Is there a way to copy the domain from one Dataset to another?

I have a series of layers in Dataset A and I want to split the layers in to tiles using the Intersect tool; saving them in Dataset B. When I do this, all the domain information is lost.

  • 2
    DatasetA needs to be duplicated and then the geodatabases pre-exist (truncate the data in each) then you can append to the clones without losing your domains. not an ideal solution but a workaround.
    – Mapperz
    Aug 21, 2013 at 20:52
  • 2
    If you copy 'n' paste a FeatureClass from one geodatabase to another in ArcCatalog it will transfer the domains as well. Alternatively you could use the geo-processing tools to copy out domains to tables and then import them into any other geodatabase. A bit fiddly but achievable.
    – Hornbydd
    Aug 22, 2013 at 12:25
  • If the earlier comments don't resolve this then could you edit your question to make clearer how you are processing your datasets (presumably geodatabase feature classes) and whether you are losing the domain(s) from the geodatabase properties or from the fields of the feature class properties?
    – PolyGeo
    Aug 23, 2013 at 3:39
  • PolyGeo, I have run an Intersect and the Domains are no longer associated to the layer (looking in the Properties, as well as in the attribute table). Aug 23, 2013 at 15:01

1 Answer 1

  1. Make a copy of the database that contains DatasetA.
  2. Delete all data from the copied database.
  3. When you process the data, output into the empty database.

The domains are all stored at the database level so you must have them set up in the database before applying them to data. If you copy the database, the domain information will already exist in the output database.


  1. Use the tool 'Domain to Table' on the database containing DatasetA
  2. Use the tool 'Table to Domain' on the output database.


Note: You may need to copy the database in catalog. I have read that arcmap sometimes has trouble copying over the domains when copying a database in arcmap. The consensus is that you should use catalog to copy the database.

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