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I have a fairly large file geodatabase in ArcGIS 10.1 containing both vector and raster datasets. Generally, I only want to work on a small extent at a time. Is it possible to clip a geodatabase to a smaller extent to reduce its size on disk?

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Sure, it's possible. But how do you define "clip" with respect to vectors? Do you want whole features that overlap your study area (as in a selection set) or do you want the features' boundaries truncated at your working window, as provided by Clip (Analysis)?… – Vince Oct 16 '13 at 12:21
Also, are you talking about a rectangular extent or any polygon being used as the "clipping" area? – PolyGeo Oct 16 '13 at 20:43
Yes clipped using a rectangular extent, truncating all features at the study area boundary :) – tristanm Oct 16 '13 at 21:15

Esri Forum Post

There's a post about it from June 2013. Andy writes:

At least with ArcMap 10.1 Advanced licence, the clip tool only accepts feature classes as inputs not [file] geodatabases (or feature datasets), so this won't work for people in many cases. I suspect that other licences/products (ArcMap on Server?) may do the above.

It is still pretty tedious to set up, but you can right click on the clip tool and select batch, and then create a row for each feature class you want to clip (need to create the new target geodatabase first). The "input features" browser will multi-select feature classes which helps.


I thought about geoprocessing environment 'Output Extent', but that does not clip, rather processes features that pass within the extent.

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