Create polyline features

Polyline feature construction tools create linear and curvilinear features. You can create line features comprising multiple segments, single and radial two-point line features, or freehand polyline features. These tools are available in the Create Features pane with feature templates for polyline feature layers.

When you use a polyline construction tool, consider the following:

  • Vertices for 3D z-aware features are assigned z-values based on your current elevation settings.
  • To resume editing an existing feature, or to add a part to a multipart feature, use the Continue Feature tool Continue Feature.

Create a polyline feature

The Line tool Line allows you to create multipoint line features. To create vertices at geometric intersections segments or trace existing features, click the corresponding tool on the construction toolbar.

To create a multisegment or densified polyline feature, complete the following steps:

  1. Add your data and configure settings for editing.

    Confirm that the feature layer you are editing is editable, the coordinate system assigned to the active map is suitable for the type of edits you're performing, and snapping is configured to help you work efficiently and accurately.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Edit tab. In the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. Click a polyline feature template in the Create Features pane.

    To find a feature template containing a specific word or phrase, click the Search box Find and enter your search criteria. Search is not case-sensitive.

  4. Click the Line tool Line.
  5. To override attribute values or change tool settings, click the Active Template button Forward and click the corresponding tab described in the following table:

    TabDescription

    Attributes Attributes

    Attribute values assigned to the features.

    Line Line

    Optional tool settings.

    To create densified line segments, check the Densify Lines check box.

  6. Click the map to create the first vertex.

    Alternatively, right-click the map, click Absolute X,Y,Z Move To, and type a coordinate location.

    Tip:

    You can change the tool to the Two-Point Line tool 2-Point Line without losing the current vertex.

  7. Choose a segment construction tool on the construction toolbar.

    The line tool is active by default.

    Segment construction tools
    Tip:

    To modify unfinished geometry as you draw a feature, click the Vertex Editing button Edit Vertex on the construction toolbar to enable vertex editing.

  8. Move the pointer and click the map to create a segment.

    To type a value for direction, distance, or elevation, or to apply a geometric constraint, right-click the map and click the corresponding command.

    Tip:

    To snap the pointer to a computed intersection, use the intersection tools on the construction toolbar.

    Intersection tools

  9. Continue to create segments until the shape is fully constructed.

    If the fully constructed shape is a part of a multipart feature, right-click, click Finish Part Finish Part, and draw the next feature.

    Note:

    A multipart polyline feature contains two or more individual part features that reference the same attributes, for example, a polyline feature representing a stream that goes underground and reemerges somewhere else in the map.

  10. To finish the feature, click Finish Finish, or press F2.

    Alternatively, to create another part for a multipart feature, right-click and click Finish Part Finish Part.

Create a two-point line feature

The Two-Point Line tool 2-Point Line creates two-point line features and automatically finishes the feature when you create the second vertex. You can set the tool to create a continuous sequence of two-point lines with each new line starting at the last vertex of the previous line feature.

Note:

If the source feature class is COGO-enabled, the values you type into COGO-aware direction and distance tools are stored with the feature in the Direction and Distance attribute fields, respectively.

To create two-point line features, complete the following steps:

  1. Add your data and configure settings for editing.

    Confirm that the feature layer you are editing is editable, the coordinate system assigned to the active map is suitable for the type of edits you're performing, and snapping is configured to help you work efficiently and accurately.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Edit tab. In the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. Click a polyline feature template in the Create Features pane.

    To find a feature template containing a specific word or phrase, click the Search box Find and enter your search criteria. Search is not case-sensitive.

  4. Click the Two-Point Line tool 2-Point Line.
  5. To override attribute values or change tool settings, click the Active Template button Forward and click the corresponding tab described in the following table:

    TabDescription

    Attributes Attributes

    Attribute values assigned to the features.

    Two-Point Line 2-Point Line

    Optional tool settings.

    To create a continuous sequence of two-point lines with each new line starting at the last vertex of the previous line feature, check the Continue Two-Point Lines check box.

  6. Click the map to create the first vertex.

    Alternatively, right-click the map, click Absolute X,Y,Z Move To, and type a coordinate location.

  7. Choose a segment construction tool on the construction toolbar.

    The line tool is active by default.

    Segment construction tools
    Tip:

    To modify unfinished geometry as you draw a feature, click the Vertex Editing button Edit Vertex on the construction toolbar to enable vertex editing.

  8. Move the pointer and click the map to create the segment.

    Alternatively, right-click, click Absolute X,Y,Z Move To and type the coordinate location.

    When distance and direction measurements are fully defined, the feature is automatically finished.

Create radial two-point line features

The Radial tool Spider creates multiple two-point line features that radiate from a common location. The first click establishes the location from which all subsequent features radiate.

To create radial two-point line features, complete the following steps:

  1. Add your data and configure settings for editing.

    Confirm that the feature layer you are editing is editable, the coordinate system assigned to the active map is suitable for the type of edits you're performing, and snapping is configured to help you work efficiently and accurately.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Edit tab. In the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. Click a polyline feature template in the Create Features pane.

    To find a feature template containing a specific word or phrase, click the Search box Find and enter your search criteria. Search is not case-sensitive.

  4. Click the Radial tool Spider.
  5. To override attribute values, click the Active Template button Forward
  6. Click the map to create the first vertex.

    Alternatively, right-click the map, click Absolute X,Y,Z Move To, and type a coordinate location.

    This vertex defines the common location from which all subsequent two-point line features radiate.

  7. Continue to click the map to create two-point line features.

    Alternatively, right-click the map, click Absolute X,Y,Z Move To, and type a coordinate location for each endpoint.

  8. Click Finish Finish, or press F2.

Create a freehand polyline feature

The Freehand tool Freehand creates free-form polyline feature following the movement of the pointer.

To create a freehand polyline feature, complete the following steps:

  1. Add your data and configure settings for editing.

    Confirm that the feature layer you are editing is editable, and the coordinate system assigned to the active map is suitable for the type of edits you're performing.

    Snapping is automatically turned off until you finish the feature.

  2. On the ribbon, click the Edit tab. In the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  3. Click a polygon feature template in the Create Features pane.

    To find a feature template containing a specific word or phrase, click the Search box Find and enter your search criteria. Search is not case-sensitive.

  4. Click the Freehand tool Freehand.
    Note:

    The construction toolbar is not available with this tool.

  5. Click the map to create the first vertex.

    Alternatively, right-click the map, click Absolute X,Y,Z Move To, and type a coordinate location.

  6. Move the pointer across the map to create a freehand feature following the movement of the pointer.
  7. Click the map to finish the feature.

    The segments are automatically converted to B├ęzier curves.