I try to cut this polygon layer into parts

enter image description here enter image description here

and didn't succeed to cut this area: enter image description here

I get this error: "A polygon cut operation could not classify all parts of the polygon as left or right of the cutting line." I red

but didn't find an answer to my problem

But i don't understand why i did succeed to cut this area in the polygon: enter image description here

  • Did you snap to the line correctly?
    – MacroZED
    Sep 15, 2016 at 14:53
  • two possibilities I think, depending on where the rest of your line in fig. 2 was going. First, you aren't quite snapped to the line, actually crossing the line can help as well if there is a snapping issue. Second, if you have both feature parts selected as in the last image, and you are only trying to cut the upper one, it will fail, so you'd need to unselect the lower portion. Also, since you are not actually breaking the shape, it can also fail to register, since no new feature is being created
    – TDavis
    Sep 15, 2016 at 15:00
  • 1
    I thought you always had to cross the borders with the sketch line for the cut to work successfully - have you tried it without snapping?
    – Tim Sexton
    Sep 15, 2016 at 15:06
  • 1
    In the bottom cut, there is one polygon above the line and one below. In your attempted cut the same polygon is on both sides. Depending on what your needs are you could have continued your cut sketch through the white "polygon" to and then through the part of your selected polygon on its right.
    – John
    Sep 15, 2016 at 16:45
  • I always make sure to start outside the polygon and going well across the border on the other side, to make sure the border is crossed on each side. I've had some issues with just using snapping to the outline, especially with cut lines that have a lot of nodes (which, obviously, is extra annoying).
    – Martin
    Sep 16, 2016 at 7:34

1 Answer 1


To cut Polygons in ArcMap, start with selecting the polygon(s) which you want to cut and then make sure your cut polyline passes over all the selected Polygons.Image showing selected polygon with Cut polyline. The cut polyline should start and end at the edge or vertex of the selected polygon, if not across it. Another Example of cut If you want to cut the polygon from within (As if making it hollow) then your last cut polyline segment must cross the first segment.Closed Cut

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