I'm using ArcGIS 10 to create point data. Normally I would start an edit session, select point as a construction tool, click where I want a point to be, and then go in and edit the attributes.

Say I forgot to do that and just went into the attribute table and added a few records.

Am I stuck deleting the records I've just added and starting over, creating the points first this time, or is there a way to associate these records with new points?


5 Answers 5


When you have a record but no geometry it's known as a null geometry.

The quick fix while in an Edit Session is to select the record/row in question and use the Replace Geometry tool on the Advanced Editing toolbar. This will allow you to create a point to replace the null. It works on points, lines, and polygons, and can replace both null and exisiting geometries.

See also this Esri support page.

  • +1 This is the best answer. I've never needed to do this until today, and this worked like a charm. Thanks!
    – alexGIS
    Jul 21, 2016 at 18:58

Use field calculator (Python) on shape field, e.g.:


If you know coordinates of this point.

This is extension of original answer. Create a copy of the layer in table of content and call it 'points'. Select correct point in 'points. Use field calculator (Python) on shape field for record with missing geometry:

def TransferGeometry():
 mxd = arcpy.mapping.MapDocument("CURRENT")
 lr=arcpy.mapping.ListLayers(mxd, "points")[0]
 with arcpy.da.SearchCursor(lr, "Shape@") as cursor:
  for row in cursor:
 return p


  • 2
    +1, but would be a more complete answer if it included a demonstration of the Arcmap integrated python command line window, especially including how to capture the X,Y from a newly digitized point. The Q is coming from an interactive workflow scenario. Apr 1, 2015 at 21:54

Here's a solution works with lines and polygons but not points (for that see @ChrisW's answer): the Continue Feature tool from Edit Vertices toolbar. (Doesn't help Amy, but maybe someone else later).

Continue Feature tool icon

  • start editing, open the feature class attribute table
  • select a has-attribute-only record
  • pan/zoom to correct location
  • r-click on map, select Edit Vertices, then Continue Features
  • digitize

I tried and failed to find alternate methods with Edit Sketch Properties panel, Edit > Move, Spatial Adjustment, and Advanced Editing > Copy Features.


I've not tried this personally in this exact situation, but you should theoretically at least be able to add a new point at the correct location (leaving the attributes blank). Then go to the attribute table and select both rows (the newly created point without attributes and the corresponding attribute record without a point). Then go to the Editor toolbar and click the Editor drop-down menu and select the Merge... tool (this is NOT the same as the Merge Geoprocessing tool). On the resulting merge tool box you should select the record of the row with all the attribute data (they should theoretically be listed in order of their OID/FID field).

Ideally that should basically just append the geometry of the new point to the existing attribute record.

  • 1
    Nice idea, but Edit > Merge doesn't work with points. Apr 1, 2015 at 21:14
  • @mattwilkie, Good point, thank you for clarifying. So I guess this would be a method worth trying for polygons or lines maybe, where the shape field calculation answer may be a bit more complicated to simply type out.
    – John
    Apr 1, 2015 at 22:19

If you have X/Y data in your table, export the same table with the new records. Right click this table and "Display X, Y Events". You should have a new file with all your points! Export as needed.

  • Thanks, but I have a couple related tables and I'd have to recreate the relationships with the new table of points. I think I'll just give in and start over. It's only 15 points. I was hoping for something simple like select record, right click and choose "add point." No such solution exists I think.
    – Amy
    Apr 1, 2015 at 19:58

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