I have an annotation feature class with several overlapping features within the same layer.

While editing in ArcMap 10.3, I am trying to draw a selection box to select multiple features but only want to select the top most features.

Is it possible to limit the selection in this way?


2 Answers 2


I do not know how to do that with ArcMap except with your method. OpenJUMP has a special tool for making it easier to select just some of the overlapping features. For example in the case presented in this image clicking the smallest polygon with the normal selection tool selects also the two other polygons.

enter image description here

The Select MultiItems tool does not select features directly but it builds a list of the candidate polygons and lets user to do the final selection with check boxes.

enter image description here


Do you mean top most in the stack of data, or top as in top of the page(furthest north)? If you mean highest in the layer stack then right click the layer in the table of contents, go to Selection-Make this the only selectable layer.

  • 2
    I suppose that user has the overlapping features on the same layer.
    – user30184
    Jun 21, 2017 at 6:20
  • Yes @user30184 is right. My manual workaround for this is to identify a feature, see if there are 2 features in that location, and unselect the one I don't need. It's a bit tedious with hundreds of these features. Jun 21, 2017 at 13:57

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.