ArcGIS Web Editor

ArcGIS Web Editor: 5 Editing Tips and Tricks

We are proud to introduce ArcGIS Web Editor with the June 2024 update of ArcGIS Online. Whether you are a GIS novice or a seasoned analyst, Web Editor has something to offer for everyone. This blog will walk through five tips and tricks to have you editing like a pro in no time.


Tip 1: Explore drawing tools

When creating or editing a feature in ArcGIS Online, the default drawing tool is a line. While this suits most use cases, you may want to create more complex features. This is where drawing tools come in! Rather than sticking with Line, explore our additional drawing tools (below) when creating, reshaping, or splitting a feature in Web Editor.


Line Creates straight line segments
Right angle Creates 90-degree angles between vertices while drawing
 Freehand Creates free-form shapes while you click and drag


GIF shows the user selecting different drawing tools to create different feature shapes.
Using different tools allows you to sketch complex features in seconds.

To learn more, see the draw features documentation.

Tip 2: Use shortcuts

Shortcuts: The GIS editor’s best friend. No one can deny how helpful shortcuts are to help you get into a groove while editing and save unnecessary mouse clicks. The biggest barrier to entry is simply trying to remember which shortcut does what. Fortunately, Web Editor provides two ways to easily view and search for keyboard shortcuts.

Shortcut tooltips

Want a more direct way to view shortcuts for your most used tools? Enable Shortcut keys on tooltips in the Settings pane to display them when hovering over tools in Web Editor.

GIF shows tooltips with shortcuts exposed.

Shortcuts menu

To view all the shortcuts available in Web Editor, click the Shortcuts icon on the Settings (dark) toolbar. From here, browse through the list or use the search bar to find a specific shortcut.

GIF demonstrates opening the shortcuts menu and searching for a keyword.
Open the menu to quickly view shortcuts while editing, like the example above using “P” to square and finish a rectangle feature.

Tip 3: Leverage editing constraints and tooltips

Editing tooltips

Image shows tooltips while actively creating a feature.

Tooltips are a great way to provide more context while you are drawing or editing a feature. Displayed in a floating menu near your cursor, tooltips show the following values while you edit:

Tooltips are enabled by default but can be toggled on or off through the snapping menu or by pressing the T keyboard shortcut.

To learn more about tooltips, see our blog article Map a Point by Coordinates in ArcGIS Online with Tooltips.

Editing constraints

Tired of using the measurement tool to estimate distances while editing? Try editing constraints! Editing constraints give you precise control over measurements while editing features, for example deflection (angle) or distance from the last placed vertex. To input a value, simply press Tab (while drawing) with tooltips enabled or use one of the keyboard shortcuts.

Image shows entering precise values in the editing constraints tooltip while creating a feature.
Leveraging editing constraints allows you to create features with precise measurements and accuracy.

For a full list of editing constraints shortcuts, see editing constraints.


Tip 4: Use the selection pane

The days of selecting one feature at a time are over! Web Editor supports selecting features in bulk from the map, the table, or through an attribute query. However, when working with more than one feature it can be difficult to understand what features you have selected and refine them as needed. This is where the Selection pane comes in.

GIF shows a user selecting features, then using the selection manager to remove unwanted feature.
Fine-tune your selected features with the Selection pane.

The Selection pane categorizes features into collapsible groups based on the layer to make browsing simple. Additionally, hovering over a selection in the list highlights the corresponding feature on the map to make it easily identifiable.

To refine the selection further, use the X to remove individual features and groups or use the Select only this feature option in the overflow menu.


To learn more, see the Selection documentation.


Tip 5: Configure settings

Want even more control over your editing experience in Web Editor? Take a look at the Settings pane on the Settings (dark) toolbar. From here you can control whether the Attributes pane appears after creating a feature, toggle the delete features prompt and more. Keep an eye on the Settings pane as we will continue to expand it in future updates.

Image shows Settings menu open.


We hope the tips and tricks we explored in this blog article help you become comfortable with Web Editor and allow for more streamlined editing workflows.

To learn more about ArcGIS Web Editor, check out our blog article ArcGIS Web Editor – Your Data Maintenance New Best Friend. The Web Editor team will also be at the upcoming 2024 User Conference, so stop by our booth at the Showcase or add the following session(s) to your agenda:

ArcGIS: Exploring the New Web Editor

Until then, happy editing!



About the author

Bekah joined the ArcGIS Online team in 2022 as a Product Engineer. She contributes to a variety of projects in the ArcGIS Online space including GIS data editing, management, and visualization. When she is not making maps, she can be found hiking outside with her dog or finding a cozy coffee shop.

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