my problem addresses the union tool. I edited polygons in eight different layers because the area I investigate is quite big. Now I want to have all this edited polygons of these eight layers in one layer. The first problem is that when I use the union tool I have to choose a template which can only be one of the already existing. So I do not get a new one, but yes, this is one thing I could ignore. The more important thing is that when I use the tool the polygons do not exist for themselves anymore. They are ONE and I can not even pick a single one out of it. They do not occure in the attribut table. But I need every single of my created polygons listed with different FIDs because I want to do further calculations. I tried it with Feature to Polygon and this tool solves the problem BUT even worse is now that the main part of my already done work disappears. Most of the polygons are directly neighboured so I had to cut the polygons. And now after the union they are registered as one again so I would have to cut all these polygons again.

Is there someone who can help me handling this problem?

To sum it up again: I need to "union" the polygons of eight layers into one without resulting into neighbouring polygons melting together. They need to stay exactly as I edited them, everyone of them with a single FID.

2 Answers 2


Check out the 'append' or 'merge' tools they will just add the polygons to the new featureClass as individuals No geometry manipulations. just make sure they have the same attributes schema


  • Hi, trying merge I had an error message occuring: Input Dataset does not exist or is not supported. I checked everything, the path to my data is correct, everything seems to be okay. I don"t know what could be wrong with the datasets. I could not even run the merge tool. I can run append but an error occures as well: 229: cannnot open & failed to execute.
    – Thessla
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 9:01
  • try to do that is arc cataloge and try to work on FGDB not shapefile Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 15:25

Let's hope your polygons are not too big to try this. Choose random layer with polygon. Export it somewhere you know. Star edit and delete all features. So in that case you'll create a new layer with all necessary attributes. Turn on all of your layers. Start editing the new layer. Select all those big polygons. Copy it. Paste it to a new layer. Since you have big and complex polygon it may work a while. After it is done – click OK.

If your machine crashes – try copying one layer by one. Maybe it would work. You must also make sure those attributes which must be unique do not have any conflicts while copy & pasteing.

  • Okay, trying this an undetermined error occures. I tried it differently, I even tried copying the polygons of only one of my eight regions into a new polygon layer but even then -> undetermined error.
    – Thessla
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 8:57

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