Feature templates and the parcel fabric

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

What are feature templates

In ArcGIS 10, features are created through the use of feature templates. Feature templates define all the information required to create a feature: the layer where a feature will be stored, the attributes a feature is created with, and the default tool used to create that feature. If templates are not present when you start editing, they are automatically created for each layer in the current editing workspace. Templates are saved in the map document (.mxd) and the layer file (.lyr).

Learn more about feature templates

Feature templates and the parcel fabric

Feature templates are created for parcel fabric sublayers in the current editing workspace. When defining feature templates for a parcel fabric sublayer, you do not need to set a default tool, as parcels are created and edited with only one tool in the parcel fabric.

Feature templates are useful additions to your parcel fabric data model. Templates can help maximize editing efficiency and minimize attribution error. For example, when creating parcels, you might use templates on your lines sublayer that set different accuracy and category values for different line types that you have defined. Any additional attributes that you add to fabric tables can also be automatically populated with specific values through a feature template.


Feature templates in the parcel fabric can only be applied to new parcels created through the New Parcel, Parcel Division, Parcel Merge, Parcel Remainder, and Construction tools.

In the screen shot below, feature templates have been defined on the lines sublayer, which has been displayed by line type in ArcMap. The Boundary template sets the line category to 0 (Boundary) and the line accuracy to 3.

Creating feature templates for the parcel fabric layer
Creating feature templates for the parcel fabric layer

In the parcel traverse grid, when the Boundary template is specified for a parcel traverse line, the line category is automatically set to 0 and the accuracy set to 3.

Traverse line template


When digitizing parcel traverse lines, the accuracy level is always set to 6 regardless of the value used by the template.

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