Create sketch layers

In Map Viewer (formerly known as Map Viewer Beta), 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.

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.

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 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. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Add Add and choose Sketch layer.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. Under Draw features, choose Stamp Stamp.

    The Stamp pane appears.

  3. Click a point on the map where you want to place the stamp.

    A default stamp is placed on the map.

  4. In the Stamp pane, expand the Symbols section and select a symbol set from the drop-down menu.
  5. 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.

  6. Select a symbol from the symbol set. Optionally, click Invert background color Invert background color to see how the symbols appear against a dark background.

    The default stamp changes to the selected symbol.

  7. Use the following options, depending on the symbol, to change the appearance of the stamp:
    • Size—Use the slider to change the symbol size or change the pixel value in the text box. Optionally, check the Adjust size automatically check box to optimize symbol size according to map scale.
    • 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 Remove Remove to remove a saved color. Optionally, use the Fill transparency slider to apply transparency to the fill, or change 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. You can also check the Adjust width automatically check box.
  8. Optionally, add a pop-up to the stamp by doing the following:
    1. In the Stamp pane, click Pop-up.
    2. Turn on the Enable pop-up toggle button.
    3. Click Edit Edit next to the Title box and type a name in the text box.
    4. Click the default Text element Text and type additional information about the feature in the text box. Click Options Options to delete or duplicate the default text element, and click Add content to add new text or image elements.
    5. Click the back arrow when you're finished to return to the Stamp pane.
  9. In the Stamp pane, click Done.

Add lines

You can use lines to symbolize boundaries and routes.

To add a line, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Add Add and choose Sketch layer.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. Under Draw features, choose Line Line.

    The Line pane appears.

  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 Line 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 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. Optionally, add a pop-up to the line by doing the following:
    1. In the Line pane, click Pop-up.
    2. Turn on the Enable pop-up toggle button.
    3. Click the Edit Edit next to the Title box and type a name in the text box.
    4. Click the default Text element Text and type additional information about the feature in the text box. Click Options Options to delete or duplicate the default text element, and click Add content to add new text or image elements.
    5. Click the back arrow when you're finished to return to the Line pane.
  8. In the Line pane, click Done.

Add polygons

You can use polygons to symbolize irregularly shaped areas.

To add a polygon, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Add Add and choose Sketch layer.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. Under Draw features, choose Polygon Polygon.

    The Polygon pane appears.

  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 Polygon 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 the 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. Optionally, add a pop-up to the polygon by doing the following:
    1. In the Polygon pane, click Pop-up.
    2. Turn on the Enable pop-up toggle button.
    3. Click the Edit Edit next to the Title box and type a name in the text box.
    4. Click the default Text element Text and type additional information about the feature in the text box. Click Options Options to delete or duplicate the default text element, and click Add content to add new text or image elements.
    5. Click the back arrow when you're finished to return to the Polygon pane.
  7. In the Polygon pane, click Done.

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. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Add Add and choose Sketch layer.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. Under Draw features, choose Rectangle Rectangle or Circle Circle.

    The Rectangle or Circle pane, respectively, appears.

  3. Click the map where you want the feature to be placed, and drag to begin drawing.
  4. Release the mouse button to complete the feature and place it on the map.
  5. Optionally, do either of the following in the Rectangle or Circle 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 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. Optionally, add a pop-up to the rectangle or circle by doing the following:
    1. In the Rectangle or Circle pane, click Pop-up.
    2. Turn on the Enable pop-up toggle button.
    3. Click the Edit button Edit next to the Title box and type a name in the text box.
    4. Click the default Text element Text and type additional information about the feature in the text box. Click Options Options to delete or duplicate the default text element, and click Add content to add new text or image elements.
    5. Click the back arrow when you're finished to return to the Rectangle or Circle pane.
  7. In the Rectangle or Circle pane, click Done.

Add text

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

To add text, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Add Add and choose Sketch layer.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. Under Draw features, choose Text Text.

    The Text pane appears.

  3. Click the point on the map where you want to place the text.
  4. Type the text in the Content box in the Text 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.
    • Turn the Halo toggle button on or off and set the color and size.
  6. Optionally, add a pop-up to the text by doing the following:
    1. In the Text pane, click Pop-up.
    2. Turn on the Enable pop-up toggle button.
    3. Click Edit Edit next to the Title box and type a name in the text box.
    4. Click the default Text element Text and type additional information about the feature in the text box. Click Options Options to delete or duplicate the default text element, and click Add content to add new text or image elements.
    5. Click the back arrow when you're finished to return to the Text pane.
  7. In the Text pane, click Done.

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. Open the Sketch pane by doing one of the following:
    • On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Layers Layers. Select the sketch layer, or click Options Options on they layer and choose Sketch.
    • In the sketch layer's Properties pane Properties, click Edit sketch.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. Under Select features, choose Select Select.
  3. Click a feature on the map.

    The feature is selected on the map and the pane associated with the feature appears.

  4. Optionally, drag the feature to a new location.
  5. Optionally, drag a feature's handles to resize or rotate it.
  6. 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.

  7. Optionally, click Delete Delete in the feature pane to delete a feature.
  8. Click Done in the feature 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. Open the Sketch pane by doing one of the following:
    • On the Contents (dark) toolbar, click Layers Layers. Select the sketch layer, or click Options Options on the layer and choose Sketch.
    • In the sketch layer's Properties pane Properties, click Edit sketch.

    The Sketch pane appears.

  2. In the Sketch pane, 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.
  3. Drag a box over the map to select features.

    The features are grouped into one selection on the map.

  4. Optionally, drag the selection to a new location.
  5. Optionally, drag the selection's handles to resize or rotate the features.
  6. Click Delete Delete in the Sketch pane to delete a feature.
  7. 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, draw straight lines, and place features directly on the edges and vertices of other sketch features.

C

Complete drawing.

Z

Undo the last vertex.

R

Redo the last vertex.

Esc

Cancel drawing.