Create sketch layers

In Map Viewer, you can create features on a map by creating a sketch layer. A sketch layer is a type of feature collection. When you create a sketch layer, you create features to symbolize something you want to show on the map. You can also add descriptive information that appears in pop-ups when the feature is clicked.

Tip:

You can use keyboard shortcuts to quickly complete common workflows in Map Viewer. To view the full list of keyboard shortcuts in Map Viewer, press Alt+? on Microsoft Windows or Option+? on Mac.

The features in a sketch layer are saved with the map so that only you, the map author, can edit and save them. Creating a sketch layer is a good way to add a small number of features to a map, for example, the swimming pools managed by your city's parks and recreation department. Sketch layers are also a way to create feature layers if you don't have an organizational account with publishing privileges or access to ArcGIS Server.

There are six types of features you can draw in a sketch layer. Choose from stamps, lines, polygons, rectangles, circles, and text.

Tip:

When you search for locations or features on the map, you can add search results to a new or existing sketch layer.

Create a sketch layer

To create a sketch layer, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Settings (light) toolbar, click Add sketch Add sketch.

    The Sketch pane appears and the sketch tools appear on the map.

  2. Tip:
    To add additional sketch layers to the map, click Add Add on the Contents toolbar and choose Sketch Sketch.
  3. Follow the instructions for any of the following sketch tools to add features to the map:
  4. Optionally, click Snapping and change the snapping options as follows:

    Snapping provides visual guides that help you draw shapes—for example, draw at right angles or draw straight lines—and allows you to place features directly on the edges and vertices of features.

    • Turn off the Enable snapping toggle button to disable snapping.
    • Turn off the Geometry guides toggle button to disable the visual guides that appear when you are drawing or updating sketch features—for example, guides that help you draw right angles and straight lines.
    • Turn off the Feature to feature button to disable the ability to snap to the vertices and edges of other features while drawing and updating sketch features on the map.
    • If snapping is enabled, click Snapping layers and select additional layers in the map to allow snapping to features in other feature layers when drawing and updating sketch features. Click Select all to allow snapping to features in all layers in the map.
    Tip:

    Feature to feature snapping can be used with hosted feature layers and with WFS, CSV, and GeoJSON layers.

  5. Optionally, add pop-ups to the sketch features.
  6. Close the Sketch pane when you're finished.

Add stamps

You can use stamps to symbolize points of interest on a map. For example, you can use special symbols to represent hospitals, evacuation points, or hiking trails.

To add a stamp, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a sketch layer as described above or choose an existing sketch layer in the Layers pane.
  2. From the sketch tools, choose Stamp Stamp.
  3. Click a point on the map where you want to place the stamp.

    A default stamp is placed on the map.

  4. Use the following options, depending on the symbol, to change the appearance of the stamp:
    • Symbol—Select a symbol set from the drop-down menu, and choose a symbol from the symbol set. Optionally, click Invert background color Invert background color to see how the symbols appear against a dark background.
      Note:

      These symbols are in scalable vector graphic (SVG) format, which is a vector image format for 2D graphics. Vector symbols are only supported in some apps, including ArcGIS Instant Apps, ArcGIS StoryMaps, and ArcGIS Field Maps. Instead of the vector symbols you apply to a map, a default symbol is applied when the map is used in apps that don't yet support these symbols.

    • Size—Use the slider to change the symbol size or change the pixel value in the text box.
    • Rotation—Use the slider to change the rotation of the symbol, or change the degree value in the text box.
    • Fill—Ensure that the toggle button is turned on. Select a color from the preset options or from the custom color picker. You can also specify a custom color using a hexadecimal value. Click Add Add to save a custom color and click Remove Remove to remove a saved color. Optionally, use the Fill transparency slider to apply transparency to the fill, or change the transparency value in the text box.
    • Outline—Ensure that the toggle button is turned on. Select a color and outline transparency as you did for Fill. In the Stroke section, use the slider to change the line width, or change the pixel value in the text box.
  5. Note:

    When you set the style for a sketch feature, the style and pop-up content persist for subsequently placed features of that type. Changes to the style apply to the most recently placed feature and to subsequent features.

Add lines

You can use lines to symbolize boundaries and routes.

