Trying to understand why I am losing my subtypes. Work flow:

  • Loading a line feature class (FC) from a file Geodabase (FGDB) into the table of contents of a ArcMap version 10.2.2.
  • Using "Select Features," I select a subsection of features and right-click the layer in the TOC and use "Data" - "Export Data" to export the selected features back into the same FGDB (e.g. FC_Subset).

But when the exported features are loaded back into ArcMap the subtypes are missing?

  • 1
    Please add ArcGIS version and which DB you are exporting?
    – Surya
    Apr 3, 2015 at 14:31
  • me@T. Wayne Whitley. After searching the help I came to the same conclusion. I'm using the "Create Layers from Selected Features" then exporting using the Feature Class to Feature Class tool. That seems to work. Still like to understand why Export doesn't retain subtypes but I guess its one of those ESRI things. Good call.
    – Jeff
    Apr 3, 2015 at 20:56
  • Please leave comments, not non-answer answers.
    – Vince
    Apr 3, 2015 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


'Export data' does not retain subtypes...use one of the geoprocessing tools like 'Copy Features' or 'Feature Class To Feature Class' -- if you do this within the same ArcGIS process or 'session' as I like to think of it as (such as the current map doc within which you have interactively selected features), then selected features are honored, subtypes are applied, and so are domains. See this:


I don't think there's any direct reference to gp tools honoring subtypes in that section of the help, but there is reference to 'Export data' having that limitation. I've tested the gp processing and all seems well there while 'Export data' did not seem do as well...was 'aware' of domains but not subtypes.

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