Suppose there are two lines in an ArcMap 10.1 or 10.2 editing session that cross but do not intersect, per se. This is the case when new lines a drawn. Is there a way to snap to the point where the lines cross?

AutoCAD has this ability, and calls these intersections apparent intersections. In the situation below, two new lines (Line 1 & Line 2) are drawn. In Example X, Line 2 was just created and topology has not been checked. The cursor is hollow because the create new feature tool is selected.

In Example X, the snapping tip feature indicates there is no node to snap to at Point A. However, in Example Y, there is a point to snap to at Point A, because topology was checked in Example Y.

Example X screenshot showing example x

Example Y screenshot showing example y

So, short of checking for topology errors, there does not seem to be a way to snap to apparent intersections.

Conditions notes

  • All snapping options are on:
    snapping toolbar
  • Classic snapping is not enabled.
  • The only relevant topology rules to this layer are:
    enter image description here
  • The system here is running ArcGIS 10.2, with features in 10.1 SDE on Oracle.

4 Answers 4


If you use the drop arrow on the snapping toolbar, you can select "intersection snapping". It will snap intersections even if there are no vertices.

enter image description here

  • 2
    Enabling "Snap To Sketch" will also help OP, since he wants to snap to an intersection of an existing line and a sketched line.
    – dmahr
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:49
  • Thank you @radoxju and @dmahr! I had never noticed those options on the dropdown.
    – Elliott
    Jan 7, 2014 at 14:18

There may be a tool like that in the parcel fabric data model using parcel editing or an older parcel management add-in.

This post outlines the differences between editing using fabric/coverage/COGO.

If you know it is perpendicular, or using the mid, or if you know the distance from measurement using the delta x,y segment deflection, parallel options. the snap to feature edge or mid.
snapping while editing
enter image description here
I can see you being able to step through some rarely used ArcGIS tools to get what you need.
And finally (I have not used these tools) I found the Construction Guides addin that looks promising [except they haven't been updated since 10.0] :(.


Another method that ensures you are are snapping at the exact point is this:

  1. Select the intersecting lines.
  2. Run the Intersect tool on the layer with its selection sending the output to in_memory as a temporary place as shown below.
  3. Set snapping to POINT, turn off edge/vertex snapping.
  4. Digitize your line.
  5. Remove temporary in_memory point layer.

Intersect tool


Try using the line intersect tool with the Advanced Editor toolbar.

  • This tool splits the lines at the intersection point, the poster is asking how to snap to the intersection point.
    – Hornbydd
    Jan 6, 2014 at 23:16

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