How To: Convert shapefile polygons to polylines


This article shows how to convert a shapefile's polygon boundary to a polyline in ArcCatalog and ArcMap.


  1. Create a new polyline shapefile in ArcCatalog.
  2. In ArcMap, add the polygon shapefile and the new polyline shapefile.
  3. Select the Start Editing option in the Editor toolbar.
  4. Set the Task to Create New Feature and the Target to the polyline shapefile.
  5. Click Select All on the Context menu of the polygon shapefile.
  6. Select Copy from the ArcMap Edit menu or type Ctrl+C.
  7. Select Paste from the ArcMap Edit menu or type Ctrl+V.
  8. Save your edits.

    Attributes will not transfer between polygons and polylines using this method.