Utility network reference for editing

When you create or modify features that participate in a utility network, snapping, editing tools, and feature templates apply the rules and associations defined for your network.

The following sections summarize how editing tools work when you edit a utility network. To learn more about connectivity rules and associations, see the following topics:

For a basic workflow to get started, see Edit a utility network.

Junction and edge connections

When you place a network feature on a network linear feature segment or cross it with another linear network feature, the polyline is modified based on the junction and edge connectivity rules.

Junction and edge connectivity rules are based on geometric coincidence and control the types of junction assets you can connect to specific edge assets. How a polyline is modified when you make a midspan connection is listed in the following table.

Editing scenarioMidspan connection permittedMidspan connection not permitted

Point feature on a polyline feature

A vertex is added to the coincident polyline.

The segment is split, and the attributes and related records are copied to the new feature.

Polyline feature crossing a polyline feature

A vertex is added at each intersection and where an endpoint touches the polyline.

The segment is split, and the attributes and related records are copied to the new feature.

Utility network midspan connections

Nonspatial objects

Junction and edge nonspatial objects can be used to model physical components contained inside network features such as strands inside a fiber cable or conductors inside an underground duct. You can also use them as container objects to contain other nested containers, features, and objects.

Nonspatial objects are stored in stand-alone tables and connected to network features using connectivity, containment, or structural associations.

To learn more, see Junction and edge objects.

Feature templates

In Template Properties, the Containment tab is available when the source utility network feature layer participates in a containment association. You can add a containment template to include associated nonspatial objects with each feature the template creates.

The steps are the same as adding a table template.

Containment tab


Add a containment template to a feature template to streamline a workflow that routinely uses the Attributes pane to add nonspatial objects.

Group and preset templates

Group templates can be configured to generate associations between the features they create when they contain a primary template that creates utility network features. Group template associations are limited to group features only and do not extend to the contents of preset templates assigned to the group.

Preset templates generate associations that were defined when the preset template was authored, independent of any group settings. This is true when you use them as component templates in a group template or as stand-alone templates.

For example, a group template with a primary template for a medium-voltage line and a feature template for a medium-voltage attachment as the snapping device can be configured to generate associations using these features.

If the group template in this example also contains a preset template for a transformer bank, the transformer bank components are placed in a map with the associations defined for them when the preset template was authored.

For steps to create a group template, see Create a group template.


When you add or move a network feature, snap settings automatically change to settings that conform to junction and edge connectivity rules. You can turn snapping off, but you cannot change the layers or features to which you are snapping.


When you create features, press T to view the snappable elements of a feature with respect to the connectivity rules.

To view connectivity rules, right-click the network in the Contents pane, click Properties Properties, and click the Network Properties tab.

Network Properties

View and edit network attributes

To view and edit utility network attributes in the Attributes pane, select the feature and expand the selection in the tree view. Associations appear below the selected feature or object and report the total number of associated subfeatures or subobjects.

Attributes pane

Editing scenarioWorkflowCommand or tool

View From/To network information.

In the tree view, click a junction or edge object.

The Associations tab.

Add nonspatial objects to an existing container object.

In the tree view, right-click the container.

Add New To Container Select Relationship.

Remove a nonspatial object from a container feature.

In the tree view, right-click the nonspatial object.

Remove Association Remove Relationship

Viewing and editing network attributes


Editing tools filter selection sets based on the type of edits the tool performs. To avoid unexpected results when selecting nonspatial objects, for example, in a utility network attribute table, deactivate the current editing tool before executing a command.

If an editing tool is filtering the current selection, a notification appears briefly in the current view with the name of the editing tool. To restore the selection to its unfiltered state, deactivate the current tool by pressing the Esc key or clicking the back arrow in the Modify Features pane.

Editing tools

Utility networks use network topology to maintain connectivity among network features and make it possible to trace a network, identify connected features, determine flow characteristics, and perform other analytic operations.

Editing tools that recognize network topology include additional functionality, tools, and commands for working with utility and trace networks. The following commands appear on toolbars that modify the location or geometry of features connected to a utility network:

  • Stretch Topology Stretch Topology preserves the general shape of a feature by scaling the relative lengths of its segments when you move an edge or a vertex.
  • Disconnect Disconnect disconnects the moved features from the network topology.


Network topology does not participate in map topology.


Move Move Plane

Move a network feature and coincident features and features associated as container objects and structural attachments.

If midspan connections are permitted, features that share a coincident endpoint, edge, or vertex move with the selected feature, and linear features are stretched so that the visible feature topology remains contiguous.

Move toolbar

Move To Move To

Move features to a specified coordinate location or by an offset distance or an offset direction and distance.

Move To pane

Continue Continue Feature

Extend an existing linear feature. By default, network features connected to endpoints move to the new endpoint.

Segment construction toolbar

Turn on Disconnect Disconnect to prevent connected network features from moving with the new geometry.

Edit Vertices Edit Vertices

Edit vertices and other network features sharing the same x,y,z location and display a rubber band line that stretches dynamically as the vertex is moved.

Edit Vertices toolbar

Replace Geometry Replace Geometry

Replace the geometry of a selected feature with geometry you sketch. The original feature attributes are preserved.

Replace Geometry toolbar

Split Split

Split a utility network line feature. The resulting features are connected with a system junction feature at the location of the split. Asset types constrained by attribute domains are determined by the domain split policy defined for the utility network.

For example, container contents and associated attribute assignments are maintained based on the containment split policy defined for structure line feature classes.