I have a feature class of large boundary polygons and a feature class of small polygons. Some of these small polygons the boundary of two larger polygons by a very small amount. I'm trying to accomplish the following workflow but running into issues:

  1. Select a small polygon
  2. Select the large polygon that the smaller polygon is mostly within but has a very small amount crossing the boundary to two polygons.

The Select by Location tool has the option for "Have their Center in" which is...mostly what I want but with the features reversed. I want to select the polygon that contains the centroid/center of the selected feature/polygon. Is there a way to do this without running other tools first? I can't seem to get the feature that contains the center of another feature.

Is there another way to select a single large polygon when the input is a small, single polygon that crosses the boundary of two of the larger polygons by only by a very small area?

  • Can you add a screenshot showing what you want to select
    – BERA
    Jan 6, 2022 at 19:59
  • Here's a picture of what I was trying to select. imgur.com/a/slZzalr Jan 6, 2022 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


I couldn't find the answer online easily so hopefully this simple answer helps someone in the far future. You can use an INTERSECT with a negative number to cut off areas outside a certain distance, somewhat like using a reverse buffer to select by.

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