Frequently asked question

What is the difference between snapping tolerance and cluster tolerance in ArcGIS Pro?

Last Published: January 9, 2024


In ArcGIS Pro, both cluster tolerance and snapping tolerance are defined distances that automate the position of a feature. However, there are significant differences including purpose and usage, and which workflows involve them.

Snapping tolerancePropertiesCluster tolerance
The distance within which the pointer is automatically moved to a vertex, edge, endpoint, or other geometric element. When creating features, elements that fall within the specified distance of another element are moved, or snapped, to the latter.DefinitionThe maximum distance between two vertices for them to be considered part of the same cluster or group. Those that fall within the specified distance of one another are colocated, or clustered, into the same coordinate points as they are assumed to represent the same location.

Used when snapping is enabled to control the accuracy of the pointer. Snapping tolerance aids in aligning, connecting, and measuring features accurately.

Workflows involving a snapping tolerance include editing and digitizing spatial data, as it is useful for ensuring features, such as lines and shapes, are positioned at specific locations or existing features.


Used in topology workflows. Cluster tolerance aids in simplifying complex or large datasets by grouping nearby points together.

Workflows involving a cluster tolerance include spatial data analysis and processing, as it is useful for generalization, reducing the number of vertices, and improving performance.

  • XY tolerance – the 2D planar distance between the pointer and a geometric element.
  • Z tolerance – the vertical distance between the pointer and the nearest z-value stored with a 3D surface or z-aware feature.
  • An x,y tolerance to find vertices within the horizontal distance of one another.
  • A z-tolerance to distinguish whether the z-height or elevation of vertices are within the tolerance of one another.
10 pixels. Configure snapping to set a custom snapping tolerance in ArcGIS Pro.Default value0.001 meters in real-world units. Work with topology properties to set a custom cluster tolerance on an existing topology. Alternatively, the cluster tolerance can be set using the Set Cluster Tolerance (Data Management) tool.

Article ID:000031721

  • ArcGIS Pro 3 1
  • ArcGIS Pro 3 0
  • ArcGIS Pro 3 2

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