In the first installment of our ArcMap tips and tricks we talked about using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out, as well as turning off the auto-draw option when adding a new feature class. This week we're looking at creating a shortcut for selected features.
Create a keyboard shortcut for Clear Selected Features, and while you’re at it, add the Zoom to Selected Features command to your toolbar
Besides navigation tools, the Select Features tool is likely the most-often used tool in ArcMap. You are constantly selecting features in order to calculate counts, copy records, view attributes, zoom to selected sets, export features, generate Alignment Sheets, calculate Class and HCAs, edit the Centerline, filter Facility Manager, and the list goes on.
Eventually, you will need to click Clear Selected Features in order wipe out current selections. By default, the command does not come with a keyboard shortcut, and you need to bring your cursor up to the toolbar and click it. While that might seem trivial, note that if the Select Features tool is the most-often used tool, then the Clear Selected Features command is probably second in use. Any command that you end up clicking hundreds (if not thousands!) of times is a good candidate for a keyboard shortcut. This way you can Clear without having to reposition your cursor.
- Click Customize > Customize Mode
- Click Keyboard…
- To find the command, first choose the Selection category and then the Clear Selected Features command.
- Under Press new shortcut key, click inside the field and then type your keyboard shortcut (the following image uses Ctrl+Shift+C)
- Click Assign.
The actual shortcut is up to you, and note that the dialog will tell you if the shortcut is already used by another command.
In addition, while you have the Customize dialog open, you might as well add the Zoom to Selected Features command to your toolbar. This is a handy tool that, after selecting some features, will zoom straight to those features’ extent. I always have this command added, and clients often ask, “How did you get that on your toolbar?”
- Click Customize > Customize Mode (if necessary)
- Click the Commands tab.
- There are hundreds of commands, so the quickest way to find this one is to type zoom to selected features in the search field.
- Under Categories, click Selection (there are two commands with the same name, but you want the one in the Selection category).
- Then, click and drag the command from the Customize dialog and onto a toolbar of your choice.
- Click Close.
By using these shortcuts you'll be able to more quickly select, deselect and navigate to your features. Don't miss our last set of tips and tricks in a couple weeks, and meet up with us in San Diego at the Esri User Conference July 10-14 to chat more!