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I am using QGIS 2.18.

Can anyone explain how to cut the area of an overlapping shapefile?

For example I have a field with a track running through it. The field is one shapefile (a polygon) and the track is another shapefile (polygon) overlaying the field.

How can I cut the track from the field to show the background mapping data, (without manually having to cut around the shape)?

I assume there is a processing tool to do this but I can't get a tool to do what I want.

I essentially want an automatic cutting tool that will cut one shapefile based on another shapefile's outline.

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First, use the 'Dissolve' tool. This tool will unify the boundaries of your two polygons. If you need to dissolve any of the statistics together, this is where you can put those parameters in.

Then, you will want to use the 'Merge' tool. This tool will merge you attribute tables together, so that the new shapefile will have the data it needs. This new merged attribute table will have your feature located within the table. You might have to delete some extra merged features in the table, but your shapefile should be cut and updated.

Here is a link that helps explain some of the most important GIS tools that GIS analysts use frequently:

http://gisgeography.com/geoprocessing-tools/

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