Tools Galore!

There are dozens of 'engine' tools, and hundreds of tool combinations that make your GIS work easier. These are just some of them. Its the tool combinations that really gets ArcView flying!

Save Many Graphics Save Graphic & Data Edit Record Tool
Manipulate Graphics Features to Graphics Tool Modify Data Table
AutoMake File & Fields Split with Data Copy Split & Proportion Data
Unmerge with Data Unmerge & Proportion Data ForceMake Polys
Join Point by Proximity Show Line Direction Flip Line Direction
Weed Make Map Grid Plot or Graphics Report
Merge to Polyline File Merge All Files Map Join
AutoIslands Join or Close Gaps Line Extend
Close Contours Wildcard Search Zoom List all Z/M values
Merge polygons recalc data Slivers gaps overlaps Calculate min/max Z/M values


Fast and simple ways to handle digitizing and table editing tasks.

Save Graphics to Shapefiles is a function that automatically writes to new, or appends, all selected graphics to its appropriate shapefile (even 'Z' and 'M' files), then calculates and writes the area, perimeter, length, or XY coordinates. A very fast, automatic, digitizing technique.

Save Graphic & Data immediately writes a single graphic to a shapefile, with attribute data entered in a pop up dialogue box. The dialogue lists the available fields with a space for you to enter data. Very Fast data capture.

Edit Record Tool is a slick click on tool that allows you to edit feature records via a pop up dialogue box. The dialogue lists the available fields with a space for you to enter data. Very Fast data editing.

Manipulate Graphics or the 'Assemble' function has a powerful set of tools to change one type of graphic to another. It includes the ability to assemble a string of 'spaghetti' graphics made up of different types of graphics. Thus you may draw points, or lines in a sequence, pan over the map or zoom, then convert these into polylines, polygons or even back to points, all automatically. This function also can convert polylines to polygons, polygons to points, points to polylines and back and forth again. For example, if you explode some polylines or polygon to points, these can be saved with the above save function, with the XY coordinates attached. Used for labeling locations on a map, or as a way-points file. Assembles 'Z' or 'M' graphics in same way.

Features to Graphics Tool allows you to click onto a feature and turn it into a graphic. This is the most popular tool in theEngine. Equivalent to a CAD copy tool. Use it to find out what is really in the database, to extract one type of feature and turn it into another, to check out the spatial properties of the feature, and so on. Converts 'Z' or 'M' features to 'Z' or 'M' graphics.

Modify Data Table function allows you to add or delete fields, calculate area, perimeters, length, XY coordinates, and even lat/long values of points, all automatically. Very easy.

AutoMake File & Fields function allows you to make a new shapefile with new fields, all at the same time. Makes 'Z' or 'M' files as well.


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Your data not right? Use . . . Fix Things a series of functions designed to help you with unhelpful data.

Split There are two commands to split polygons and polylines with any number of line graphics drawn over any number of features. Automatically write new records for the split pieces.

One command calculates new area, perimeter, or length and copies the data from the original feature record, the other proportions the chosen fields in the database.

Unmerge or Explode There are two commands to explode polygons and polyline records. Automatically write new records for the pieces. One command calculates new area, perimeter, or length and copies the data from the original feature record, the other proportions the chosen fields in the database.

ForceMake Poly There are two commands to force the creation of polylines or polygons from spaghetti drawn polylines not in sequence. Commonly used to make a single polyline or polygon from pieces of converted features.

Join Points by Proximity A function to automatically join points by proximity. Great for GPS data.

Line Direction A function that shows line directions of selected polylines.

Flip A function to flip line directions of selected polylines.

Weed A weed function that drops every N Th node in polylines or polygons and save the new polylines or polygons to a shapefile. You chose N.

Make Map Grid A function to automatically make a rectangular line grid from the map extends, in an 'n' x 'm' pattern. Thus you may divide up a map for logical clipping or to just have a grid overlay. Clean & build will make polygons from this for theme on theme selection, intersecting or clipping. Has many uses.


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Plot or Report on Graphics Draw a polygon and this button it tells you the area and perimeter in both map and distance units, click on a line and it tells you the lengths, azimuth and interior angles, click on a point and you get its XY location. Click on nothing and you can plot points with it.


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Putting Data Together

There are three functions that allow you to automatically assemble shapefiles into one.

Merge to Polyline A function that converts many polyline or polygon files into a single polyline file usually used to put polylines in one file for clean and build operations.

Merge All Files A function that forces similar features in many files into one file, and automatically adds the fields and attributes. For example, three separate polygon files having different fields will become one polygon file with the fields and data from all three.

Map Join A function that joins two shapefiles at a common edge, merging the polylines or polygons into one feature, and adding data from both.


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Tricks with Polylines and Polygons

AutoIslands A function to automatically nest stacked polygons.

Join Gaps A function to automatically close gaps in a string of open polylines.

Close Gaps A function to automatically close a gap between the start and end of a polyline, and it will do many at a time.

Line Extend A function to automatically extend the end or start of a line to the edge of a second line.

Close Contours A function that automatically adds the theme extends rectangle to a theme database. Normally used to close off contour polylines prior to clean and build, but has many other applications.


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Wildcard Zoom A dialogue box wildcard search function zooms to the selected features.

List all Z/M values is a good way to find out just what the Z or M values are in a feature.

Merge polygons and recalculate attribute data Similar to the merge function in ArcView, but has some important differences. First, the output is written to a new shapefile or to appended to an existing file. Second,selected polygons sharing common borders are grouped together into a one record.Third, attribute calculations such as proportion, sum, and average will be based on the polygons that were merged.

Slivers blends slivers, close gaps or overlaps, and merge polygons

Calculate min/max calculates the minimum and maximum Z or M values in a features and adds these to the database as an attribute.

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