I want to cut a polygon layer with many small polygons (green) to the borders of a polygon-layer with only one large polygon (red). I use the standard geoprocessing clip tool in ArcMap 10.4. Why is it not clipping to the borders?

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  • 1
    Check to make sure your green polygon is topologically valid.
    – Vince
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:21
  • 1
    What are the coordinate systems of your clipping FC, clipped FC and dataset? Are you using any true rather than vertexed curves in your clipping FC?
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:28
  • Is that screenshot from before you run the Clip tool, or after?
    – Dan C
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:32
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    If they are buffers in a file geodatabase then I think they will contain true curves. Certainly a single point buffer will.
    – PolyGeo
    Jun 6, 2016 at 21:50
  • 1
    I have 2 advices for starters. 1. Repair your geometry. 2.Check if any is Z enabled, some tools would not intersect Z with noZ.
    – Tomek
    Jun 7, 2016 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


If you are using ArcGIS Desktop Standard or Advanced you can use the Construct Polygon tool or the Split Polygon on the Advanced Editing toolbar. You select the geometry you want to cut into the base polygon and click the tool. There are minor differences in between the tools but the basic outcome is the same: You have "stamped" the selected polygons into the base polygon.

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