Geographic Information Systems Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for cartographers, geographers and GIS professionals. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In an effort to avoid digitizing, I want to copy specific watercbodies from a provincial database (shapefile format) and paste it to my taget layer, which are waterbodies significant to my project. I don't want all the columns of attribution to paste over to my target data set (ie - I don't need the "GUT_NUMBER" column in my DBase). Is my best approach to simply delete the attribute columns I don't want when I'm done, or is there a better/more efficient way to do this?

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted
  • Create a feature class (or a shapefile) of with only the fields you want to keep. The field have to be the same name and data type.
  • Add both the source and the target to ArcMap.
  • Start Editing (Make sure you are in Data View)
  • Select source polygons & copy
  • Paste
share|improve this answer
Thanks Jakub (and +1) - I actually tested this exact same approach & it worked (before reading your answer). I wasn't sure it would work, but my target set only kept the attribution I wanted. I selected your answer nonetheless since you took the time to post it for me. Thanks again. – Dano Mar 15 '12 at 16:10

I can think of two approaches:

Method1 : In ArcCatalog, right-click the feature class and select "Load Data". There you can select which fields you do not want to load.

enter image description here

Method 2: From ArMap, from toolboxes, select Data Management Tools -> Append. This also gives you a similar solution.

share|improve this answer
+1 Just for taking the time to post an answer (and thanks as well). I used the method posted by Jakub (above) before I even read his answer. It's very efficient so I'm just going to go with that methodology. – Dano Mar 15 '12 at 16:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.