Copying and scaling features with the Copy Features tool

When you use Copy and Paste on the Standard toolbar, the features are pasted directly on top of the features you copied. However, if you use the Copy Features tool on the Advanced Editing toolbar, you can simply click where you want to paste the features. In addition, you can drag a box to scale the features when they are pasted. This is useful because it allows you to copy features from noneditable layers that are outside the extent of your editable layers and scale them to fit inside the extent of the features you are editing.

For example, you have some building features in a CAD layer (the pink features in the graphic below) that need to be added to your geodatabase buildings layer (the yellow features), but the CAD features are too big to fit properly. Simply select the CAD features and drag a box with the Copy Features tool to scale them.

Using the Copy Features tool to copy, scale, and paste features

The features are added into the target layer you choose on the dialog box that appears when you release the mouse button. You can then use other editing tools, such as Edit, Scale, Rotate, and the spatial adjustment tools, to position the features you copied.

Features scaled and pasted

Attributes will be copied and pasted along with the geometry if the source and target layers are the same or if they are in different layers that have identical schemas. When the source and target layers have different schemas, a copy of the geometry (but not the attributes) of the selected feature is created. If the target feature class or subtype has default values, feature-linked annotation, or connectivity rules defined in a geodatabase, the copy will have the default values and behavior appropriate for the target layer. Attributes without default values will have a null value. You can copy and paste the individual attributes or use the Attribute Transfer tool on the Spatial Adjustment toolbar to pass along the existing attribute values to the new features. Another method is to join the attribute table for the source features to the attribute table for the new features, then use the Field Calculator to append permanently the existing values to the new features.

  1. Click the Edit tool Edit Tool on the Editor toolbar.
  2. Click the feature you want to copy. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking features to select additional features.
  3. Click the Copy Features tool Copy Features Tool on the Advanced Editing toolbar.
  4. Click the place where you want a copy of the feature to be pasted, or drag a box into which the features will be scaled and pasted.
  5. Click the layer in which to store the pasted feature. When copying and pasting features, you choose the layer in which to store the new feature. This allows you to retain the attribute values from the copied feature, rather than having them be overwritten with values from a feature template.
  6. Click OK.

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