Working with feature representations
This topic applies to ArcGIS for Desktop Standard and ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced only.
A feature representation is the graphic result of a feature that has been drawn according to the representation rule of a feature class representation. A feature representation may or may not share the same spatial geometry as its supporting feature. It will share all the fields of the supporting feature, as well as the two new fields added by the feature class representation—the RuleID field and the Override field.
The RuleID field holds the integer value that corresponds to the representation rule in the feature class representation that will be used to draw the feature representation. You can symbolize a feature representation with a different representation rule by choosing one from the drop-down list on the Representation Properties window while editing or by calculating the value of the RuleID field to the desired representation rule number.
If no edits have been made, the geometry of a feature representation is derived from the Shape field of the feature class. Depending on how the feature class representation is set to store geometry edits, changes to the shape of a feature representation made with the Representation tools will cause the geometry to be stored in the Override field.
Creating new feature representations
A feature representation can't exist independently of its supporting feature, so you can't create new feature representations directly. You must instead create new features in the feature class that has a representation associated with it. The Editor toolbar provides the tools you need to create new features.
How to create new feature representations
- In an edit session, create a new feature, ensuring that the target feature class is one that possesses a feature class representation.
- If necessary, click the Representation Properties button on the Representation toolbar to open the Representation Properties window.
- Click the Drawing tab on the Representation Properties window.
- Select the new feature using the Select tool on the Representation toolbar. The Representation Rule list on the Representation Properties window will read Invalid Rule because a representation rule has not yet been assigned to this feature.
- Choose a representation rule for the feature to follow from the Representation Rule list.
Removing feature representations
Feature representations can be removed from the display or feature class in a number of ways, depending on the type of outcome that is desired.
- A feature representation can be made invisible so that it is not displayed.
- All or part of a feature representation can be erased. This operation erases the geometry of the representation. This edit will be stored as a shape override if the feature class representation is set to store shape overrides.
- All or part of a feature representation can be masked from view by polygons in a mask layer.
- By deleting the feature, the representation is also deleted. The record of the feature is removed from the feature class. Standard editing tools are used for this operation.