How To: Create donut polygons in a geodatabase feature class


This article shows how to create donut polygons in ArcMap for a shapefile or geodatabase feature class.


Create donut polygons from existing features or create new donut polygons by following these steps:

  1. On the Edit toolbar, click Editor and click Start Editing.
  2. Click the Edit Task dropdown list and click Create New Feature.
  3. Click the Sketch tool and draw the outer border of the polygon. When the polygon is closed, double-click or right-click and click Finish Sketch.
  4. Change the Task to Cut Polygon.
  5. If you are cutting a polygon out of an existing feature, select the polygon with the Edit tool, then click the Sketch tool.
  6. Draw the inner polygon. Double-click exactly on the first vertex of the inner polygon to close the ring.

    Snapping can be turned on to work with the Edit Sketch so the interior polygon will close properly. If the last click that closes the polygon is not exactly on the first vertex, an error message will occur and the inner polygon will not be cut from the outer polygon.

  7. Optionally, select the inner polygon with the Edit tool.

    Hold down the Shift key if you have trouble selecting this inner polygon. Continue clicking until this polygon is selected.

  8. Optionally, delete the inner polygon.

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