Get started with editing in ArcGIS Pro

An edit session automatically starts when you modify existing data or create new data, and stops when you save or discard your changes.

Subsequent edits will resume the edit session until saved or discarded once more.

The content below steps you through a basic workflow for editing features in a map.

  • Open the project

    Open the project containing the map and features you want to edit. If you don't have an existing project, you can create a new project and use the default geodatabase that appears with the same name as the project in the Catalog Pane.

    1. Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.

    2. On the start page, do one of the following:

      • Open a recent project.

      • Click Open another project and browse to the project.

      • Create a new project using a project template.

      Note: When you open a project on a Portal connection, the project package (.ppkx) is downloaded and unpacked in the <User Documents>\ArcGIS\OnlineProjects folder. After you close the project, the unpacked project file (.aprx) appears in the recent projects list.

    3. On the View tab, in the Windows group, click the Catalog drop-down arrow, and click Catalog Pane.

      The Catalog pane appears

    4. Expand Maps, and do one of the following:

      The map opens.

      • Right-click the map, and click Open.

      • On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click New Map.

    Catalog Pane

  • Add data to the map

    When you drag a feature class onto an active map, a feature template with default settings is automatically created.

    1. In the Catalog pane, expand Databases.

    2. Expand the database containing your data and drag the feature class onto the map.

      The layer is added to the active map, and a feature template with default settings is automatically created for each new layer.

    Create a new feature class

    If you don't have existing feature data, you can right-click the default geodatabase and create a new feature class.

    1. Right-click the default database, click New, and click Feature Class.

      The Geoprocessing pane appears.

      Geoprocessing Pane

    2. Type the feature class name.

    3. Click the Geometry Type drop-down arrow and choose a geometry type.

    4. Specify a coordinate system using one of the following methods:

      • Click the Coordinate System drop-down arrow and choose the coordinate system that is specified for the map or a layer in the map.

      • Click Select coordinate system and select a coordinate system.

    5. Click Run.

      The feature class is created, the layer is added to the active map, and a feature template with default settings is automatically created.

  • Document your data

    To document your data, update the item's metadata tag and summary fields with information that briefly describes its purpose and content. For example, type a concise reason why you created the project, or what kind of data a feature class captures.

    Note: Metadata is data that describes other data. It is used to document and structure data so that it is discoverable and more easily searched. Accurate metadata can help other users assess the quality and appropriateness of using your data for their data compilation or analysis needs.

    To learn more, see Best practices for editing metadata.

    1. In the Catalog pane, right-click the feature class and click View Metadata.

      The Catalog view opens and the Home tab appears on the ribbon.

    2. On the Home tab, in the Metadata group, click Edit.

      The Metadata view opens.

    3. In the Metadata view, type one or more keywords in the Tags text box.

      When you hover over the feature class in the Catalog pane, tags appear with the pop-up information.

    4. In the Summary (purpose) text box, type information that explains why you created the data.

    5. On the Metadata tab, in the Manage Metadata group, click Save.

    6. Close the Metadata view and the Catalog view.

  • Add attribute fields

    When you create a new feature class, it contains only system fields that define the object and its shape. Using tools on the Data tab, you can add, delete, or modify attributes fields for the data you want to record with each feature.

    To learn more about fields, see An overview of fields.

    1. On the View tab, in the Windows group, click Contents.

      The Contents pane appears.

      Contents Pane

    2. Click the new feature layer.

      The Feature Layer contextual tab set appears on the ribbon containing Appearance, Labeling, and Data tabs.

    3. On the Data tab, in the Design group, click Fields.

      The Fields view opens, and the Fields tab appears on the ribbon.

    4. On the Fields tab, in the Changes group, click New Field.

      A new field is added to the feature table.

    5. Double-click the Field Name field and type a name.

    6. Double-click the Data Type field, choose a data type, and do the same for the other property fields that are relevant to your data type.

    7. On the Fields tab, in the Changes group, click Save.

    8. Close the Fields view.

  • Symbolise the layer

    Symbolising a feature layer is the process of configuring a layer's properties to draw point, line or polygon features as specific symbols; for example, to identify what the features represent, or communicate qualitative or quantitative differences based on attribute values.

    To learn more, see Symbolise feature layers.

    1. In the Contents pane, right-click the layer and click Symbology.

      The Symbology pane appears.

    2. Click the Symbology drop-down arrow, choose a type that is appropriate for your data, and configure its properties. You can symbolise features in different ways depending on the type of data it contains.

      The feature template symbol that appears in the Create Features pane updates automatically.

  • Confirm layer editability

    There are no buttons to start or stop an edit session. A good practice is to confirm layer editability in the Editing Status dialog box before you start editing. In the Contents pane you can disable editing for layers you need to protect against unwanted edits.

    1. On the Edit tab, click Status.

      The Editing Status dialog box appears.

    2. Review the editing permissions for the layers in your workspace, note the layers that you can edit, and click Close.

    3. In the Contents pane, click the List By Editing tab and uncheck the layer you do not want edited.

  • Create features

    In the Create Features pane, feature templates create features on specific layers. A feature layer's data source defines the two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) features a template creates.

    To learn more, see Introduction to creating 2D and 3D features.

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

      The Create Features pane appears.

      Create Features Pane

      Note: Warning icons and message notifications alert you when a template creates non-visible features or when existing templates do not appear in the pane. To learn more, see Feature template messages.

    2. In the pane, click a feature template.

    3. Next to the tool palette, click the forward arrow.

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

      create features pane 2

    4. Type the attribute values you want to apply to the new feature in the feature attribute table.

      Tip: To save the attribute values with the template and reuse them the next time you use the template, click the menu button, and click Properties.

    5. Click the map and create the feature.

      • You can use the default tool that automatically runs, or click another tool on the tool palette.

      • If you are creating a 3D feature, you can enter z-values using the tools on the Edit tab, in the Elevation group.

    6. To finish the feature, right-click and click Finish, or press the F2 key.

    7. On the Edit tab, in the Manage Edits group, click Save.

      The Save Edits dialog box appears.

      save edits

    8. Click Yes to save your edits to the geodatabase.

  • Modify a feature

    In the Modify Features pane, editing tools modify existing features. The My Tools tab contains the same customisable list of tools that displays in the Tools gallery on the ribbon. The All Tools tab contains all editing tools that are available in your project.

    To learn more, see Introduction to modifying features.

    1. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Modify.

      The Modify Features pane appears.

      modify a feature pane


    2. Expand a tool category and click a tool.

      The tool opens in the pane.

    3. In the pane, click Select and select the feature or features you want to modify.

      The selected features are listed in the pane.

      Tip: Selection tools that appear in the pane with an active editing tool include additional functionality that can streamline your workflow. Using them to select features is the best practice. They inherit their selection methods from the active selection tool on the Edit tab.

      To learn more, see Select features for editing.

    4. Edit the feature following the steps prescribed by the specific tool.

    5. To finish the feature, right-click and click Finish, or press the F2 key.

    6. On the Edit tab, in the Manage Edits group, click Save.

      The Save Edits dialog box appears.

      save edits box

    7. Click Yes to save your edits to the geodatabase.

Looking for more information? Check out the help document or get in touch with our team for assistance.

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