I want to dissolve these polygons (column FIRST_N03_003) except for FID 34 and 77. Essentially, the 003 column is the state, and the 004 column is the city, but some cities are independent and do not belong in a state, which is why the 003 column is left blank for those two particular cities. My goal is to dissolve column 003 but also keep those two cities, to add population data later (so that those 2 cities and the other states are treated on an equal level). Would there be any way to do that?

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This is what happens when I dissolve that column as is. I'm assuming the top row in the third column is those two cities, but they're not differentiated. The rest show the name of the states.

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Select the features that you do not want to include in the Dissolve. Now invert the selection so you have selected everything EXCEPT those features.

Now go to Geoprocessing > Dissolve

Choose the Dissolve Field (003 in your case)

Once that is completed you will have a new layer, now copy the two features that were not included in the Dissolve into the new layer.

EDIT: I forgot to say, make sure the field names in the attribute tables match perfectly, otherwise attributes won't copy across properly.

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    Does copying mean the same thing as joining the attribute tables? Copy/paste does not seem to work across different attribute tables. – user10831611 Jan 8 at 10:44
  • No not joining table. Try copying and pasting the features in the map view, not directly from one attribute table to another. Also make sure the field names match, otherwise attributes won't copy across properly – TeddyTedTed Jan 8 at 11:17

In addition to the solution by TeffyTedTed you could Create a layer from selected features so you can use your selection at any time.

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