I have a large dataset of habitat classes which I have further simplified down into my own unique classes.

However, it resulted in there being habitats adjacent to each other with the same forest classification system.

Is there any way to join these two (or however many there are touching that are classed as the same type) adjacent polygons into a single larger polygon?

When I use the tool Dissolve, it takes all of the habitats of the same class for the entire map and creates a single polygon.

  • Join is probably not the right word. Usually it describes an SQL concept. Dissolve, as @blah234 suggests, is better term, though might not make sense for this question. After all, if you knew the term, you probably wouldn't be asking. So maybe instead of asking about "Joining" it would be better to ask about "Combining". Apr 12, 2012 at 22:25
  • Thanks Kirk, I've updated the title for any other fellow novices that need to track this answer down. Apr 12, 2012 at 23:03
  • Oops, wrong link, here's the link for Join. Apr 13, 2012 at 1:53
  • Help me? Please! How to combine objects according to attribute fields whose output Area field is equal to the input? Input Feature: EXAM_region with field Area sum = 4814.34 ![enter image description here](i.stack.imgur.com/UwR98.png) I tried with tool Dissolve: Output Featue class must not have multi part geometries. ![enter image description here](i.stack.imgur.com/QGfTZ.jpg) EXAM_region_Dissolve with field Area sum = 10876.77 wrong with input 4814.34 My data file and workflow: mediafire. Mar 25, 2020 at 13:17

2 Answers 2


Try the Dissolve tool. From the help:

Use the Dissolve tool when you want to aggregate features based on a specified attribute or attributes. For example, you could take a feature class containing sales data collected on a county-by-county basis and use Dissolve to create a feature class containing contiguous sales regions based on the name of the salesperson in each county. Dissolve creates the sales regions by removing the boundaries between counties represented by the same salesperson.

Dissolve by sales region example
(source: arcgis.com)

To avoid creating multi-part features, uncheck the "Create multipart features" box.

  • Sorry, I actually meant to say I had used Dissolve (not Merge as I said). However, after Dissolving the file and then using Multipart to Single Part as mentioned earlier, I think it may have done the trick. Need to further investigate. Thanks! Apr 12, 2012 at 22:22
  • 1
    You can avoid the second step by unchecking "Create multipart features" on the Dissolve tool.
    – blah238
    Apr 12, 2012 at 22:30

You could try MultipartToSinglePart.

I am not sure if it will preserve all attribute information but it is quick to test.

  • Hey, thanks. I think a combination of this and Dissolve managed to do it. Thanks for the help. Apr 12, 2012 at 22:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.