Why can I not edit the data in a feature class in ArcCatalog?
It seems that the only way to edit data is to fire up ArcMap, add the feature set as a layer to the map, and then use the editor toolbar. That seems absurd. Why should I have to have data present in a layer on the map when I am simply trying to edit non-geographic information?
And another thing about ArcCatalog. When one preview the data, and selects a row, the row does not highlight in a new color. That makes it difficult to see which fields are pertinent to the selected row if the number of fields is large and one has to scroll left and right. It appears to be yet another deficiency of ArcCatalog.
Well, that's just the way it is....
ArcCatalog, is primarily an interface to databases, setting up how they work and a whole bunch of other things.
As this is a GIS system, most people interact with their data in map form. So, the way to edit data is via ArcMap.
If you have your data in an enterprise system like SQL Server or other db, you can of course use standard sql to update and change attribute info.
Ditto with personal geodatabases (access mdb's).