Editing in ArcGIS Pro involves the use of interactive tools and commands to create, modify, and delete geospatial feature data on layers in a map. The objects you create or modify are collectively referred to as features. They can represent physical objects or data points in natural and as-built environments in 2D or 3D space. They can also include a temporal component as one of their attributes.
Projects contain connections to your data, the maps in which you edit them, and other resources such as feature templates, that you use to complete a project. You can configure a project for a specific editing scenario. You can also save them as project templates or share them as project packages using Portal for ArcGIS or ArcGIS Online.
You create new features using feature templates. A feature template is a clickable item containing construction tools, attribute settings, and other properties that define how a new feature is created. To modify a finished feature, select a tool, select the feature, and perform the edit. You can move or rotate a feature, transform or modify geometry, change attribute values, add or remove file attachments, and edit features as topological edges and nodes.
This topic describes the major aspects of ArcGIS Pro editing tools and interfaces. For detailed steps using a specific tool, browse the table of contents or search for a particular keyword or workflow.
On the ribbon, the Edit tab provides quick access to tools and commands that edit 2D and 3D feature data. They are organized in groups that enable you to quickly find related commands to perform a particular workflow, such as creating or modifying features, editing feature topology, or managing your feature templates.
For a quick-start look at a basic workflow for editing feature data and steps that cause a particular menu or toolbar to appear in a map, see the following topics:
What you can edit
In ArcGIS Pro, you can edit feature data in a map when the features have edit privileges granted at the data source. You can create or modify feature geometry, feature attributes, and related table data using tools and commands on the ribbon, in the editing panes, and on context menus. You can also add and edit feature data that is collected or created by other sources, including apps on mobile devices or editing maps hosted on ArcGIS Online.
If feature data does not exist in your project, you can connect to the data, or right-click the default geodatabase in the Project pane and create a new feature class. Creating a new feature class automatically adds the new feature layer to the current map and generates a feature template with default settings. When you create a project, a file geodatabase is created to act exclusively as the default repository for your project data.
The workflow examples in the ArcGIS Pro help for editing focus on editing feature classes or tables in a geodatabase. Some data types can be added to a map but not edited. Examples include CAD (Computer Aided Design) data, or coverages. In most cases, you can import the data to a geodatabase and edit it as feature classes. To learn about other data formats that you can edit, see Supported data types and items.
Finished features are features in a map that are not actively being created or modified. Modifying them involves selecting a tool, selecting the feature, and performing the edit. You can move or rotate features, transform or modify geometry, change attribute values, add and remove file attachments, and edit features as topological edges and nodes.
On the Edit tab in the Features group, click Modify . All editing tools open in the Modify Features pane. Each editing tool contains a selection tool and other controls specific to the type of editing it performs. Editing tools that can edit finished features or topological edges and nodes contain Features and Edges pages that allow you to toggle between these editing modes.
To learn more, see Introduction to modifying features.
Vertices and segments
Polyline and polygon features are constructed of vertices and the resulting segments that are drawn between them. When you modify these features, you can move, add, or delete vertices; change individual segments to a line, an arc, or a curve; and change the linear direction of a polyline.
In the Modify Features pane, click Vertices , and select the feature. You can edit coordinate values in the pane, edit geometry using tools on the vertices toolbar that appears in the map, or right-click and use commands on the context menus. The Edges page edits topological edges and nodes, and is made available when you enable a topology on the Edit tab, in the Manage Edits group.
To learn more, see the following:
Attributes and related records
Attributes are textual or numerical information that further describes a feature beyond its geometry and symbology. For example, the owner of a parcel, or the name of a river. They are stored in tables, in fields as a prescribed data type such as text, date, or short integer.
On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, Attributes opens the Attributes pane. You can use it to identify selected features in a map and edit their attributes. Click the Geometry page to edit the coordinate values of point features or the vertices of polyline and polygon features.
To learn more, see Edit attributes and related records.
Attachments are external files that are imported to the target geodatabase in their native format and linked to a feature, for example, a raster image of a manhole or a specifications document.
