Setting the geometry editing behavior

The geometry editing behavior setting is a property of the feature class representation that specifies how edits are stored. It is set when the representation is created and typically not changed again.

Choosing the geometry editing behavior

In the properties of a representation, choose one of the following settings:

Store change to geometry as representation overrides

With this setting, geometry edits made to feature representations are stored as shape overrides in the Override field, and the Shape field of the feature class is unaffected. This means that edits will affect this feature class representation only. The edited geometry will not appear in the supporting feature class or any other representations associated with it. This is the default setting.

Change the geometry of the supporting feature

With this setting, geometry edits will modify the Shape field of the supporting feature class, thus affecting the original feature and any other feature class representations associated with it.

The setting you choose should be based on how you intend to use your data. If you need to maintain the geospatial integrity of your data for purposes beyond cartography, like further analysis or processing, you will likely want to choose the default option that stores geometry overrides. If your data resides in a geodatabase that is dedicated to cartography, you may want to choose the option to change the geometry of the supporting feature so that edits you make will be reflected in all the representations derived from a single feature class.


To avoid confusion on the state of each feature, it is not advisable to change this setting once edits have been made to a feature class representation. If required, the setting can be changed from ArcCatalog. You can only view the status of this setting from ArcMap.

How to view or change the geometry editing behavior

  1. Click Properties on the shortcut menu of the feature class in ArcCatalog or in the Catalog window in ArcMap to open the Feature Class Properties dialog box.
  2. On the Representations tab and select a feature class representation from the list.
  3. Click Properties to open the Representation Properties dialog box to view or change the Behavior When Representation Geometry is Edited setting as necessary.

How to view or change the geometry editing behavior from a layer

  1. Click Properties on the shortcut menu of the layer containing the representation to open the Layer Properties dialog box.
  2. Click the Symbology tab.
  3. Choose the relevant representation from the Representations heading, if necessary.
  4. Click the Layer Options button Layer Options button and click Feature Class Representation Properties.
  5. You can view the geometry editing behavior setting on the Feature Class Representation Properties dialog box, but you will not be able to modify this setting from here.

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