I have a polyline feature class and a polygon feature class. I would like to clip the extent of the polyline which are NOT overlaid on the polygon.

How can I do that?

I should be looking for similar tool as intersect, but intersect clips the polyline that overlaid on the polygon. I want an opposite of that.


If you have access to the advance license with ArcGIS you coudl use the 'Erase tool', you can read more here

Summary Creates a feature class by overlaying the Input Features with the polygons of the Erase Features. Only those portions of the input features falling outside the erase features outside boundaries are copied to the output feature class.

Keep in mind this as well

The Erase Features can be point, line, or polygon as long as the Input Feature is of the same or lesser order feature type. A polygon erase feature can be used to erase polygons, lines, or points from the input features; a line erase feature can be used to erase lines or points from the input features; a point erase feature can be used to erase points from the input features.

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If you don't have the advance license, this answer provides an alterntive method, below is the method

  1. Union A1 and A2 to make A3.
  2. Then select by location where A3 does not have its center in A2 (you may need to select A3 where it DOES have its centre in A2 and then switch selection). OR select by attributes as Union will append attributes from A1 and A2 to A3. This means it is very easy to identify which polygons are not covered by A2 by null attributes that have been acquired from A2.
  3. Finally save selection to a new layer.
  • 2
    Probably should point out that it's an Advanced license feature. – Vince Nov 29 '16 at 2:35
  • Yes, that's correct, I updated the answer with an alternative method found in another thread. Excellent reminder. – whyzar Nov 29 '16 at 2:42
  • Thx guys, but the erase tool doesnt split the line as different features like the intersection tool does, so i later on used the identity tool (and select the -1 feature) – benchenggis Nov 30 '16 at 3:25

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