To add a line, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a sketch layer as described above or choose an existing sketch layer in the Layers pane.
  2. From the sketch tools, choose Line Line.
  3. Click a point on the map to begin drawing.

    A point appears on the map and a line extends from it, controlled by the mouse pointer.

  4. Click another point on the map to join the line to that point. Continue clicking other points on the map to add more vertices and line segments.

    If you make a mistake while drawing, you can use keyboard shortcuts to undo and redo vertices.

  5. Double-click or use a keyboard shortcut to place the endpoint and complete the line.

    The line is drawn on the map.

  6. Do either of the following in the Sketch pane to change the line's appearance:
    • Select a color from the preset options or from the custom color picker. You can also specify a custom color using hexadecimal values. Click Add Add to save a custom color and click Remove Remove to remove a saved color. Optionally, use the Outline transparency slider to apply transparency to the line.
    • For Stroke, select a line pattern and optionally choose an arrow. Use the slider to change the line width or change the pixel value in the text box.
  7. Note:

    When you set the style for a sketch feature, the style and pop-up content persist for subsequently placed features of that type. Changes to the style apply to the most recently placed feature and to subsequent features.

Add polygons

You can use polygons to symbolize irregularly shaped areas.

To add a polygon, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a sketch layer as described above or choose an existing sketch layer in the Layers pane.
  2. From the sketch tools, choose Polygon Polygon.
  3. Click a point on the map to place a vertex. Lines are automatically drawn to join vertices as they are placed.

    If you make a mistake while drawing, you can use keyboard shortcuts to undo and redo vertices.

  4. Double-click or use a keyboard shortcut to place the final vertex and complete the polygon.

    The polygon is drawn on the map.

  5. Use either of the following options in the Sketch pane to change the polygon's appearance:
    • Fill—Ensure that the toggle button is turned on. Select a color from the preset options or from the custom color picker. You can also specify a custom color using a hexadecimal value. Click Add Add to save a custom color and click Remove Remove to remove a saved color. Optionally, use the Fill transparency slider to apply transparency to the fill, or change the transparency value in the text box.
    • Outline—Ensure that the toggle button is turned on. Select a color and outline transparency as you did for Fill. In the Stroke section, use the slider to change the line width or change the pixel value in the text box.
  6. Note:

    When you set the style for a sketch feature, the style and pop-up content persist for subsequently placed features of that type. Changes to the style apply to the most recently placed feature and to subsequent features.

Add rectangles and circles

You can use rectangles and circles to symbolize regularly shaped areas.

To add a rectangle or a circle, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a sketch layer as described above or choose an existing sketch layer in the Layers pane.
  2. From the sketch tools, choose Rectangle Rectangle or Circle Circle.
  3. Drag to begin drawing a shape on the map where you want the feature to be placed.
  4. Release the mouse button to complete the feature and place it on the map.
  5. Optionally, do either of the following in the Sketch pane to change the feature's appearance:
    • Ensure that the Fill toggle button is turned on to change the fill. Select a color from the preset options or from the custom color picker. You can also specify a custom color using a hexadecimal value. Click Add Add to save a custom color and click Remove Remove to remove a saved color. Optionally, use the Fill transparency slider to apply transparency to the fill or change the transparency value in the text box.
    • Ensure that the Outline toggle button is turned on to change the outline. Select a color and outline transparency as you did for Fill. In the Stroke section, use the slider to change the line width, or change the pixel value in the text box.
  6. Note:

    When you set the style for a sketch feature, the style and pop-up content persist for subsequently placed features of that type. Changes to the style apply to the most recently placed feature and to subsequent features.

Add text

You can use text to label or provide information about anything on the map.

To add text, complete the following steps:

  1. Create a sketch layer as described above or choose an existing sketch layer in the Layers pane.
  2. From the sketch tools, choose Text Text.
  3. Click the point on the map where you want to place the text.
  4. Type the text in the Content box in the Sketch pane.
  5. Optionally, style the text by doing the following:
    • Select a font from the Font drop-down menu.
    • Change the value in the Size text box, or use the arrows to increase or decrease the size.
    • Select a color from the preset Color options or type a hexadecimal value in the text box.
    • Turn the Halo toggle button on or off and set the color and size.
  6. Note:

    When you set the style for a sketch feature, the style and pop-up content persist for subsequently placed features of that type. Changes to the style apply to the most recently placed feature and to subsequent features.

