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I have a SHP that includes the entire county and want to downsize it to a specific

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What software do you want to do it with? – lynxlynxlynx Jan 27 '13 at 20:15

In qgis 1.8 you can use Vector->Geoprocessing-Tools -> clip:

Select Input vector (ex: AUT in screenshot ) clipping-polygon-Layer (ex: clipper in screenshot) and save clipped layer to disk (ex: GEclipt).

Attenion: copy prj file from input-file over clipped-layer-file, because this prj-file is empty. After this you can use / add it ...

Of course you can digitze your clipping-polygon layer in qgis, so you can use almost any shape

enter image description here

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Using ArcGIS, there are two general methods for subsetting a shapefile. If you have features within your counties .shp (e.g. administrative voting areas, census zones etc), simply select those feature and export them as a new shapefile (Figure 1).

The second method involves clipping a subset of your county .shp based on a polygon. You can accomplish this using the Clip tool.

Figure 1 enter image description here

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In ArcGIS, to clip feature layer, you can use clip(analysis) tool. You can find it:

Analysis Tools-> Extract-> Clip

enter image description here

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You can import it in qgis. Then you can select that specific area using query on data in the attribute table and then when you got that area right click on your existing layer-->save selection as and then save that new vector layer as new shp file. I hope it works.

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