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Shapefiles are a simple, nontopological format for storing the geometric location and attribute information of geographic features. Geographic features in a shapefile can be represented by points, lines, or polygons (areas). The workspace may also contain dBASE tables, which can store additional attributes that can be joined to a shapefile's features.

When you choose Shapefiles in the list of content types displayed when you click Add Content in the Home tab's Map group, you'll be able to browse your local machine and network for shapefiles and add them to the map as feature layers. Note that adding shapefiles affords only limited opportunities for symbolization of the data. To display a shapefile based on its attribute data, use a layer package created from it in ArcGIS Desktop.

The following table summarizes the actions you can perform on a shapefile; the controls are present on the Tools tab and/or on the context menu that appears when you right-click a shapefile. In addition, you can control which fields of the shapefile display when you click a feature on the map by working with the layer's Popup Content settings in the Layer Properties dialog.

ClickTo do this
Go ToNavigate to the extent of the shapefile.
Show LegendDisplay the Legend window set to display the legend for the shapefile.
ExportExport the shapefile to a Map Content file (.nmc)
E-MailSend a copy of the shapefile as an attachment to an e-mail message. The shapefile is stored as a Map Content file (.nmc)
RemoveRemove the shapefile from the map. Note that you can't undo this operation.
RenameSelect the shapefile's name for editing. This simply changes the text in the Contents window, not the name of the source data.
Move to FolderMove the shapefile to a folder.
SymbolChange the shapefile's symbol.
PropertiesDisplay the Layer Properties dialog, in which you can set the layer's description and attribution, view a summary of its source data, set its refresh options, and control its popup content.
Set Default ViewSet the view associated with the layer.
Bring to Front/Send to BackChange the drawing order of the layer in relation to other items in the Contents window; note that you won't see anything change in the Contents window, but you will see the changed drawing order in the Manage Layers dialog
Transparency and SwipeUse these controls to change the layer's appearance and reveal what is beneath it. Learn more about these controls