I have a question regarding the editing tools. I have made this selections of lines then used the "union" tool to make them into one entity but the lines that were merged together are still on my shapefile "under" my bigger entity. (see picture)

enter image description here

Is there a way to delete all of the lines I used to create the bigger entity without having to select them one by one ?

I can't select in my attribute table because I have other lines that I need to keep.

  • Have you tried select by location with the 'shares a boundary' option? You can select within the same layer provided you have something selected, tick the box that says 'use selected features' to select the ones that shares a boundary but remember to unselect the one you want to keep (in the attribute table would be best). Jul 3, 2018 at 22:40
  • I just tried what you recommended and it worked great ! thank you !
    – tony-bof
    Jul 3, 2018 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


In this situation you can use select by location to select the underlying segments.. but first to make it a bit easier to conceptualize select the super feature resulted from the union, right click on the layer and select make layer from selected features (change the name to super feature layer), then switch selection and do the same with the inverse selected features (change the name to inverse feature layer). This will give you two mutually exclusive layers.

It is also a good idea to clear selection at this point just in case.

Now open the select by location dialog and use the selection layers to select share a line segement with the source layer feature like this:

enter image description here

You can do this without making the feature layers as stated in the comment but I think using the selection layers makes the process conceptually simpler and lessens the chance for mistakes.

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