Add a pop-up to a sketch feature

You can add a pop-up to a sketch feature to provide more information about the location.

To add a pop-up to a sketch feature, do the following:

  1. If necessary, open the Sketch pane by doing the following:
    1. On the Settings (light) toolbar, click Sketch Sketch.

      The Sketch pane opens and the sketch tools appear on the map.

    2. If there are multiple sketch layers on the map, select the desired sketch layer from the layer selector in the Sketch pane.
  2. Note:

    You can also open the Sketch pane by clicking Layers Layers on the Contents (dark) toolbar. Select the sketch layer, or click Options Options on the layer and choose Sketch.

  3. From the sketch tools, choose Select Select.
  4. Click the feature to which you want to add a pop-up.
  5. In the Sketch pane, click Pop-up.
  6. Turn on the Enable pop-up toggle button.
  7. Expand the Title section and type a name in the text box.
  8. Click the default Text element Text and type additional information about the feature in the text box.
  9. Click Add content to add new text or image elements.
  10. Click Options Options to delete or duplicate an element.
  11. Click the back arrow when you're finished to return to the Sketch pane.
  12. Note:

    When you set the style for a sketch feature, the style and pop-up content persist for subsequently placed features of that type. Changes to the style apply to the most recently placed feature and to subsequent features.

Edit a sketch feature

You can change the style, shape, size, or position of a sketch feature after it has been drawn on the map.

To edit a sketch feature, do the following:

  1. If necessary, open the Sketch pane by doing the following:
    1. On the Settings (light) toolbar, click Sketch Sketch.

      The Sketch pane opens and the sketch tools appear on the map.

    2. If there are multiple sketch layers on the map, select the desired sketch layer from the layer selector in the Sketch pane.
  2. Note:

    You can also open the Sketch pane by clicking Layers Layers on the Contents (dark) toolbar. Select the sketch layer, or click Options Options on the layer and choose Sketch.

  3. From the sketch tools, choose Select Select.
  4. Click a feature on the map.

    The feature is selected on the map.

  5. Optionally, drag the feature to a new location.
  6. Optionally, drag a feature's handles to resize or rotate it.
  7. Optionally, reshape a line, polygon, rectangle, or circle:
    1. Click the selected feature.

      The shape's vertices appear in orange and the midpoints of the line segments appear in white.

    2. Drag a vertex or midpoint to a new location.
    3. Click a midpoint to add vertices.

      The midpoint becomes a vertex and two new midpoints are added on either side.

  8. Optionally, click Delete Delete in the Sketch pane to delete a feature.
  9. Close the Sketch pane to confirm your changes and clear the selection.

Edit multiple sketch features

You can rotate, resize, or reposition more than one feature at a time after they have been drawn on the map.

To edit multiple sketch features, do the following:

  1. If necessary, open the Sketch pane by doing the following:
    1. On the Settings (light) toolbar, click Sketch Sketch.

      The Sketch pane opens and the sketch tools appear on the map.

    2. If there are multiple sketch layers on the map, select the desired sketch layer from the layer selector in the Sketch pane.
  2. Note:

    You can also open the Sketch pane by clicking Layers Layers on the Contents (dark) toolbar. Select the sketch layer, or click Options Options on the layer and choose Sketch.

  3. From the sketch tools, do one of the following:
    • Choose Select by rectangle Select by rectangle to select features by drawing a rectangle.
    • Choose Select by lasso Select by lasso to select features by drawing a shape.
  4. Drag to draw a shape over the map and select features.

    The features are grouped into one selection on the map.

  5. Optionally, drag the selection to a new location.
  6. Optionally, drag the selection's handles to resize or rotate the features.
  7. Click Delete Delete in the Sketch pane to delete a feature.
  8. Close the Sketch pane to confirm your changes and clear the selection.

Sketch shortcuts

You can use keyboard shortcuts to help you draw sketch features, such as lines or polygons. The following table lists and describes the available shortcuts:

ShortcutDescription

Ctrl

Press while drawing to disable snapping.

Snapping provides visual guides that help you draw at right angles and draw straight lines, and allows you to place features directly on the edges and vertices of other sketch features.

Enter

Complete drawing.

Z

Undo the last vertex.

R

Redo the last vertex.

Esc

Cancel drawing.