Copy and Paste 'Special' for symbology, metadata, etc.

09-08-2010 08:26 AM
Status: Open
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Occasional Contributor

Add a paste special option to ArcMap, ArcScene, and ArcGlobe where you can copy one layer's symbology and apply it to another.  In ArcCatalog, copy and paste special could be used to copy metadata information between datasets.

The ability to copy/paste metadata from one dataset to another without having to export it and then import it would be very helpful.

For symbology, you go to Layer Properties > Symbology Tab > Import. You can apply symbology from a layer in the map or a LYR file.

For metadata, I belive the Metadata Importer tool will do what you want.

Or do you specifically want the functionality in a copy/paste "special" workflow?

I was specifically requesting the Paste Special to be applied to other aspects of an object, such as the metadata values and symbology to be consistent with other Windows applications.
Similar ideas requesting more simple and interactive symbology transfer: ArcGIS could take inspiration from AutoCAD´s Match Properties or Format Painter in Office Word or introduce its own interactive functionality using drag&drop.

I like this idea.  There is a similar Arc Script for copying and pasting raster symbology (, and I find myself trying to use that for vector symbology as well. 
Just ran across this post. I have recently release a tool which might help to copy feature symbology. It has not been extensively tested and may not work in all cases (raster and/or feature). This was written as a ArcMap 10.1 replacement for the original tool listed in the first comment.