On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, you can click Attributes and use the Attributes pane to add, delete, and manage file attachments. The Attachments page and a toolbar appear when you select a feature that is enabled to store file attachments.
To learn more, see Work with file attachments.
Versioned data is a snapshot of the data contained in an enterprise geodatabase at a particular moment in time. When you edit versioned data, your changes are made to a local copy of a version. This allows other members in your workgroup to edit the same data on their desktop at the same time without duplicating data or managing system data locks.
When you edit versioned data and click Yes to save your edits, your changes and changes made by others to the same version are automatically reconciled based on the versioning settings configured for the application. By default, ArcGIS Pro resolves conflicts in favor of your edited version, and Conflict Manager appears in the map to allow you to review conflicts and resolve them interactively.
To learn more about editing versioned data, see the following topics:
Map and geodatabase topologies
Map and geodatabase topologies can help you enforce connectivity, contiguity, and other spatial relationships among features in a map. Each has its own unique uses and workflow. They both display an alternative rules-based topological view of your feature geometry and enable a specific set of editing tools and behaviors for ensuring the quality of your data.
Map topology maintains coincident edges as you edit features. It requires no setup. When it is enabled, it appears as a highlighted graph of edges and nodes that correlate directly to the visible features you are editing. Geodatabase topology is a rules-based methodology that involves defining spatial relationships in the source geodatabase, validating them in a map, and fixing the errors.
On the Edit tab, in the Manage Edits group, the Topology arrow toggles topological editing on and off. Choosing Map Topology enables edge and node editing for all layers in a map. Choosing a geodatabase topology enables edge and node editing only for the layers participating in the selected topology rule.
To learn more, see Introduction to editing topology.
Manage editable layers in a map
When you add a layer to a map, the data is editable when the data source is granted edit privileges. You can guard against making unintended changes to features by turning editing off for the layer. To manage your layers, you can also view access permissions and warnings for a workspace.
View permissions and warnings
On the Edit tab, click Status to view editing permissions and other status information about the layers in the current map. You can expand a status message and hover over a workspace to view additional information. To open a help topic about an error, click the Help icon .
To learn more, see View edit privileges for layers.
Write-protect editable layers
In the Contents pane, on the Edit page , you can write-protect a layer in the current map by unchecking the layer check box. Enabling or disabling editing for a layer does not change the view or edit access privileges granted at the data source, for example, in an enterprise geodatabase.
To learn more, see Enable or disable editing by layer.
Enable snapping and other constraints
When you create or modify features, you can use guide tools, such as snapping, to ensure coincidence and geometric constraints to lock new segments to a specified distance or direction.
Snapping can help you control pointer accuracy and ensure coincidence between features and their respective geometries. When snapping is turned on, the pointer snaps (or jumps) to the nearest feature element based on your snap mode settings, such as to an edge or to a vertex. These settings can also be useful when measuring distances.
On the status bar located at the bottom of the current map view, when you hover over Snapping , you can toggle snapping on and off, and enable or disable snap modes. These controls are also available on the Edit tab, in the Snapping group.
Segment constraints lock new segments parallel or perpendicular to other features in a map or to a specified distance or angular direction. They are available on the context menu when you create new segments and right-click the map.
Dynamic constraints is an editing mode that displays visual feedback for angular direction and distance as you create or modify a feature. You can cycle through these values on-screen by pressing the Tab key, and lock your edits to a value by typing the value in the text box and pressing Enter.
On the status bar located at the bottom of the current map view, hover over Dynamic Constraints to toggle it on and off, and set your preferences. You can also enable these settings on the Options dialog box on the Editing page.
Toggle snapping by layer
In the Contents pane, on the Snapping page , you can enable or disable snapping by layer.
To learn more, see Turn snapping on or off by layer.
Create 2D and 3D features
In a map or a scene, you can use feature templates to create 2D and 3D features. A scene allows you to tilt up your 2D map and view spatial relationships when the vertical axis is important to your workflow. When you create a geodatabase feature class, you can enable point, polyline, and polygon features to store z-values with their geometry. Multipatch feature templates add 3D models to a map as multipatch features.
