I am using ArcGIS 10.2.2 for Desktop.
I have assigned default values to some fields in a feature class, which is sitting in a file geodatabase.

I used the "Assign Default To Field Tool", which claims to have been successful, yet when I go to create a new feature none of the default values populate in the fields.
When I check the field properties it shows the default value that I assigned, it just doesn't use them.
I do have domains assigned to the fields in question, and the default values I have chosen do conform to the coded values within the domains.

I am also using a subtype within the feature class, but I can't see why that would be interfering.
I think I have covered all relevant information, just ask if I have missed something.

  • I don't think assigning a default value to a field which already has rows will retrospectively assign the default value to rows which were NULL. The default value gets assigned when you create a new feature. As @ian suggests you need to go back and edit those rows. – Hornbydd Oct 21 '14 at 10:54
  • My main problem is that new features do not get my specified defaults applied to them. Take a look here: i.imgur.com/NGj32PZ.png. The highlighted row is a new feature, and it has ignored my default. – James Preston Oct 21 '14 at 19:25
  • OK so you have a domain on it too, you are setting the default to "No" but what is the domain value? Have you set your domain No value to "N". So the Domain is saying the only valid values are Y and N but you are trying to default to "No" which is not in the domain list? – Hornbydd Oct 21 '14 at 20:03
  • The default is consistent with the domain values. The coded values are "Yes" and "No", and the descriptions are identical, "Yes" and "No". – James Preston Oct 21 '14 at 20:16

By global, I mean domains and default values that are shared between all subtypes.

What I've noticed is that if in the Fields tab you set all your global domains and default values BEFORE you create the subtypes, then these settings will be present for each subtype when you create them.

But, if you create the subtypes BEFORE you set the domains and default values in the Fields tab, they will not be present and you'll need to set them individually for each subtype.

Another way to do this is to set the Default Subtype in the Subtypes tab, and set all the global domains and default values for the default subtype. Then for each additional subtype other than the default, click the Use Defaults button. This will set the domains and default values equal to the ones in the default subtype. From there you can set any unique domains and default values for each subtype.

If you're creating a new feature class, I'd recommend setting all the global domains and default values in the Fields tab, then creating the subtypes, and then setting any unique domains and default values for each subtype.

But, of course, there's more than one way to do everything.

  • The fields in question are not using defaults from the subtype, they are just straight field defaults. Take a look here: i.imgur.com/NGj32PZ.png. The highlighted row is a brand new feature I just created, but you can see that it has not used the specified default value. I may have confused my question slightly by mentioning the subtypes, but I thought it might be relevant to my problem. – James Preston Oct 21 '14 at 19:23
  • They are relevant to your problem. You need to go into ArcCatalog, find the feature class, and go to it's properties. Then go to the Subtypes tab. You need to set the defaults for each Subtype. i.imgur.com/1wwpM0U.png - don't do this from ArcMap. – ianbroad Oct 21 '14 at 22:21
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    I think it has clicked for me now, thanks for persevering. The "Use Defaults" button there will be my saving grace as I have quite a large number of subtypes to set up, with many of the required defaults being identical. I am going to go back to the start and do what you have suggested. Luckily I have documented a lot of what I did, so going back will not be too time consuming. This is my first time setting up a geodatabase designed specifically for data collection by non-GIS people. – James Preston Oct 21 '14 at 22:35
  • I have just tried out the "Use Defaults" button and it actually populates the current subtype you are creating with the defaults and domains from the selected subtype in the "Default Subtype" drop down. In your case it will create a new subtype with all the same defaults and domains as "Single Phase Primary Overheads". (Defualt defaults, hehe). – James Preston Oct 21 '14 at 23:17
  • @JamesPreston haha, oh man, my answer has changed so much. I guess we are really figuring this out. I'm just going to leave it like it is. Thanks for letting me know. – ianbroad Oct 21 '14 at 23:52

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