By default, the ArcMap editing environment uses feature templates and the Create Features window when adding new features. Feature templates define all the information required to create a new feature: the layer where a feature will be stored, attributes new features will be created with, and the default tool used to create that feature. In addition, the tools on the Editor and Topology toolbars contain easy-to-use tools to create and edit features.
Due to the usability benefits that feature templates provide, it is recommended that you learn to use them when editing. However, for organizations that are unable to adopt the template-based workflow, there is an option available to revert to the ArcGIS 9 editing environment. This allows organizations that rely on extensive editing customizations to transition at their own pace to the feature template workflow. You can return to using feature templates once you are ready to migrate to that workflow.
The setting is found in the Advanced ArcMap Settings utility, located in the \Utilities directory where you installed ArcGIS. This option prevents you from taking advantage of many of the capabilities for feature creation, since the user interface and editing methods revert to how they appeared and were used in ArcGIS 9. Any user interface element used with feature templates is removed from ArcMap. For example, the Editor toolbar displays the Sketch tool palette, target layer list, and task list. Edit tasks are used in conjunction with the target layer to create and edit features. The Annotation and Dimension toolbars are used to create those feature types rather than the tools in the Create Features window.
Differences in the editing environments
The following are some of the differences you will find when you revert to the ArcGIS 9 editing environment:
- The Editor toolbar contains the Sketch tool and palette. The contents of the toolbar are returned to how they appeared in ArcGIS 9.
- Any user interface element used with feature templates, such as the Create Features window, is removed from ArcMap.
- Edit tasks are used to specify whether features are being created or edited. The Cut Polygons, Reshape Feature, Edit Vertices, Reshape Edge, and Modify Edge tools are removed from the Editor and Topology toolbars, and the Editor toolbar Task list is used to access that functionality.
- The active layer in the Target drop-down list is the layer in which new features will be created. The exception is when using Copy and Paste and certain feature-creation commands—Buffer, Copy Parallel, Union, and so on. In those cases, a dialog box will appear allowing you to choose the target layer rather than requiring you to set the Target layer on the Editor toolbar prior to accessing the command.
- The Annotation toolbar and Dimension toolbar contain the tools used to create those feature types.