ArcGIS Pro: choose default edit tool when pasting features

08-10-2020 01:19 PM
Status: Implemented
Labels (1)
New Contributor III

In ArcGIS Pro when a copied feature is pasted as a new feature Pro automatically opens an edit toolbar.  Previous to 2.6 the toolbar chosen seemed to be whatever edit tool had been used last, but in 2.6 (at least for me) it always opens the Move tool (which is one of my least used tools).  It'd be nice if there was a setting to either turn off automatically opening an edit tool or at least choose which tool was opened.


Thank you for submitting this idea Heather Studley‌.  

To get a better idea of your workflow, after you paste the feature (and it is in the same spot as the copied feature) what are your steps?  

I took a look, and it appears that after pasting, it is possible to use Esc (twice) to back out of the Move tool.

There is also a setting to deactivate an active editing tool when you save or discard the edit.  

If you pasted and saved with that setting, Move would deactivate.  I just wanted to make sure you were aware of those options.  But most importantly, I'm sure that the editing team would be interested to understand more about not wanting to move the pasted feature.

Thank you!

The short answer is "it depends".  Sometimes once a feature is copied into the desired layer I just need to make some edits to the attributes and I'm good.  Sometimes I need to edit the vertices to reshape the feature (ex. making sure a subdivision snaps to parcels).  Because Edit Vertices was the edit tool I used most often, it was the one previous versions of Pro defaulted to.  In 2.6 it always brings up Move, which I almost never use, hence the Idea to let us select which tool (if any) is opened by default.
I tried unchecking the "Show the editing toolbar on the map" option (suggested by Esri support), which does indeed prevent tools from opening automatically, but then I find myself turning it back on since having to right click to do every edit is awkward.
The "Deactivate an active editing tool when you save or discard the edit" option works, unless you have "Automatically save edits" turned on.

Please can we have an option to disable the way the move tool automatically activates when you copy and paste.  Or maybe it only automatically activates when you paste into the same layer.

In my experience it is very rare that you want to move a feature that is pasted into a different layer than the one it was copied from and it just makes more mouse clicks to deactivate it and re-select the select tool for the next copy and paste operation.

The whole pasting into a different layer being 'paste special' is problematic too since this is a less common operation than pasting into a different layer... but we won't go there....

I am aware of the hitting the esc key to un-activate the move tool which is cool as far as it goes but then the explore/identify tool is active - not the select tool so that doesn't help much.

Just please can I stop the move tool automatically activating.

Thanks heaps.


This is a good suggestion. I never understood why they designed this behavior. Just have the pasted features be selected and don't change from the select tool.

Status changed to: In Product Plan

This is planned for ArcGIS Pro 2.9 - there will be an option to disable the behavior.



by Anonymous User

@KoryKramer Thank you, thank you, thank you. Never want to move something after I paste it, ever, ever. Can't wait for 2.9.

Such unwanted behavior built into Pro on many different levels.

@MicheleH1_DNReply  100% agree "The whole pasting into a different layer being 'paste special' is problematic too since this is a less common operation than pasting into a different layer." Is there an "idea" for that? I would vote for it a million times.

by Anonymous User

@KoryKramer  thank you. I'm following that post now. Is that how you "vote up" an idea these days?


Thanks @Anonymous User I see that you gave the idea "kudos" which is the way to "vote up" so you're good.

That is outlined in the Idea's FAQ specifically here: - you might want to peruse that to see if there are any other helpful tips about interacting with ArcGIS Ideas.

And thank you for your participation!

Status changed to: Implemented

Implemented in ArcGIS Pro 2.9.  See Ideas in ArcGIS Pro 2.9 for this and many other ideas you can expect when you update.