Knowledge Base - Technical Articles

Technical Article   HowTo:  Clip overlaying polygon area from an underlying polygon

Article ID: 30403
Software:  ArcGIS - ArcEditor 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS - ArcInfo 9.0, 8.3, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS - ArcView 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1
Platforms:  Windows 2000, XP, 2003Server


This article describes how to clip out an area of an overlaying polygon from an underlying polygon's total area.


  1. Start an edit session from the Editor toolbar.
  2. Using the edit tool, select the overlaying polygon. -show me-

    [O-image] Select Polygon
  3. Click the Editor dropdown and select 'Clip'.
  4. Leave the 'buffer distance' set to 0.00.
  5. Under 'When Clipping Features', select 'Discard the area that intersects' and then click OK.
  6. Delete or move the overlaying polygon. The underlying polygon has the overlaying polygon area clipped from the feature. -show me-

    [O-image] Final Output

Created: 1/25/2006
Last Modified: 5/3/2011

Article Rating: (2)
If you would like to post a comment, please login


By Anonymous - 05/11/2006 4:58 AM

Are the two polygons from the same shapefile or is this possible with polygons from two different shapefiles? If it is possible then it must be the layer you want to change, that you select to be edited right? What if this doesn't take effect?


By Anonymous - 02/23/2006 9:36 AM

Don't both layers have to have a defined projection? I believe the if one of the layers projection is UNKOWN the clip will not work or be available.