I have a layer of polygons in which I only want to keep the polygons that are intersecting the blue line.

How do I erase/delete polygons that are not intersecting the line?

enter image description here

The selected polygon in the image is an example of one I want to delete since it is not intersecting the above blue line.

I'm using ArcGIS 10.1 for Desktop.

  • I would also do it like @phloem and would build a model like mapmaker only if it was not a one time task and I had to do it repeatedly.
    – Shrestha
    Feb 18, 2015 at 18:39

2 Answers 2

  1. Start editing
  2. Select by location the polygons that do intersect the line
  3. Switch the selection
  4. Delete polygons


  1. Select polygons that intersect line
  2. Export selection to new layer

Building on @phloem's answer, an automated way to do this would be:

Build a model and use the select layer by location tool on your inputs to do a normal selection to select the polygons that touch (intersect) the blue lines

Then add another select by location tool - but switch the selection method to 'SWITCH_SELECTION' to grab the polygons that do NOT intersect the blue lines

Then tack on the delete features tool to remove the polygons that do NOT touch the blue lines, leaving only the polygons that do:

enter image description here

Thanks for the note @phloem!

  • Just a note that you would have to include two Select Layer By Location tools: one to select the polygons that intersect the line, and another to switch the selection. SWITCH_SELECTION only switches the selection before the tool was run, not the selection as defined within the tool (Selecting Features and Relationship are ignored).
    – phloem
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:28
  • @phloem ah I was wondering... I will update the graphic! thanks! Feb 18, 2015 at 21:36
  • No worries, it was a surprise to me, too.
    – phloem
    Feb 18, 2015 at 21:46

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