Feature templates

Feature templates contain the primary tools with which you create features. A feature template consists of construction tools, attribute field values that override geodatabase default values, and other properties for creating features on specific layers.

Feature templates appear in the Create Features pane with a symbol and a name. Clicking a template shows its tool palette. You can search for templates using keywords, descriptions, and filters to show templates that create specific content. Search criteria is not case-sensitive.

If you change a construction tool while sketching geometry, you are prompted so save or discard the unfinished sketch.

Uncommitted sketch message

The 2D or 3D feature type that a template creates is determined by the data source for the layer on which you are creating features.

Authoring methods

Feature templates are created in the Manage Templates pane. After a template is created, you configure it in Template Properties. The symbol that appears with the template name is derived from the source layer symbology; group templates reference the primary template layer.

ArcGIS Pro includes several template types that can help you streamline a workflow. 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


On the Tools tab, you can choose which tool runs automatically when a template is clicked and show or hide the other tools that appear on the tool palette. The construction tools that are available to a template depend on the template type and the feature type it creates.

Feature template tools

Feature templates

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

On the Attributes tab, type the attribute values you want to apply to new features and override the geodatabase default values. The same feature template can be used as a stand-alone template and as a component template in a Group template.

To get started, see Create a feature template.

Feature template Attributes tab

Group templates

Group templates create multiple interrelated features on multiple layers and data sources in a semiautomated workflow. For example, you can draw a waterline as a primary feature and the template adds a fitting and a valve at preconfigured distances along the line.

On the Builders tab, you can add one or more feature templates and configure them with builders to generate features. The attribute values for each component feature are maintained on their respective origin source feature template.

One feature template in the group is designated as the primary template and influences what you can draw, the tools you can show on the tool palette, and other source feature templates you can add to the group.

To get started, see Create a group template.

Group template Builders tab

Preset templates

Preset templates create collections of features in repeatable patterns. For example, you can add a selected cluster of trees or the components of a utility cabinet in a fixed arrangement using the Point tool Point or specify a rotation angle using the Point with rotation tool Rotate Preset.

On the Features tab, type the attribute values you want to apply to new features and override the geodatabase default values. By default, the insertion point is the geometric center of the selected feature. You change this on the Preview tab.

To get started, see Create a preset template.

Preset template Features tab

Table templates

Table templates are added to feature templates to create records (rows) in destination tables when you create a feature. For example, you can use a table template to add owner information to an owners table when you create a building footprint.

A common practice is to set a feature template attribute 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 create and use a table template, the current project must contain a relationship class that defines the features you create with the template as the origin object and the table to which you are writing records as the destination object.

On the Relationships tab, add the table template to the feature template. This tab is available only if the origin feature participates in a relationship class.

Table templates can streamline a workflow that routinely updates nonspatial tables and reduce the need to use Add New To Relationship Relates to edit feature relationships. They appear only in the Manage Templates pane and do not contain construction tools.

To get started, see Create a table template.

Table template relationships


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.