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I am using ArcMap 10.2.2 and can't get the measure tool to measure an area. For some reason The option to measure an area is not available for selection. Any ideas of how to activate it so I can measure an area of a polygon shape file?

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    Are you in a geographic coordinate system? Measure tool is only valid if your data frame is a projected coordinate system. – Michael Stimson Nov 23 '14 at 23:30
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The data frame was using a geographic coordinate system which does not allow you to measure an area. I changed the data frame to a projected coordinate system which allowed me to activate the area measure tool.

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    Also unknown coordinate systems don't let you measure. – Michael Stimson Nov 24 '14 at 0:09

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