Enabling attachments

This topic applies to ArcEditor and ArcInfo only.

Attachments provide a flexible way to manage additional information that is related to your features. Attachments allow you to add files to individual features and can be images, PDFs, text documents, or any other type of file. For example, if you have a feature representing a building, you could use attachments to add multiple photographs of the building taken from several angles, along with PDF files containing the building's deed and tax information.

To add file attachments, you first need to enable attachments on the feature class. When you enable attachments, ArcGIS creates a new table to contain the attachment files and a new relationship class to relate the features to the attached files. You add attachments to the features during an edit session.

Attachments are similar to hyperlinks but allow you to associate multiple files to a feature, store the attached files in the geodatabase, and access the files in more ways. You can view attachments from the Identify window, from the Attributes window (when editing), in the attribute table window, and through HTML pop-ups.

Since relationship classes are used to maintain the linkage, and relationship classes require an ArcEditor or ArcInfo license, an ArcEditor or ArcInfo license also is required to enable attachments or edit feature classes with attachments. With ArcView, you can read and open attachments.

  1. In the Catalog window or ArcCatalog, right-click the feature class to which you want to add attachments, point to Attachments, then click Create Attachments.

    ArcGIS adds a new table to contain the attached files and a relationship class to manage the link between the features and their attachments.

  2. To remove all the attached files and delete the table and relationship class that ArcGIS created when you enabled attachment functionality, click Delete Attachments.

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