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How To: Create a new layer based on selected features


This article provides the steps to create a new layer, based on selected features in ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.


There are three options to create a layer based on a selection; they are almost identical in both ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro.

Using the Make Layer from Selected Feature button

Take into account that the layer created with this method is generated on-the-fly on the map, hence you must save it locally.
Make Layer from selected features.jpg
  1. Select the feature(s) desired with any select tool (standard, by location or by attribute).
  2. From the Table of Contents (ArcMap) or Catalog pane (ArcGIS Pro), right-click the layer.
  3. Point to Selection and click Make Layer From Selected Feature
    • In ArcMap, the button is called Create Layer From Selected Feature
  4. A new layer is created.
Using the Export Data tool
  1. Select the feature(s) desired with any select tool (standard, by location or by attribute).
  2. From the Table of Contents, right-click the layer.
  3. Point to Data and click Export Data (ArcMap) or Export Features (ArcGIS Pro).
  4. In the Export drop-down menu, ensure the Selected features option is selected.
    • In ArcGIS Pro, the tool does not have this option, so ensure the features are selected first.
  5. Select an output location, name and click OK.

Using the Feature Class to Feature Class tool

Instead of manually selecting the features first, this method uses an SQL Expression to select the features that accomplish the parameter defined. The picture below, shows an example where all the features located along the street called Mandarina, will be exported into the new layer:

  1. Open the Feature Class to Feature Class (Conversion) tool.
    • From ArcMap, use the Search pane or navigate to the ArcToolbox > Conversion Tools > To Geodatabase toolbox.
    • From ArcGIS Pro, it can be found in the Geoprocessing pane.
  2. Enter the SQL expression in the Expression parameter and validate it.
    • When using ArcMap, click the SQL button to open the Query Builder window.
    • This window is similar to the Select By Attribute window, create your expression and click OK.
  3. Complete the required parameters like the output location and name and run the tool.

Related Information

Last Published: 6/21/2022

Article ID: 000027786

Software: ArcGIS Pro 3.0, 2.9.3, 2.9.2, 2.9.1, 2.9, 2.8.6, 2.8.5, 2.8.4, 2.8.3, 2.8.2, 2.8.1, 2.8, 2.7.6, 2.7.5, 2.7.4, 2.7.3, 2.7.2, 2.7.1, 2.7, 2.6.9, 2.6.8, 2.6.7, 2.6.6, 2.6.5, 2.6.4, 2.6.3, 2.6.2, 2.6.1, 2.6, 2.5.2, 2.5.1, 2.5, 2.4.3, 2.4.2, 2.4.1, 2.4, 2.3.3, 2.3.2, 2.3.1, 2.3, 2.2.4, 2.2.3, 2.2.2, 2.2.1, 2.2, 2.1.3, 2.1.2, 2.1.1, 2.1, 2.0.1, 2.0, 1.4.1, 1.4, 1.3.1, 1.3, 1.2