With the interactive feature input control, you can add input features by clicking the map display in ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcScene. With the interactive record input control, you can interactively create records (rows) in a table.
These interactive input controls are typically found in model and script tools that are authored by you or others in your organization (system tools, except those designed to be published to ArcGIS Server, do not use interactive inputs). The types of features that can be entered (points, lines, or polygons), as well as the attributes of the features or records, are defined and documented by the tool author using a well-established feature template.
Interactive feature input control
The interactive feature input control gives you two methods for inputting features to a tool: clicking a map display or providing an existing dataset.
Interactively entering features
To enter features interactively, click the symbol and start adding features to your map. Interactively adding features follows the same rules as making edits to existing data. You can change the default drawing tool while creating features, snap them to existing features, and add attributes using the Table or Attribute window.
Adding features interactively is disabled when either of the following occurs:
- You opened the tool from ArcCatalog and there is no map display to click to create a feature.
- You opened the parameter while editing in the ModelBuilder window.
To modify the attributes of features you created, open either the Table window of the layer in the table of contents or the Attribute window, and select the row for the new feature. Enter values into the fields for each feature.
The symbology of features may change once you enter an attribute. For example, the symbol for each building feature may change based on the value entered for the StoreNum attribute. The symbology of the added features is decided by the tool author through the feature template when the tool is created.
As an alternative to adding attribute values after creating the features, you can set defaults for each feature you will create. By setting default attributes, all features you create are created with the attribute values prepopulated. Right-click the feature in the tool dialog box before features are created to open the Template Properties window. In this window, you can change the default drawing tool and add default attributes.
Using features from an existing dataset
To use features from an existing feature class, use the drop-down arrow to select a layer from the map, or the browse button to search your disk. You can only choose a layer that matches the same geometry as the schema defined for the input features. For example, if your feature set allows you to enter points, polygon layers in your map will not be available as input to the parameter.
The feature template defines both the shape type (points, lines, or polygons) as well as the attributes of the input features. Use caution when using a feature class that does not match the attribute schema of the feature template as input. The model or script you are executing may require fields to match the original fields for successful execution. Consult the tool documentation or the author of the tool to determine how to use feature classes with fields that do not match the feature template. Executing a tool in this situation could create default values and will execute correctly, or the tool may fail because some (or all) of the fields need to exist.
Panning and zooming in the display while adding features
If you need to zoom in and out or pan the display while adding features, press and hold the following keys:
- Z to use the Zoom in tool
- X to use the Zoom out tool
- C to use the Pan tool
You can also use the mouse wheel to navigate while adding features. Roll to zoom in and out, drag to pan, and click to recenter the map.
Adding input features to the display after running a tool
The input features added are saved to an in-memory feature class that can be accessed via a result in the Results window.
You can right-click the input parameter and click Add to Display to add your interactive features to the map display.
Interactive record input control
You can interactively create records for an input table using the interactive record input control. Check Add records, and click the Add record button to create a record.
Using records from an existing table
To use records from an existing table, use the drop-down arrow to select a table from the map or the browse button to search your disk.
The feature template defines the schema for the table. Use caution when using a table that does not match the template schema. The table and its schema you provide will be used as input. The model or script you are executing may require fields to match the original fields for successful execution. Consult the tool documentation or the author of the tool to determine how to handle using tables with schemas that don't match the original. Executing a tool in this situation could create default values and will execute correctly, or the tool may fail because the fields need to exist.
Adding a table containing input records to the table of contents
The input records added are saved in an in-memory table. The input can be accessed via a result in the Results window and are added to the table of contents of the application.
You can right-click the input parameter and click Add to Display to add your interactive records to the ArcMap table of contents in the same way you would add interactive features from the Results window.