I want to smooth polygons which share a common boundary. How can I smooth them so that the shared boundaries stay shared?

I'm using Arcgis 10.3

  • 3
    A little additional information would be helpful - I'm assuming vector, not raster? What have you tried so far? Have you tried using topology tools to achieve this?
    – MaryBeth
    Mar 7, 2016 at 12:50

2 Answers 2


The best way is to first convert your polygon to lines using polygonToLines (NOT feature to line) so that you have a single line shared by 2 polygones. Then you can smooth your lines and convert them back to polygons. If you need to keep the attribute table, create center point (INSIDE) for your original polygons and use those when you convert back to polygons.

  • and I think all the tools for that workflow are provided from arcmap. No hacking.
    – nickves
    Mar 8, 2016 at 20:21

There is a "Smooth Polygon" tool in the Cartography toolbox in ArcGIS. It has an option to flag any topological errors. It would be nicer if it had an option to not cause any topological errors, but at least it gives you breadcrumbs.

This link has a 10.3 version of the documentation, so I assume it would meet your needs of your version. http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.3/tools/cartography-toolbox/smooth-polygon.htm

  • that tool is surely for polygons on their own, and doesn't respect the shared boundary edge between multiple polygons.
    – Theo F
    Dec 10, 2020 at 13:38

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