Paste special in ArcGIS Pro

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8
05-31-2020 04:52 AM
MatthewWalls
New Contributor II

I feel this is a ridiculous question, but I can't figure copying and "paste special". All I want to do is copy and paste between feature classes. Sometimes it works - I copy select everything, then "paste special" lights up and I can click on it an bring up the dialog box. But most of the time, it just stays greyed out. I can copy, I can paste, but I can't "paste special". I can't figure out what the difference is. Sometimes if I close down the program and reopen it, it suddenly works. I've looked through forums can get the sense people are struggling with the same thing, but I never see a clear answer... just links to the copy/paste/pastespeical page that doesn't answer my question. 

Thanks!

8 Replies
Katherine_Clark
MVP Regular Contributor

I've had issues with this in the past as well, but I just went in to Pro and tested out my workflow and it worked for me. I selected my features using the rectangle select tool and then clicked copy. Then the paste special option appeared for me in the drop down.

I think I remember having issues with it not showing up previously when I tried selecting my features within the attribute table. When you say it works intermittently for you, are you following the exact same workflow every single time? 

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SeanJones
Esri Regular Contributor

Paste is context sensitive.
If you have features on the clipboard and you want to paste them into a map, focus the map you wish to paste them into.

The screenshot below shows a map called "Layers" has focus (the solid blue view tab) and paste is enabled.

The screenshot below shows the Contents pane has focus (the thin blue bar at the top of the pane) and paste is disabled because there are features in the clipboard and you cant paste them to the contents tab. Its expecting to copy/paste layers only.

SunniBoulton
New Contributor II

Thankyou - I have been battling with this too.

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DavidNicholls1
New Contributor

Thank you for these points.  Well that makes sense - BUT I can select and copy rows (my required features) to the clipboard but despite making sure that I have selected the map frame - I only have one map window and the thin blue line is across the top of the map window.  Yet, the Paste icon remains stubbornly greyed out.

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DavidNicholls1
New Contributor

A crucial difference is that when I copy from selected rows in the attribute table (despite been told that the selected rows are copied to the clipboard) it fails to activate the Paste  icon, (Katherine Clark 2020-01-06, above, warns on this distinction). Selecting the features in the map window and copying (with the clipboard tools (top left) does activate the Paste (Paste Special).

Is the logic that coping from the attribute table copies the attributes but not the spatial geometry - and sensibly you cannot paste attribute(s) alone into a map?

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AnnabelleStewart1
New Contributor II

This caught me up as well.  Turned out I didn't have a valid template to paste into, even though my layer was valid.  You may need to create a new template.  This issues I'm having is as soon as I 'paste special' a feature, my next tool takes about 30 seconds to initialize.  I have to open/close the program to get back up to speed.

SunniBoulton
New Contributor II

Very good point!!  I always forget about the templates (which is another grrr topic unto itself).

One can perform so many tasks without bothering to create feature templates (I'd say 95% of my work) but I get reminded of my lack of templates when Sharing to publish a web layer.

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AndreaB
Occasional Contributor III

I have had this problem as well. Not sure why. But I usually have to click on the Select tool (arrow) and then click on my feature again in the map, even though it shows it's selected. And then it will let me Paste Special.

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