I do a lot of editing, in this case areas. Sometimes I add an area to one shapefile, only to realise a bit later that it should have been in another.

Is there an easy way of copying only that polygon into the proper shapefile? Something along the lines of rightclick the row in attribute table, copy and then paste in the next attribute table.

I do know that I can select the polygon and use Append, but this seem unnecessary complicated?

  • When you start a edit session, all shapesfile inside the folder (selected) are editables and could be frustrating add features to wrong layer. You can add the shapefile in a folder, and start a session in that folder and whatever you copy will be pasted in that shapefile. I can't add a comment for my low reputation Nov 26, 2013 at 17:41

1 Answer 1


Have you tried simply copying and pasting features?

You can do this by adding both shapefiles to the map TOC, then choose "Editing-> Start Editing", and choose the DESTINATION shapefile workspace to edit.

Next, choose the "Edit Tool" (small arrowhead by the Editor dropdown), select the SOURCE feature to copy, right-click and choose "Copy".

Right-click and choose "Paste". This will usually bring up a dialog that asks you to "Choose a layer to create feature(s) in". Choose your DESTINATION layer from the Target dropdown box and press "OK".

Finally, choose "Editor-> Stop Editing" and save your edits.

  • I'd like to do this but with about 8000 features...arcmap seems to crash on this amount. Is there no tools to accomplish this? Nov 2, 2016 at 13:52
  • Is there any tool to copy and paste multiple features to their respective layers?
    – digz6666
    Nov 3, 2016 at 6:53
  • It is possible to paste multiple features. But if it should hang, one possibility is to insert features using da.InsertCursor. But how to do that will require a new question.
    – BERA
    Aug 30, 2023 at 12:12

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.