I have 30 shapefiles, each of which I want to be clipped with another 3850 shapefiles (contain only one polygon). I know I need a loop in Python and use ArcPy. But I'm very new to Python. Here's my code but I got error:

ERROR 000732: Clip Features: Dataset C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Ropme does not exist or is not supported

Failed to execute (Clip).

import os
import arcpy
from arcpy import env

# setting my source and target geodatabase 
SourceWorkspace = r"C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Results"
TargetWorkspace = r"C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing"

#setting my clip feature (which is a polygon)
clipfeature = r"C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Ropme\*.shp"

env.workspace = SourceWorkspace

fclist = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses()

for fc in fclist:
    outClipFeatureClass = os.path.join(TargetWorkspace, "clip area_" + fc)
  • So you have two groups of shapes. Do you mean each of 30 shapefiles need to be clipped by all other 3850 ones?
    – ArashMad
    Dec 27, 2020 at 9:29
  • clipfeature parameter that you've passed to Clip_analysis should be a shapefile ends with .shp but it is a url I guess.
    – ArashMad
    Dec 27, 2020 at 9:52
  • yes, I need another list for Clip feature because I have 3850 shapefiles. but I don't Know how can do this? Dec 27, 2020 at 9:59
  • Second argument passed to Clip_analysis should be a shapefile ends with .shp but clipfeature is a url.
    – ArashMad
    Dec 27, 2020 at 11:16
  • Wildcards are not legal in nearly every function within ArcPy. You always need to use a list function and iterate (wildcards are only valid in list functions).
    – Vince
    Dec 27, 2020 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


This does not look like the path to a polygon feature class:

clipfeature = r"C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Ropme"

It should maybe a feature class in a file geodatabase:

clipfeature = r"C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Ropme.gdb\polygons123"

or a shapefile:

clipfeature = r"C:\Users\Farzane\Desktop\Master97\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Ropme.shp
  • In fact, this is a path to the folder containing the shapefiles needed for the clip feature classes. Dec 27, 2020 at 11:38

If you want to execute clip analysis multiple time for each of 30 shapefiles, do something as follow:

import os
import glob
import arcpy
# setting my source and target geodatabase 
src_dir= r"\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\source"
des_dir = r"\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\target"
#setting my clip feature (which is a polygon)
clippers_dir = r"\GNOMEmodeling\Postprocessing\Ropme"
arcpy.env.workspace = src_dir
fclist = arcpy.ListFeatureClasses()
clippers = [glob.glob(f) for f in [clippers_dir + '/*.shp']]

for fc in fclist:
    src_file_dir, src_file_name = os.path.split(clipper)
    for clipper in clippers:
        clipper_dir, clipper_name = os.path.split(clipper)
        clipper_name = src_file_name.split('.')[0] + "_" + clipper_name 
        output_dir = os.path.join(des_dir , clipper_name)

Please remember Clip_analysis is executed once and accepts two shapefiles. Therefore you will have 30*3850 individual clipped shape files when it finishes.

  • I have the merged shapefile which contains 3850 polygons but I need to clip them individually with 30 other shape files and then perform another operation. However, thanks for your first code, it is very helpful. Dec 27, 2020 at 11:46
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – ArashMad
    Dec 27, 2020 at 13:27
  • I ran the last code you sent and got an error. I think I should update fclist with the replace command. But I do not know how? AttributeError: 'list' object has no attribute 'replace' Dec 28, 2020 at 18:51
  • No, because I haven't 20 reputation on The Stack Exchange Network. how can I fix it? Dec 28, 2020 at 19:04
  • thanks, my problem is solved. Dec 28, 2020 at 20:16

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