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The reason for this question is I don't know the terminology to describe what I want to do!

Basically in the attached image I have take a selection of features. I want to, effectively, copy and paste that selection into a map blank map so I can zoom in just one those features without the context of the rest of the map.

I just want to isolate these features alone for study, however copying the selection and pasting from clipboard gives me the entire map.

Is this doable?

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There are a few ways to get what you want.

  1. You can create a definition query on your dataset to show only the selection you want. To do this right click the layer > properties > definition query. Here you can create an SQL query to define what you want. Please see the link for more information

  2. Using the selection you've made, you can create a new layer from selection. This creates a brand new (temporary) layer in your table of contents. You can do this by right clicking the layer > selection > create layer from selection. See link for more information.

  3. Using the selection, you can create a brand new dataset/shapefile/featureclass. This will create a permanent dataset from the selection. To do this right click > export data. Make sure you export "selected features only" in the dropdown. See link for more information.

With all of these, you can import them into a new blank ArcMap document by opening up a brand new ArcMap window and dragging the new layer/selection layer across.

  • thanks for such a thorough and helpful answer. Could you perhaps indicate what is in your opinion the best way to retain the features i.e colours of the map? To put it another way, I've tried point number 2 which works however because it takes the selected features out of the comparison with the rest of the features, the coloration in comparison completely changes. I have posted examples of what happens using method 2, above. – Henry Cann Feb 7 '17 at 12:23
  • Apologies but further to that I have managed to do what I described above using the SQL query builder you describe. It works a treat. Thanks – Henry Cann Feb 7 '17 at 12:57

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