Attachments – associate multiple files with a spatial feature


In ArcGIS 10 Attachments are a new flexible way to manage other information related to your features. Attachments will allow multiple files associations with a feature. Making it easier to manage all your related feature files.

* ArcView users can only open attachments from the Identify window or the Attribute table.

Traditionally ArcGIS hyperlinks limitations are:

  •  linking a feature to just one file and accessible only through the Hyperlink tool
  • confirm added file’s directory path is correct before moving the data otherwise send source geodatabase.

Attachments are similar but are instead stored inside the geodatabase you can have all the attached data files included automatically when:

  • sharing a geodatabase
  • or making a layer/map package

Q. So how does it work?
A. Store the attached files in the geodatabase and then enable attachments on each feature class. Specifically:

  • open Catalog window or ArcCatalog
  • right-click the geodatabase feature class
  • select Attachments > Create Attachments

Enabling attachments on a feature class automatically creates:

  • a new table to store the attached files and
  • a new relationship class to relate the features to the attached files

Attachments can then be accessed via the following ways:

  1. Identify window
  2. Attribute table
  3. when editing, via the “Attributes” window on the Editor toolbar
  4. via HTML pop-ups

Attachments accessed through HTML pop-ups. allow you to:

  • quickly get to the attached files and
  •  keep multiple pop-ups open for different features at the same time
  • opened feature content in Web applications, ArcGIS Explorer, or ArcReader.

Stefanie L

Related Esri Blog – Using attachments to manage associated feature content

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