I am using ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop with a Basic level license.

There are two overlapping polygon. Polygon A (with line stripes) and Polygon B (in beige color). Polygon A and Polygon B is a separate feature class. Both feature class contains similar attribute column details.

Is it possible to remove all area in A and get the remaining area B?

I've been trying to use Union but it does not works.

Pic1Pic2enter image description here

  • You do not say whether these polygons are in the same or different feature classes but in any event I think you should consider a Clip that discards what is underneath first. This is also known as an Erase but that tool is not available in Basic so you would need to use a workaround (available in another Q&A that I suspect this question will be a duplicate of). Would you be able to edit your question to let us know whether your polygons A and B are in the same or separate feature classes, please?
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 30, 2015 at 4:19
  • 1
    Assuming they came from different feature classes, you can do this from a Union. The polygons that have FeatureA_ID values can be safely removed... Open in ArcMap, do an identify on one area inside (note the id values) and outside (note the id values) select by attributes and delete. (keep a backup) If they are not in different feature classes (shapefiles) then find a way to make them into two feature classes, do a union (keep all attributes), and then select the ones that have feature A ID. Hint: remove all attributes from A except ID. Jun 30, 2015 at 4:29

1 Answer 1


I think you may want to do the following:

  1. Union your feature classes A and B
  2. Run Multipart to Singlepart on the result of 1
  3. Select on the result of 2 where FID_fcA = -1

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