I would like to remove an island from the Costa Rica shapefile. This island is highlighted in the attached picture. There is not enough information in the attribute table for this island and that part is connected with some regions inside the Costa Rica map. I can not use the SELECT FEATURE to delete this part due to the lack of information in the attribute table.

How can I do this?

enter image description here

  • Can you select what you do want to keep and save that?
    – Pointdump
    Apr 21, 2022 at 22:56
  • 2
    There are many ways to select features that are not reliant on attributes, so you have prematurely discarded several of the available options. A simple Erase is probably the best solution is this case, but you have obscured the problem by hiding the problem description in an image. StackExchange works by having descriptive problem statements that allow others to find your Answer. If you're the only person who can benefit, that can discourage folks from donating 15-30 minutes of their time to write a complete Answer.
    – Vince
    Apr 22, 2022 at 11:49

3 Answers 3


Sounds like the problem is that it's a part in a multi-part feature? You can confirm this by using the select tool and manually selecting it, if other parts of Costa Rica become selected then you know you have a multi-part feature.

An alternative solution is this:

  1. Enter Edit mode.
  2. Go to Editor tool bar > Editor > More Editing Tools > Advanced editing
  3. Select the island (which will also select other parts of Costa Rica as it's a multi-part feature).
  4. On the advanced Editing tool bar click on the Explode multi-part Feature tool.
  5. Now select the offending geometry and delete it. This will leave the other parts as they are.
  • 1
    Step 6 would be to merge the exploded feature back into one multipolygon (if there is more than one part remaining)
    – Vince
    Apr 22, 2022 at 16:20
  • @Vince good point! The Merge tool is on the Editor tool bar.
    – Hornbydd
    Apr 22, 2022 at 18:11

Open an editing session and delete the vertices that make up the island.

  • That is not possible for me. I tried, but I couldn't. Is there another way?
    – Mike Adam
    Apr 21, 2022 at 20:39
  • 1
    @MikeAdam it is certainly possible, though not particularly descriptive or even the best approach. If you don't provide a description of the error you encountered, then no one can help you address the issue.
    – Vince
    Apr 22, 2022 at 11:20

Select all features except Costa Rica, and export the selected feature into a new shapefile.

  • 1
    If the island is a part in a multipart polygon, it might be necessary to use Multipart to Single Part first.
    – Vince
    Apr 22, 2022 at 11:24
  • then I suppose you have your answer
    – sutan
    Apr 22, 2022 at 15:31

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