Editing metadata

You edit an item's metadata in the Description tab. While doing so, you can make a multiline text box bigger if you want more room to type. Click the shaded triangle on the bottom corner of the text box and drag it down until the text box is as big as you want it to be.

Click and drag the shaded triangle at the bottom of a text box to make it bigger

To describe a relevant date or time period for an item, you'll see a calendar icon if a date isn't already stored in a metadata element. Click it to select an appropriate date using the calendar control. It will open with today's date shaded gray. A year, month, and day must be specified.

Click the date when an event occurred

In the calendar, you can scroll through the months using the arrows or click the month and year at the top to pick from a list. Click the year at the top of the calendar again to pick from a list of years.

Click the calendar's heading for a list of monthsClick the year above the list of months for a list of years

The selected date appears on the page. If the time the event occurred is significant, you can change the default time, 00:00:00. Click the up and down arrows to set the hour, or click the hour and type the appropriate number using the 24-hour time notation. To set the minutes or seconds, click that portion of the time and type the appropriate number.

Add a time to accompany the date, if appropriate

If you're ever unsure of what information to provide in a metadata element, hover the pointer over its input control. A help string appears at the bottom of the editor explaining what information is expected.

Hover the pointer over a control to see Help for that metadata element

If an input control on a page has a red box around it, this indicates the element is either mandatory for your metadata style but it has no content, or the element's content isn't the correct data type. For example, if an element is supposed to contain a number but it instead contains text, its text box will have a red outline.

If a metadata element is required but empty, its input control has a red outline

Learn about creating standard-compliant metadata

It may take some time to fully complete an item's metadata. You can save your changes and stop editing at any time, then come back later and finish your work. You can stop editing even if the pages indicate you're missing information that is required for your metadata style or if some information is considered invalid for a metadata element.

For items such as maps, globes, and scenes, some of the information you can edit on the Item Description page in the Description tab is also available in the item's Properties dialog box. If you edit this information in the Description tab, you'll see those changes the next time you open the item's Properties dialog box. If you edit this information in the Properties dialog box when the document is open, those changes are saved in the item's metadata when you save the map, globe, or scene. If you edit this information when you access the Properties dialog box from the Catalog window, those changes are saved in the item's metadata when you click OK.

  1. In the Catalog window, click the item you want to describe.
  2. View the item's metadata.
  3. Click the Edit button Edit Metadata in the Description tab.

    Start editing meatdata

    If the Edit button is not visible, you do not have permission to edit metadata for this item, and you won't be able to complete this task. The shared network location or the item's files may be read-only, or you may not have permission to edit the data for this item in the geodatabase.

    The pages used to edit metadata appear in the Description tab.

    Edit an item's description

  4. Describe the item using the available pages.

    Metadata elements with a red box around their input control are mandatory for your metadata style or contain the wrong type of information such as a string instead of a number.

  5. Stop editing.
    • Click the Save button Save Metadata Edits to save your changes.
    • Click the Exit button Cancel Metadata Edits to stop editing without saving your changes.

    The current metadata is displayed in the Description tab under the ArcGIS Metadata heading.

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