Measuring distance and features

  1. On the Data toolbar, click the Measure tool Measure button.

    When you click the Measure tool, the Measure window appears. This dialog box allows you to set different options for how you measure, including whether to measure lines, areas, or features; use snapping; and set which units are reported. Measurements are displayed inside the window, so it is easy to copy and paste them into other applications.

    The Measure window contains tools for measuring distance and features. By default, the distance (line) measurement tool is enabled until you choose a different option from the Measure window.

    The tools on the Measure window are listed below:

    • Measure Line Measure a line. Double-click to complete the line.
    • Measure An Area Measure an area. Double-click to complete the polygon. (This is unavailable if your data frame is not using a projected coordinate system.)
    • Measure A Feature Click a feature to measure its length (line), perimeter, and area (polygon or annotation) or x,y location (point features).
    • Snap to Features Snap to features while measuring.
    • Show Total (on/off) Keep a sum of consecutive measurements.
    • Choose Units Set the distance and area measurement units. The measurement units are set to the map units by default.
    • Clear and Reset Results Clear the measurements.
  2. Click the map at the location where you want to start measuring.

    Move the pointer to the point that you want to measure. If you want to measure along the curve of a line, click along the line to add vertices.

  3. Double-click to end.
  1. To measure areas, your map must be using a projected coordinate system. The Measure An Area button will be unavailable if the coordinate system is unknown or geographic.
  2. When you use the Measure tool in snapping mode, it will snap to the vertices of lines and polygons or to point features by default. This makes it easy to trace over features, such as to measure the distance between street intersections. If you want to snap to edges (the parts of lines where there is no vertex, such as the edge of a parcel with straight sides), hold down CTRL when measuring.

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Published 6/8/2010