Exercise 1c: Creating new feature templates

Complexity: Beginner Data Requirement: ArcGIS Tutorial Data Setup Data Path: \ArcGIS\ArcTutor\Editing

About creating feature templates

In the first exercises, you used feature templates that were already created for you. Now, you will make your own template using a wizard. You will create a template for a polygon layer representing private landownership.


The Exercise1.mxd is open and you are in an edit session.

  1. Click Organize Templates Organize Templates on the Create Features window.
  2. Click Tracts on the left side of the Organize Feature Templates dialog box. If this layer had any existing templates, they would be listed on the right.
  3. Click New Template.

    The Create New Templates Wizard opens. The first page shows you a list of all the layers in your map that are currently being edited.

  4. Because the Tracts polygon layer was selected when you started the wizard, only this layer should be checked. Otherwise, check it and uncheck any other layers.
    Create New Templates Wizard
  5. Click Finish.
  6. When layers are symbolized by categories, you are able to click Next and choose the categories for which you want to make feature templates. Since the Tracts layer is symbolized as a single symbol, the wizard is finished in one step.
  7. A template for Tracts appears in the Organize Feature Templates dialog box. Click the Tracts template and click Properties.
    Organize Feature Templates dialog box
  8. The Template Properties dialog box allows you to review and change the template settings. For example, you can rename a template, provide a description, set the default construction tool, and specify the attribute values that should be assigned to new features created with this template.
  9. In the Description box, type Private lands in Zion. The description appears when you rest your pointer over a template in the Create Features window.
    Template Properties dialog box
  10. You can also use tags to identify and help search for templates in the future. A tag representing the layer type—Polygon—is added automatically.
  11. Click in the Tags box immediately after Polygon, type a semicolon (;), add a space, then type Zion. Type another semicolon, add a space, and type landownership.

    The Tags box should look like this when the tags are entered: Polygon; Zion; landownership.

  12. The default tool should be Polygon. If it is not, click the Default Tool arrow and click Polygon. This ensures that the Polygon tool activates each time you choose the Tracts template.
  13. Click the Ownership field in the grid. System information about the field is listed at the bottom of the dialog box.
  14. Click <Null> for the value on the right side to clear the text and type Private, which will assign the attribute value Private. This sets Private as the default attribute value for that field for all new features created with this template.
    Changing the attributes of the feature template
  15. Click OK.
  16. Close the Organize Feature Templates dialog box. Notice that the new template is listed in the Create Features window. When you rest your pointer on the template, you see the text you entered for the description.
    The description for the Tracts template in the Create Features window.
  17. You can also access the properties of a template by double-clicking it in the Create Features window. By default, the templates are grouped and sorted by layer name. If you want to group them differently or filter to hide some of them, you can do so from the Arrange menu at the top of the Create Features window.
  18. To continue to the next exercise, click Exercise 1d: Creating new polygon features.

You are now ready to create features using the properties specified in this feature template.