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ArcGIS Pro

Snapping in ArcGIS Pro

Precision Editing: Understanding Snapping Types in ArcGIS Pro

Whether you’re connecting roads on a map or delineating land boundaries, even the slightest misalignment can lead to significant discrepancies. Enter the snapping feature in ArcGIS Pro—a tool designed to enhance accuracy and streamline the editing process. In this blog post, we’ll delve deep into the various snapping types available in ArcGIS Pro, from vertex and edge to end snapping and guide you on how to harness them effectively.

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step-by-step guide to using the snapping feature in ArcGIS Pro:

Launch ArcGIS Pro:

  • Open your ArcGIS Pro application and load your project.

Open Your Map:

  • Navigate to the map or scene where you want to perform editing.

Access the Edit Tab:

  • On the main ribbon at the top, click on the “Edit” tab. This tab contains tools and settings related to editing features.

Locate the Snapping Group:

  • Within the “Edit” tab, find the group labeled “Snapping.” This group contains all the controls related to snapping.

Toggle Snapping On/Off:

  • Click on the “Snapping” button (usually represented by a magnet icon) to toggle snapping on or off. When snapping is on, the button will appear highlighted.

Choose Snapping Types:

  • Click on the dropdown arrow next to the “Snapping” button to see the available snapping types:
  • Vertex Snapping:
    • This option allows your cursor to automatically align with existing vertices on features.
    • It’s particularly useful when you want to ensure that new features or edits connect precisely at specific points on existing features.
  • Edge Snapping:
    • This enables your cursor to snap anywhere along the boundary of a line or polygon.
    • It’s beneficial when you’re drawing a new feature that needs to run parallel to or along an existing feature but not necessarily connect at specific vertices.
  • End Snapping:
    • This option ensures that your cursor snaps to the endpoints of lines.
    • It’s crucial when you’re extending lines or creating junctions, ensuring that there are no gaps or overlaps at the connection points.
  • Check or uncheck the boxes next to each type to enable or disable them.

Set Snapping Tolerance:

  • Snapping tolerance determines how close your cursor needs to be to a feature for the snap to occur.
  • Access the snapping settings (usually by right-clicking the snapping button or through a settings icon).
  • Adjust the tolerance value as needed. This can be set in map units or pixels.

Perform Editing with Snapping:

  • With snapping enabled, start editing your features. As you move your cursor near other features, you’ll notice it “snaps” to them based on the types and tolerance you’ve set.
  • This is especially useful when you want to ensure features connect perfectly, such as connecting roads at an intersection.

Adjust Snapping as Needed:

  • If you find the snapping too sensitive or not sensitive enough, return to the snapping settings and adjust the tolerance.
  • If you need to perform detailed edits without snapping, simply toggle the snapping off temporarily and turn it back on when needed.

Save Your Edits:

  • Once you’re satisfied with your edits, remember to save them to ensure the changes are stored.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the snapping feature in ArcGIS Pro:

What is snapping in ArcGIS Pro?

  • Snapping is a feature that helps users align points, lines, and areas when editing or creating new features, ensuring precision and consistency.

Why is snapping important in geospatial editing?

  • Snapping ensures that features connect perfectly, eliminating gaps or overlaps, which is crucial for maintaining data integrity and accuracy.

How do I enable or disable snapping in ArcGIS Pro?

  • Snapping can be toggled on or off from the “Edit” tab in the main ribbon of ArcGIS Pro.

What are the different types of snapping available?

  • ArcGIS Pro offers various snapping types, including vertex snapping, edge snapping, and end snapping.

Can I use multiple snapping types simultaneously?

  • Yes, you can enable multiple snapping types at once to suit your editing needs.

How do I adjust the snapping tolerance?

  • Snapping tolerance determines how close your cursor needs to be to a feature for the snap to occur. This can be adjusted in the geoprocessing environment settings.

What is the difference between edge snapping and vertex snapping?

  • Edge snapping allows your cursor to snap anywhere along a feature’s boundary, while vertex snapping aligns specifically with existing vertices on features.

Why are my features not aligning correctly even with snapping enabled?

  • This could be due to various reasons, including different snapping types being enabled or a mismatch in snapping tolerance.

Can I use snapping with both raster and vector data?

  • While the snapping feature is commonly associated with vector data editing, there’s also a “Snap Raster” environment setting for raster data alignment.

Is there a way to automate snapping for large datasets?

  • While snapping aids in manual editing, for large datasets, users might consider geoprocessing tools or scripts to ensure alignment and consistency across features.
About the Author
I'm Daniel O'Donohue, the voice and creator behind The MapScaping Podcast ( A podcast for the geospatial community ). With a professional background as a geospatial specialist, I've spent years harnessing the power of spatial to unravel the complexities of our world, one layer at a time.