I have a set of five points (all with specific latitudes and longitudes) and I want to create a set of points which will be about 80 kms from the first set. I understand that I can use the distance-direction tool in the edit toolbar of ArcGIS, but although I tried several times, I am unable to activate the distance-direction tool. It is grayed out even when I am selecting the original point from which I want to measure the direction and distance and locate another point.

Can someone advise on where I am going wrong?

I'm using ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop.

  • 1
    My first suspicion is that the coordinate system of your data frame may be geographic.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 10, 2014 at 2:55
  • I should have mentioned that I removed you signature (as per the help) because here every question, answer and comment you post is already signed by your user card.
    – PolyGeo
    Jul 10, 2014 at 3:04

2 Answers 2


Have you followed the instructions in the tool's help file? If the tool is grayed out, then you probably have not taken the first two critical steps.

First, you must start an edit session. If your new points should be in the same database/file, then Editor > Start Editing will suffice. Otherwise you need to create a new database/file to hold your new points, start editing, and select the appropriate file.

Second, you must hit the Create Feature button (9 to the right of the DD tool, pencil/checklist icon), then click on your point feature in the box that appears.

Once you are both in an edit session and actively creating features, the construction tools will become available. You can refer to the help file linked above for specifics on how to enter a precise direction and distance with the tool.


Since you only have 5 points, the following won't take too long.

  1. Make sure your layer is editable.

  2. In the Construction Tools in the create features dialog, select "Point at end of line"

    enter image description here

  3. Begin drawing a line from one of you points by clicking on the point.

  4. Right click and choose Direction/Length and enter the details.

  5. Repeat for the remaining four points.

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