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I work on a regional level, within that region there are many towns.

Data only exists at a region wide level, I am trying to avoid creating town wide datasets to save time.

I am currently making a series of town wide maps and I've been able to clip to the shape of the town boundary as a workaround to exclude data outside of the town I am working in.

There are occasions when I need label outside the extent of the clipped town bondary, but I when I label outside of the clipped area it isn't shown because I am clipping to town boundary

So, my question is, is there a way to clip to a shape but also show layers and/or label/annotate outside of it of the clipped area?

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    Can you just not clip for those situations? What software are you looking to do this in? – artwork21 Dec 2 '16 at 19:51
  • I am using ArcGIS, I am not totally sure what you mean. – Mapsy Daisy Dec 2 '16 at 19:55
  • You want to show features and labels outside of layer, can you just not clip and then you will see those outside layers and labels. – artwork21 Dec 2 '16 at 19:57
  • it's like if I only had a California data set but I am making a map of LA. I need to clip the data to the shape of LA, but if I want to show surrounding say, neighboring towns or cities, how would i do that? – Mapsy Daisy Dec 2 '16 at 20:05
  • Clipping is for creating set(s) of data within a given boundary (boundary = LA boundary). If you want to see other cities and labels outside of said boundary then just zoom into the boundary (LA) and do not clip out the surrounding cities/features. There are other cartographic techniques to mask out features outside of a boundary so that they show but are more desecrate/faded. – artwork21 Dec 2 '16 at 20:12
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As I mentioned in my comment:

Clipping is for creating set(s) of data within a given boundary (boundary = LA boundary). If you want to see other cities and labels outside of said boundary then just zoom into the boundary (LA) and do not clip out the surrounding cities/features. There are other cartographic techniques to mask out features outside of a boundary so that they show but are more desecrate/faded.

Here are some cartographic options:

Fading outside features

Fading out outside features by applying different rendering tons based on if the feature is inside focus boundary or outside. Same with the labels, create two label classes based on if feature is in boundary or outside based on attribute field SQL query:

enter image description here

Feathering

This method brings the boundary area out and in focus more, see link Use Feathering to Accentuate the Area of Interest in Your Map, for how-to instructions.

enter image description here

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Create a clipped layer. It sounds like you know or can easily find how to do that. Then show the clipped layer(s) over-a-top the original. You can make the original, now background, fainter by using the transparency slider on the Effects toolbar (in ArcMap anyway; in Qgis it lives in the layer's Style).

Or you can change the symbology of the original (right-click>properties>symbology or right-click>properties>Style) to white-on-white (if you don't want to see any outlines or anything at all) or thin black boundaries with white or gray interiors to make it looks kind of secondary.

(And of course, that simple yellow polygon could be displaying all kinds of stuff).

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