Knowledge Base - Technical Articles


Technical Article   HowTo:  Create holes in polygons

Article ID: 24641
Software:  ArcGIS - ArcEditor 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS - ArcInfo 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS - ArcView 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1
Platforms: N/A

Summary

Sometimes it may be necessary to create new polygons with interior holes, or cut holes out of existing polygons. For example, a lake feature could be represented as a polygon without including islands as part of the lake's area. These holes in polygons can be created with the Sketch tool by digitizing an interior ring as a second part of the polygon shape.

Procedure


 The following procedure is for Version 9.3.1 and earlier. For later versions see Cutting Holes in Existing Polygons.



  1. In ArcMap, select Editor > Start Editing.
  2. From the Task dropdown menu, select Create New Feature.
  3. To cut a hole out of an existing polygon, click the Edit tool and double-click the polygon to see the Edit sketch.

    To create a new polygon with a hole in it, click the Sketch tool and digitize the outer edge of the new polygon from which you want to remove a part.

  4. Right-click on the edit sketch of the exterior of the polygon and click Finish Part.
  5. Digitize the area within the polygon that will not be included in the larger, exterior polygon. When cutting a hole from an existing polygon, it is necessary to select the Sketch tool first.
  6. Right-click and click Finish Sketch. The hole is removed from the area of the exterior polygon.

Related Information


Created: 3/7/2003
Last Modified: 10/22/2012

Article Rating: (3)
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Comments

By tlgevers - 01/30/2014 6:46 AM

Other - See details below.

This is sort of correct By Anonymous - 10/11/2006 9:59 AM Steps in article do not produce desired results. The following steps work: CREATE HOLES OR ISLANDS IN EXISTING POLYGONS: 1. In ArcMap, select Editor > Start Editing. 2. Click the Edit tool and double-click the existing polygon to see the edit sketch. 3.(see footnote) From the Task dropdown menu, select Continue Feature Tool. 4. Click the Sketch tool and digitize the shape of the new polygon that will define the “hole.” 5. Right-click and click Finish Sketch. This will leave your new hole. 3. Should read Continue Feature Tool(which I now made it read correctly), for Arcmap 10.1 Users. I was able to remove the section I did not need. The mistake is to go to create feature but this is actually a different toolbar than the create feature toolbar. We are not trying to create a new feature but continue the current one. See snapshot below:

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By jbcbirder - 10/19/2012 6:44 AM

The article needs to be updated.

How do you do this in version 10 !!!! when you see the vertices you can't access the sketch tool so this does not work.

By jquinada - 07/12/2012 3:38 PM

The article is incorrect or the solution didn’t work.

This was completely useless. Following the instructions word-for-word did nothing more than create a second polygon in my existing polygon, it did not create a hole.

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By Anonymous - 10/11/2006 9:59 AM

The article is incorrect or the solution didn’t work.

Steps in article do not produce desired results. The following steps work: CREATE HOLES OR ISLANDS IN EXISTING POLYGONS: 1. In ArcMap, select Editor > Start Editing. 2. Click the Edit tool and double-click the existing polygon to see the edit sketch. 3. From the Task dropdown menu, select Create New Feature. 4. Click the Sketch tool and digitize the shape of the new polygon that will define the “hole.” 5. Right-click and click Finish Sketch. This will leave your new hole/i

Rating: