How To: Create holes in polygons
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.
The following procedure is for Version 9.3.1 and earlier. For later versions see Cutting Holes in Existing Polygons.
- In ArcMap, select Editor > Start Editing.
- From the Task dropdown menu, select Create New Feature.
- 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.
- Right-click on the edit sketch of the exterior of the polygon and click Finish Part.
- 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.
- Right-click and click Finish Sketch. The hole is removed from the area of the exterior polygon.
- Create donut polygons in a geodatabase feature class
- Create donut polygons from existing features in ArcMap