Generalizing and smoothing features and edges (Production Mapping)

When editing features, it may be necessary to refine a feature's appearance by either generalizing or smoothing. With the Production Generalize And Smooth tool, you can define the tolerances to be used when generalizing and smoothing features. Additionally, Production Generalize And Smooth allows you to apply multiple iterations of the generalize and smooth operations.

Generalize simplifies the shape of a feature and can create straight lines and corners, while smooth is used to smooth straight lines and angular corners of features. The best results may be accomplished by applying multiple iterations of generalize and smooth.

The Production Generalize And Smooth tool allows you to work with individual features or multiple features that share a topology edge. When the generalize and smooth operations are applied to a selected feature, only that feature is modified. When you select a topology edge, all features that share the edge are modified the same way to ensure that coincidence between the features is maintained. You can use either a geodatabase or map topology.

  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. If necessary, load data in the map.
  3. On the main menu, click Customize > Toolbars > Production Editing.
  4. On the main menu, click Customize > Toolbars > Production Editing Advanced.
  5. Click the Production Start Editing button Production Start Editing on the Production Editing toolbar.

    The Manage Features and Create Attributes, Update Attributes, or Metadata Attributes windows automatically appear when you start an edit session using the Production Start Editing tool.


    If the Create Attributes, Update Attributes, or Metadata Attributes window does not appear when you start an edit session, click the Show/Hide Attributes button Show/Hide Attributes on the Manage Features window.

  6. If necessary, create a map topology or choose a stored topology with which you want to work.
  7. Click the Production Generalize And Smooth button Production Generalize And Smooth on the Production Editing Advanced toolbar.

    The Production Generalize & Smooth Tool dialog box appears.

    Production Generalize & Smooth Tool dialog box

  8. Select features to edit using one of the following tools:
    • You can use the Select Features tool Select Features to select either simple features or features that participate in a topology.


      When working with a map topology, features selected that do not already participate in the map topology are automatically added to the map topology.

    • When working with a topology, you can use the Topology Edit tool Topology Edit Tool to select the specific edges to modify.
  9. Type a value in the Maximum Offset text box.
  10. Click the Units drop-down arrow and choose a unit of measurement for the offset.
  11. Click the Algorithm drop-down arrow and choose a feature modification type.


    Generalize removes Bézier curves from a feature's geometry, while smooth may introduce them. If Bézier curves are not wanted, you can generalize the features with a tolerance that will not affect the character of the features.

    • Smooth—Smooths sharp angles and lines of a feature
    • Generalize—Simplifies the geometry of a feature
    • G-S-G-S—Generalizes, smooths, regeneralizes, and resmooths the lines of a feature (This prevents the features from having sharp corners and straight edges in them.)
    • G-S-G—Generalizes, smooths, and regeneralizes the lines of a feature (This method may leave short corners in the feature.)
  12. Click the Topology drop-down arrow to choose the topology.


    Stored and Map topologies are only listed if they are defined and available.

    • None—No topology is used. Selected features are modified independently of each other.
    • Stored Topology—If you choose a stored topology, only the selected features that participate in the topology are modified, and edge coincidence is preserved.

      If more than one topology is available, only the topology selected on the Topology toolbar will be listed.

    • Map—If you choose a map topology, all selected features and edges are modified, and edge coincidence is preserved.
  13. Click Apply to accept the modified features or edges.

    You can click Preview to see the way the features or edges are going to be modified before applying the parameters you have defined.

  14. Click Cancel when you are finished modifying the features.

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