Problem: ArcMap dynamic hyperlinks can be reassigned to different features after deleting features from a shapefile layer


When working with shapefile data, ArcMap dynamic hyperlinks or those inserted by right-clicking on a feature in the Identify dialog box are assigned to different features.
[O-Image] Add Hyperlink
When clicking on a feature with the hyperlink tool, an incorrect link notification appears. By using Identify on a feature and then right-clicking it from the Identify window > Manage Hyperlinks, the incorrect 'link/list' of links is shown.
[O-Image] Manage Hyperlinks


ArcMap keeps track of dynamic hyperlinks using the shapefile's FID field. The FID of shape features is recalculated when features are deleted. This means that after editing shapefile data and deleting some features, dynamic hyperlinks can be attached to different features.

Solution or Workaround

There are two different strategies for avoiding this problem:

  • Use a geodatabase feature class, instead of a shapefile. When using a geodatabase feature class, it is possible to delete features and dynamic hyperlinks are not affected.
  • Use field-based hyperlinks instead of dynamic hyperlinks. Set up field-based hyperlinks using the layer properties dialog box in ArcMap and clicking on the Display tab.

    Additional information on setting up Hyperlinks is available in the following ArcGIS Online Help topic: "Making hyperlinks with relative pathnames".