I have a Feature-Class with alot of fields (it is the product of a union of 8 different layers) in which I would like to select by attributes and then edit a field (actually at least two fields in the later process).

At the moment I am stuck because "select layer by attribute" does not work with a Feature-Class nor with a Shapefile and "extracting data" does not work because I need the Feature-Class containing all features for further selection and editing of fields.

Is there a tool that works with ModelBuilder I overlooked?

I am specifically not looking for a solution involving VBA/Python.

  • Do you have any relationship classes setup as well?
    – whyzar
    Oct 10, 2017 at 12:52
  • Is your feature-class in a geodatabase?
    – whyzar
    Oct 10, 2017 at 13:23
  • Yes, my Feature-Class is in a File-Geodatabase and no, I do not have setup relationship classes.
    – M S
    Oct 10, 2017 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


I think this is a classic misunderstanding of what types of objects you are using, and boils down to you actually reading and understanding the help file. If you look at the syntax section of the Help file for the Union tool, what is the output? A FeatureClass.

Now look at the help file and the syntax section the select by attribute tool, what is the Input? A FeatureLayer

A FeatureLayer is not a FeatureClass!

A FeatureClass is your data. A FeatureLayer is the symbolising of this data and it also understands the concept of selection. This is why many tools expect Layer objects as selections can only be supported by these types of objects.

So you need to make a view of a FeatureClass if you intend to feed it into a tool that does a selection, hence the tool Make FeatureLayer.

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