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Common point editing tasks

Release 9.3
Last modified May 14, 2009
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Adding a point at the end of a line

Sometimes you may need to create point features at the endpoints of line features. In a stream network, you may want to place a point at the beginning of a stream to represent a spring. When working with a utility network, you may need to have the endpoints of secondary electric lines be capped by either a transformer or meter.

Transformers or meters at the endpoints of electric lines


  1. Open the Snapping Environment dialog box and turn on end snapping for the line layer.
  2. Set the target layer to the point layer.
  3. Click the Sketch tool Sketch.
  4. Snap to the ends of an existing line, then click to add the point.


Adding a point equidistant between two features

You can create a point feature equidistant (at the midpoint) between two existing features. For example, if you need to add a post along a fence at the middle between two existing posts, you can use the Midpoint tool as a guide to place the point. Other examples when you might use this tool include placing a manhole, road sign, or crosswalk between two street intersections or a tree at the side of a house. In addition, if you have lines representing the edges of a road's pavement, you can create a series of midpoints along the road and connect them to form a street centerline.

  1. Click the Sketch tool palette and click the Midpoint tool Midpoint.
  2. If you want to place the point relative to an existing feature, turn on snapping. For example, if you want to place a point to represent a manhole along a road centerline, turn on edge snapping for the road layer.
  3. Set the target layer to the point layer.
  4. Click once. The new point will be created between this click and your next click. The square in the middle of the line is an indicator of the midpoint.

  5. Drag the line and click again.
  6. A vertex or point is placed at the midpoint between the two places you clicked.


Adding points evenly along a line

You can add either a specific number of points evenly along a line or add points at specific distances along a line. This can be useful when you are working with a utility or street network. For example, you may need to place a certain number of manholes evenly spaced along a given section of road, or light poles along a distribution line. If you tell ArcMap the number of poles, it will automatically calculate the distance between them.

  1. Select the line along which you want to place points.
  2. Set the target layer to the point layer.
  3. Click the Editor menu and click Divide.
  4. You can either place a specific number of points evenly along the line or place the points at a specific interval along the line.


Moving a point to a specific location

There are several ways you can move a point; which one you use depends on the information you have about where to move the point. When you know the exact coordinates of the point's new position, you can simply type the new x,y coordinates. However, in cases where you want to move a point relative to its current position, you can type the x,y units you want the point to shift.

Moving a point by typing the coordinates of its new location (absolute x,y)

  1. Double-click the point feature with the Edit tool Edit.
  2. Right-click over the point and click Move To.
  3. Type the new coordinate values (in map units, by default) and press Enter.
Moving a point relative to its current location (delta x,y)
  1. Double-click the point feature with the Edit tool Edit.
  2. Right-click over the point and click Move.
  3. Type a value, which is in map units by default. The move works like an offset. Positive values will shift the vertex to the right, negative values to the left. So if you type an x,y of 5,10 and your map units are meters, the point will move right 5 meters and up 10 meters.


Changing the z-value of a point

A z-value commonly represents an attribute for elevation. If the value changes, you can update it.

  1. Double-click the point feature with the Edit tool Edit.
  2. The edit task changes to Modify Feature.
  3. Right-click the point and click Properties.
  4. Type the new z-values and finish the sketch.

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