ArcGIS Online

Tighten Up Your Edits with Editing Constraints in ArcGIS Online

We’re always looking for ways to make editing in ArcGIS Online easier and more efficient. With the February 2024 update, we’ve rolled out interactive tooltips to give you more precision when editing features on the web. Whether you’re a city planner, engineer, or data manager, having control over things like the length of a line can be essential to your workflows. That’s where editing constraints come in, allowing you to define exact values for measurements like segment length, angles, and elevation. Keep reading to learn how to get started using interactive tooltips to set editing constraints and tighten up your edits in ArcGIS Online.


Real-time Information

If you edit data in Map Viewer, you might use different tools like snapping, geometry guides, or tooltips to help you get more accuracy. Tooltips give you real-time feedback while you create features. When tooltips are enabled, they hover on the map to the lower right of the cursor. The values update dynamically as you work, displaying measurements like the length of a segment while you draw the line on the map.

Tooltips hover to the lower right side of the cursor in Map Viewer
Tooltips provide real-time information while you edit.


Tooltips may contain the following fields:

When drawing 3D features in a scene, tooltips include an additional field:

Input mode

With the February 2024 update, we’ve made tooltips interactive so you can enter values in fields such as direction, deflection, or distance while you create features on the map. Simply press the [Tab] key while editing to enable Input mode.

Input mode allows you to enter exact values for more precise editing.
Press the [Tab] key to enable Input mode and enter exact values.

Getting Started

First, you need a map with at least one editable layer. Optionally, you can use this map to follow along. Enable tooltips in the map following these steps:

  1. Open the map.
  2. Click Edit on the Settings (light) toolbar on the right.
  3. Click to expand the Settings menu at the top of the Editor pane.
  4. Use the toggle to Enable tooltips.
Open Settings in the Editor pane to Enable tooltips in Map Viewer
Enable tooltips in the Settings menu in the Editor pane,

Next, draw a feature on the map.

  1. In the Create features section of the Editor pane, click a line or polygon feature to add.
  2. Click on the map to drop a point on the starting location.
  3. Click [Tab] to enable Input mode.
  4. Use the [Tab] key to navigate between input fields.
  5. Tab to the Distance field,
  6. Type a value
  7. Click [Enter]. The next segment you create will be locked into the editing constraints you entered.
  8. Double click to complete the drawing.
Tooltips hover to the lower right side of the cursor providing real time feedback as you edit. Press the [Tab} key to enable Input mode and enter your own values.

Direction mode

Absolute- absolute direction (typically in degrees clockwise from North)

Deflection– direction relative to the previous segment or vertex

Using tooltips, an angle can be represented as either the absolute direction or deflection, depending on the Direction mode you choose. You can alternate between direction modes depending on your needs. To change the Direction mode, press [Tab] to navigate to the upper right corner of the tooltip, press [Enter] to open the menu, and choose a mode.

Direction mode can be set inside the tooltips.
Set the Direction mode to determine how to display information.


We’re constantly on the lookout for ways to improve the editing experience in ArcGIS Online. With the introduction of editing constraints, we put the power to edit with more precision in your hands. Keep an eye out for more tools to come that will help make editing a breeze, and be sure to share your ideas, feedback, and experiences with us in ArcGIS Online on the Esri Community site.

About the author

Emily is a senior product engineer on the ArcGIS Online team. She joined Esri in 2022, bringing expertise in mapping, app creation, and data management. Emily is passionate about the outdoors, nature, and hiking. She often seeks refuge in wild areas and acoustic guitars.


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