Pro: Copy and Paste geometry to new location

08-19-2018 07:40 AM
Status: Open
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MVP Frequent Contributor

This is annoying as heck in Arc Map too: When copying point features for the purpose of pasting many duplicates, albeit in different locations, the default behavior is to paste the geometry in the same location as source, forcing the user to have to pan and scroll to the new location. Sure would be handy if I could right-click in the map and choose "Paste Here". Paste to absolute XY really won't suffice, I could see how that could be a second "option", but really need the paste-here functionality. 

1 Comment

Thankfully Paste works the way it does, since I have never wanted to have it do the behavior you want and always want an exact copy.  What you want would be like copying text and having Paste change the verb tense when it is pasted into Word.  Someone may want that, but it would require much more than copy/paste is designed to do.  However, Excel and Word do offer a few choices like copy values only or copy formatting only and do paste based on cursor position and selection, so the concept of paste options is not out of the question.

For this your best option if this is a pressing need would be to create your own tool or have someone design a custom tool for you using python.  The likely tool design would require a toolbar with a pair of dropdowns to choose the source and target layers rather than relying on the clipboard and a popup.  Using the map extent for coming up with a position would be too vague to get a good result in my opinion and is not as consistent with standard tool behavior.  Instead the tool could be triggered by clicking on the map.  Whatever point you had selected in the source could be transferred to the position you clicked on the map.  If you selected a group of points the click could act as the centroid for the group.

There are code snippets throughout the forums that can be adapted to implement this tool.  I have done similar tools in the past, but I can't offer my services to design one any time soon.  I find designing my own tools is far better than waiting on Esri for something like this.  Even if Esri eventually does come up with a tool, designing my own usually gives me the functionality I need about 2 to 10 years before Esti ever adds it.  Esri tools are usually more generic and adapted to be used with any random data, but I still end up using mine since they are targeted to my exact data and workflow needs and typically still eliminate the need for multiple steps after the Esri tool is released.