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Select from layers with the same name

Question asked by CCStormwater on Feb 28, 2013
Latest reply on Mar 1, 2013 by MSummers-esristaff
I don't know if this is a bug or a feature.  If I have multiple layers with the same name at the same level (i.e. not in groups) then I can't seem to select anything other than the first occurrence of that name with a tool (or script tool where I first discovered this). 

I took screen shots (attached below) to illustrate:  On the left side of the attached image it shows three layers with the same name.  They are copies of the same data (the first is a pGDB (.mdb), the second is a shapefile, the third is an fGDB).  All three have the same selection set.  In the middle image I run the "Delete Features" tool from the Data Management toolbox after selecting the third occurrence (i.e. the fGDB).  Then while the processing is going on I took a screen shot to illustrate that it is indeed the first entry (the pGDB) from which features are being deleted.

Furthermore when using the pull down and selecting the third occurrence then when I release the mouse it seems as though for a split second I can see that, even though I released on the third entry, the first entry is highlighted before the pull down disappears after the mouse click release.  Finally, if I click the pull down again then it's the first occurrence which is highlighted (if there are different names then the pull down continues to highlight the originally selected layer).

Is there a way to force a different choice other than the first occurrence in the parameters dialog, or do I have to rename the layers?  I know in arcpy scripting I can index the ListLayers return, but I won't know which one the user selected if the entry from the parameters dialog is incorrect in the first place.