Reassign features to multiple subtypes after using the ArcMap Object Loader

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Instructions provided describe how to reassign features to multiple subtypes after using the ArcMap Object Loader. The Object Loader is designed to load features from the input data source into the subtype defined as the Target Layer in the Editor toolbar. If no subtype is specified, objects are loaded into the default subtype. However, if the input data has a column with the appropriate subtype values, it is possible to load them all at once into the default subtype and easily reassign them to the appropriate subtype after they are loaded.

Before deciding to follow this procedure, it is important to keep in mind that the Object Loader can take an extended time for large datasets -- especially when loading into a geometric network. For those situations, each feature can take 2-3 seconds or longer to load. The Simple Data Loader command in ArcCatalog is better suited for large batch data loads because it is much faster. However, this command cannot be used for loading into a geometric network. If the target feature classes are in a geometric network, be prepared to first drop the network, and rebuild it after the load is completed.

If the Simple Data Loader is run on versioned data at the same time the target feature class is loaded into ArcMap, there is a risk that the data recently loaded may not be seen.


The subtype that a feature falls in is determined by the value for that feature in the column that is defined as the feature classes subtype column. Therefore, one can reassign the subtype that a feature falls in by changing the value in this field to the one for the desired subtype.

  1. Load into ArcMap the feature class that is the destination for the Load Objects command.
  2. Open the feature classes' attribute table.
  3. Click on Options button at the bottom of the table window, then right-click on the Add Field menu item.
  4. Name the field 'subtype_temp'. Set the Type to Long Integer, and click OK.
  5. Start an edit session. Set the Edit Target to the feature classes' default subtype.
  6. Click on the Load Objects command.
  7. Navigate to the source data, select it and click Open. Click the Add button, then click Next.
  8. The next dialog box in the wizard allows the match of fields in the input and destination data sources. The 'subtype_temp' field should show up in the Target Field list. Match this field up with the corresponding field in the input data. Continue mapping all the desired fields from the source data to the appropriate fields in the destination, then click Next.
  9. Continue through the wizard until the operation is complete.
  10. Open the Destination feature classes' attribute table.
  11. Click on the Options button > Select by Attributes
  12. Enter the following for the Where clause in the Select By Attributes dialog box: [subtype_temp]>0. This selects all the records that have any value, or are not null, in the subtype_temp field. These are the records for the features just loaded.
  13. Right-click on the feature classes' subtype field and select Calculate Values. Set the subtype field = subtype_temp. Click OK.
  14. Now confirm the results. The new features should now be assigned to their proper subtypes.
  15. If everything appears correct, stop editing, re-open the attribute table, right-click on the subtype_temp field and click on Delete.

Article ID:000007095

  • ArcMap 8 x
  • ArcMap 9 x

Receive notifications and find solutions for new or common issues

Get summarized answers and video solutions from our new AI chatbot.

Download the Esri Support App

Discover more on this topic

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options