Copy and Paste features between feature layers in ArcGIS Pro

09-19-2017 11:11 AM
New Contributor III

Copy and paste using the clipboard—ArcGIS Pro | ArcGIS Desktop   

Seems pretty straightforward....but not?  

Two feature polygon layers, which have templates that display in the manage templates dialog box, and which have identical attribute table structures except for one field.  Copy the features from one layer and paste them into the other feature layer using ArcGIS Pro.... 

  • Zoom to the features to be copied and select them.  They are the only selection in the map.
  • On the Edit tab, choose Copy 

          result: "Copying selected features" box shows the copying is executed.

  • Paste Special from the Paste drop down or using CTRL-ALT-V

          either way, same result: "Paste Special Features" box appears and says  ?There are no appropriate templates.


This is so basic, it has to be user error, what am I missing?

18 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Mervyn, that is what we were wondering... the field matching/difference being the issue.  In your case all fields were the same? or were there any in one that weren't in the other?

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Regular Contributor

Hi Dan

They were the same but I have just added an additional field and copied that across and it copied across all the matching attribute data but not my new column. 

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Regular Contributor

But if you dont tick the box for "Keep source attribute values" then none of the attributes are copied across. 

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Regular Contributor

Last comment, if the TOC is active and you try and copy and paste, then it will just add a duplicate of the layer under the TOC. The map view must be active for it to paste features across different layers. 

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New Contributor III

Hi Mervyn, Both layers are editing enabled in the TOC.  

I am starting to think this is a spatial reference thing.  The two layers I am working with happen to have the same spatial reference, but there are a variety of coordinate systems represented by all the layers in the map.  The map itself is set to use that of the two layers being edited.  ArcMap doesn't mind, it might warn me, but it doesn't prevent me from editing.

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MVP Frequent Contributor

So I was pulling my hair out on the whole copy from one layer paste to another thing 'till I stumbled upon this thread. Win! But I have to ask, what was wrong with the way it works in Arc?

  • Select the geometry from Layer 1;
  • Ctl-V
  • Pick a template from the Dialogue that pops up

How does having to contort your fingers into CTL-ALT-V make bulk editing more efficient? Having to move the mouse up to "Paste Special" definitely isn't a time improvement over Arc Map. 

Thanks for starting this thread, would have taken me hours to figure this out. 

Occasional Contributor

Exactly - why Paste Special?  Isn't it more common to copy and paste across feature classes than within the same feature class?  Doesn't seem so special to me.  Why does this require so many more mouse clicks or a different keyboard short cut than is used in every other programme out there - including ArcMap?  Seems like changing things for the sake of changing things rather than keeping stuff that works perfectly well - and intuitively.  I remember figuring this out before but not until after I had spent another 10 frustrating minutes figuring it out again.  Copy and paste - such a basic thing to be so weirdly handled.

MVP Notable Contributor

So, is this still behaving the same as it did a year and a half ago? I would figure that Thomas Colson‌ would have made an ArcGIS Ideas‌ for this by now!  

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Occasional Contributor II

Pain in the ...! I was going control V? Oh, Alt-V. Seriously?

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