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FAQ: Why doesn't a domain list box appear for a field in an attribute table even though a domain has been defined for that field?

Question

Why doesn't a domain list box appear for a field in an attribute table even though a domain has been defined for that field?

Answer

If there is no subtype defined in a feature class, assigning a domain to a given field causes a domain list box to appear in the attribute table when editing.

[O-Image]
The sample database below has three domains (Counts, Pets, Ratios):

[O-Image] Database Properties domain counts
A field in the feature class, Pt1, has the domain 'Counts' assigned:

[O-Image] Feature Class Properties Fields tab domain assignment
A list box appears when editing the field in the attribute table, as shown in the first illustration above.

However, if there is a subtype in a feature class, this changes the editing behavior for the other fields of the feature class. Domains defined in the field properties are no longer honored during editing.

A subtype can be defined on a long or short integer field. For each 'Code' in the subtype, it is possible to define a Default value and a Domain for every other field in the feature class or table (except fields managed by ArcGIS). In this example, for Code=0, a Default value and Domain can be specified for each of the other fields (Field_Text, Field_Short, Field_Double).

[O-Image] Subtype code 0
For Code=1, a different Default value and Domain can be specified for each of the other fields, and so on for each Code value.

[O-Image] Subtype code 1
If a domain is not specified for a field categorized by a subtype, there is no domain list box displayed for that field when editing in the attribute table.

To define a domain in that scenario, highlight the applicable code in the Subtype Code list, and view the corresponding list of other fields. Setting the fields' associated Default values and Domains affects only the records corresponding to that Subtype Code.

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