I am working a project that consists of manually digitizing geology layers from a scanned map. At the moment my process consists of me digitizing the small polygons and then the larger areas around them. After that I use the cut polygon tool within the editing toolset to cut out the small polygons within the larger area so that they then show through. (See pic below. Small polygons are yellow and larger area is red) My question is, is there a way within ArcMap that would allow me to create my small polygons and then the larger polygon area without having to cut the small polygons to allow for them to show through?enter image description here

  • Slightly off topic. Anyway with such distinctive color I'd use supervised classification and convert output raster to polygons
    – FelixIP
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


Usually during the digitizing process, it is better to start digitizing the big polygons first, then digitizing the smaller polygons located within the big polygons. You can refer to this answer on how to cut small polygons within a big polygon since the key point when cutting a small polygons is to activate Snap to sketch in the snapping toolbar, as you can see in the above answer.

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