Creating 3D content can include creating 3D features from scratch, importing 3D models as multipatch features, and symbolizing 2D features as 3D features. You can open maps and scenes at the same time and switch between them as you create and edit 3D features. In a scene, on the Appearance tab, in the Extrusion group, you can apply extrusion values to 2D features and symbolize them as 3D features.
On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create . All feature templates defined for the current map appear in the pane as clickable items with a layer symbol and a name. Next to the tool palette, the forward arrow provides access to the feature attribute table on the Active Template page.
To learn more, see the following:
The construction toolbar appears when you create polyline or polygon features or use editing tools that create new geometry. It contains tools that create straight and curved segments, or you can trace the segments of other features. When you right-click the map, it appears as a mini toolbar above the context menu.
To learn more, see the following:
3D elevation tools
In a map or a scene, when you create or modify 3D features, you can set a constant z-value by typing it or by clicking an active surface. In a scene, you can also set z-values by clicking the view. In maps, the default z-value is set to zero (0). In scenes, z-values are derived from the active elevation surface when you click the scene.
On the Edit tab, in the Elevation group, Mode toggles z-value input modes on and off.
To learn more, see Specify an elevation for 3D features.
Each layer in a map is connected to a data source containing your features; typically a geodatabase features class. A geodatabase feature class can store feature data as one of several feature types. The most common types are point, polyline, polygon, and multipatch. The layers in a map, the tools in the editing panes, and the commands on the context menus reflect this organization as you create new features or select and modify finished features.
Multipatch features are enclosed volumes defined with 3D rings and triangular patches. They are used to model the outer surface or shell of natural and as-built 3D features. Examples include trees, buildings, bridges, and interior spaces.
To learn more, see Create multipatch features from 3D models.
Point and multipoint
Point features identify specific x,y,z coordinate locations on a map. They are used to represent objects or data points that don't require lines or areas to store information or convey meaning. Examples include site addresses, water hydrants, and trees.
Multipoint features store collections of point features as a single point feature with one set of attributes. For example, lidar point clusters are often stored as multipoint features to simplify their manageability and improve read-write performance. Multipoint features can only be stored in a multipoint feature class.
To learn more, see Create point and multipoint features.
Polyline features consist of straight line segments, circular arcs, elliptical arcs, and Bézier curves created between vertices. They are used to represent linear and curvilinear objects that have length but no area. Examples include water supply lines, roads, and streams.
Multipart polyline features are used to store noncontiguous polylines as a single polyline feature with one set of attributes. For example, you can create a series of separate polylines as road segments and store them as a single roadway feature. You can mix single part and multipart polyline features on the same layer.
To learn more, see Create polyline features
Polygon features are fully enclosed areas bound by straight line segments, circular arcs, elliptical arcs, and Bézier curves created between vertices. They are used to represent natural and as-built features 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 mix single part and multipart features on the same layer.
To learn more, see Create polygon features.
Create and configure feature templates
When you add feature data to a map, a feature template for each new layer is autogenerated with default settings. Other template types, such as group templates, preset templates, and table templates, are created and configured manually. Each has its own unique uses and workflow.
On the Edit tab in the Features group, click the Manage Templates dialog box launcher to create a feature template and configure it on the Template Properties dialog box. All feature templates defined for the project appear on the dialog box, sorted by layer.
To learn more, see Introduction to feature templates.
Project and application settings for editing
ArcGIS Pro installs with default project and application settings. You can configure them for your particular editing scenario. Examples include preferences for alternate unit formats, dialog boxes that appear when saving or discarding edits, graphical feedback when selecting features, and the size and location of the editing toolbars.
On the Edit tab, in the Manage Edits group, click the Options dialog box launcher , and click the Editing page to change the default settings and configure them to your particular editing preference. On the Units page, you can define alternate units for editing that are different from your map units.
To learn more, see the following: