

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a polyline or polygon feature template.

    This tool does not show the segment construction toolbar.

  5. Next to the tool palette, click the Active template button Forward.

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

  6. 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.
  7. Click Ellipse Ellipse.
  8. Create the center point using one of the following methods:
    • Click the map.
    • Right-click, click Absolute X,Y,Z Absolute XYZ, type the coordinate values, and press Enter.
  9. Specify the angle by using one of the following methods:
    • Drag the pointer, and click the map again.
    • Right-click and use commands on the context menu.
  10. Specify the length of the major axis by using one of the following methods:
    • Drag the pointer and click the map.
    • Right-click, click Width Width, type the total length, and press Enter.
  11. Specify the length of the minor axis by using one of the following methods:
    • Drag the pointer and click the map.
    • Right-click, click Height Height, type the total length, and press Enter.

    The tool finishes the feature automatically.

Keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcutFunctionDescription

F6

Absolute X,Y,Z Absolute XYZ

Opens the dialog box to specify absolute x, y, z coordinates.

A

Direction Direction

Opens the dialog box to specify an orientation angle.

Keyboard shortcuts for the ellipse construction tool

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