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Why does "Paste Attributes" alter feature's geometry? Is this a bug?

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01-29-2020 08:49 AM
Matt-Goodman
Occasional Contributor

(ArcGIS 10.5.1, Windows 10 64-bit machine)

In the course of my daily data maintenance workflows, there are two feature classes that I frequently have to copy & paste attributes between (it's an address point layer and a driveway access layer - I'm copying a unique ID and address attribute information from the address point layer and into the driveway access layer). 

More precisely, my steps are: 

  • Use the Create Features window to drop a brand new driveway access point at the start of the driveway.
  • Select both the pertinent address point (which is placed on the house's rooftop) and the new driveway access point.
  • In the Attributes window, highlight the address point feature, right-click it, and choose Copy Attributes.
  • In the same window highlight the driveway access point and choose Paste Attributes.

       ^  This is the moment when the driveway access point is spatially moved to the location of the address point.

Is there a known cause for this? I cannot think of what I've changed in my environment to cause this behavior to suddenly begin....it does happen every single time, but it never used to. 

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Matt-Goodman
Occasional Contributor

Hmmmm.....Michael Volz‌  ...you've uncovered my issue:

have used the Attribute Transfer tool in the past. When I opened the tool and looked at how it was last set up (Attribute Transfer Mapping...), the box was checked for "Transfer Geometry".

The 'buggy' part of all of this, in my opinion, is that the Copy/Paste Attributes function within the Attributes window honors this checkbox that's buried in the Spatial Adjustment toolset.

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MichaelVolz
Esteemed Contributor

Have you ever tried the Attribute Transfer tool?

Matt-Goodman
Occasional Contributor

Hmmmm.....Michael Volz‌  ...you've uncovered my issue:

have used the Attribute Transfer tool in the past. When I opened the tool and looked at how it was last set up (Attribute Transfer Mapping...), the box was checked for "Transfer Geometry".

The 'buggy' part of all of this, in my opinion, is that the Copy/Paste Attributes function within the Attributes window honors this checkbox that's buried in the Spatial Adjustment toolset.

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Matt-Goodman
Occasional Contributor

As a side-note, I think there is some weird vocabulary/terminology confusion going on with these tools, that could be cleaned-up.

  • The "Attribute Transfer tool" is found within the "Spatial Adjustment" toolset, even though it it's primary purpose is to transfer attribute data - not spatial.
  • Within the "Attributes" window, the "Copy/Paste Attributes" functions can change the geometry.
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MichaelVolz
Esteemed Contributor

This might be a call then to tech support to see if this is the expected behavior.  I know that checkbox is very important as most work at my org is done with that box unchecked to prevent geometry edits.

At the least this explains the phenomenon you have been seeing so you can prevent it in the future.