How To: Use the ArcMap Buffer Wizard to create an inside buffer for a polygon


The Buffer Wizard allows the creation of buffers inside a polygon as opposed to the typical outward buffer. This is useful for creating features such as setbacks. The instructions provided describe how to use the Buffer Wizard to create a single inside buffer for a polygon.


Use the following steps to add the Buffer Wizard to a toolbar and create an inside buffer.

  1. Add the ArcMap Buffer Wizard to a toolbar:

    A. Click the Customize menu and click Customize Mode.

    • For 9.x, go to Tools > Customize Mode.

    B. In the Customize dialog box, click the Commands tab, and in the 'Show commands containing box' field, type Buffer Wizard.

    C. The Buffer Wizard icon appears in the Commands window of the wizard. Drag this tool to a toolbar in ArcMap.

    Screen shot of Buffer Wizard tool icon in the customize window.

  2. With the Buffer Wizard tool docked to a toolbar, click the icon to launch the tool.
  3. Select the layer containing the polygon to be buffered. Click Next.

    First Page of Buffer Wizard.

  4. Select the 'At a specified distance' option, select the number of distance units for the buffer to extend into the polygon, and select the desired units of distance, for example, kilometers. Click Next.

    Second page of Buffer Wizard.

  5. In the last step of the wizard, under 'Create buffers so they are', select the option 'only inside the polygon(s)'.

    Last page of Buffer Wizard.

  6. Finally, specify an output shapefile or feature class and click Finish.
  7. Example output:

    Output of inside Buffer.


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