Find features with null geometries in ArcMap

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to find features with null geometries in ArcMap. The table window allows features to be created that have no geometry; that is, they have a null value for the Shape field.


The Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) sample code below selects the features with null geometries.
  1. Add a feature class to ArcMap.
  2. Select the feature class in the Table of Contents.
  3. Create a new UIButtonControl.
    For more information on creating a UIControl see the ArcGIS Desktop Help topic Creating custom commands with VBA and UI Controls.
  4. With the Customize dialog box open, right-click the UIButtonControl and select View Source.
  5. Paste the code into the UIButtonControl's Click event.
    Dim pMXd As IMxDocument
    Set pMXd = ThisDocument
    Dim pMap As IMap
    Set pMap = pMXd.FocusMap
    ' Make sure there is a selected layer in map
    If pMXd.SelectedItem Is Nothing Then
    	MsgBox "Must have a selected item in map"
    	Exit Sub
    End If
    If Not TypeOf pMXd.SelectedItem Is IFeatureLayer Then
    	MsgBox "The selected item must be a layer"
    	Exit Sub
    End If
    Dim pDispTab As IDisplayTable
    Set pDispTab = pMXd.SelectedItem
    ' create an empty selectionset and open a feature cursor
    Dim pFCursor As IFeatureCursor
    Dim pSelSet As ISelectionSet
    Dim pTable As ITable
    Dim pFeatCls As IFeatureClass
    Dim pFeat As IFeature
    Set pTable = pDispTab.DisplayTable
    Set pSelSet = pTable.Select(Nothing, esriSelectionTypeHybrid, _
    esriSelectionOptionEmpty, Nothing)
    Set pFeatCls = pTable
    Set pFCursor = pFeatCls.Search(Nothing, False)
    ' add all features that are not null to the selection set
    Set pFeat = pFCursor.NextFeature
    Do While (Not pFeat Is Nothing)
    	If Not pFeat.Shape Is Nothing Then
    		If pFeat.Shape.IsEmpty Then
    			If pFeat.HasOID Then
    				pSelSet.Add pFeat.OID
    			End If
    		End If
    	End If
    	Set pFeat = pFCursor.NextFeature
    ' apply the selectionset to the layer
    Dim pActiveView As IActiveView
    Dim pFeatSel As IFeatureSelection
    Set pActiveView = pMap
    Set pFeatSel = pDispTab
    pActiveView.PartialRefresh esriViewGeoSelection, Nothing, Nothing
    Set pFeatSel.SelectionSet = pSelSet
    pActiveView.PartialRefresh esriViewGeoSelection, Nothing, Nothing
  6. Close the Visual Basic Editor and click the UIButtonControl to run the code.
  7. Right-click the feature class in the Table of Contents. Select Open Attribute Table to display the features that have null geometries.

Article ID:000003699

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