Field Description

10-09-2014 06:55 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
New Contributor II

The populated metadata for "Field Description" and/or "Description of Values" should be accessible in ArcMap when looking at the "Fields" tab in "Layer Properties".
And also when looking at the Field Properties in the Table view:
Both places would be helpful being able to see the populated metadata for "Field Description" and/or "Description of Values".

I asked for a related idea here.

Example requested for ArcGIS Pro interface: ArcPro - Field Metadata - Field Descriptions 

I understand that you can add metadata to a feature class and it would be possible to list the fields, field properties, and add a description using that metadata style. However, this is not the most ideal way to organize this. If the user is trying to access the description of a field quickly and seamlessly, it would make more sense to have it within the field properties. That way if the user is looking at an attribute table and wanted to see the description of that field, they would just hover the mouse over the field and see it there. Just like it is done with the Data type, read only, null able. Otherwise, we have to open up the catalog view, find the feature class in question, open the metadata tab and scroll to the field to see the description. In my case, I have over 100 fields in a dynamic feature class that is always changing. It would be much more efficient to be able to add a description to the field properties where it is easier to see and update. The Feature class metadata that you see in catalog seems better for an overview of the feature class as a whole.

Joshua Swisher‌  Are you thinking that the Field Description that a user would see in the Fields View would be different than the field description from the metadata?  I was thinking that the metadata would just be "bubbled up" to provide an easier way to see the description in Fields View.  That would provide the easy viewability.  However, then allowing editing of that description from Fields View and having that drill down into the feature class' metadata may be another issue.  Is your request about viewing the description in Fields View, editing it in Fields View, or both?

Thank you


My request is about both. I do think it would make more sense to edit field description in the Fields View. Although, I agree bubbling the description up in Fields View will help a lot in terms of viewability, even if that's not where you will be editing it. It just seems like it would be much more simple to be able to see and edit field descriptions from the Fields View. I think both descriptions would be the same whether its inputted in the metadata or in the fields view. If you edit it in fields view, you should be able to see that change in the metadata and vice versa. Does that make sense?

P.S., thank you for your attentiveness and insight.


Easy access to coded value domain descriptions for the field would help too.  As Joshua said, hover over the field in the attribute table and be able to pop up the coded values and descriptions.  Ideally there would also be a Detailed Description for each coded value that would appear in the metadata.  It's a common occurrence to be asked for information about field values when the description is already in the metadata.  As Joshua indicated, it's a real chore to go dig up the metadata compared to just accessing the information from the attribute table.  So most users don't make the effort to look at the metadata.