I've no idea if this is basic or what but I have this data that contains multiple lines (forming a polygon shape). I want to convert those lines (multiple - each with a start and end point) to a single line. I tried dissolve, multipart to single part etc. I cannot use topology since it influences precision. I have zero knowledge of programming.

  • When you dissolved, did you check the "unsplit lines" option?
    – nmpeterson
    Mar 22, 2013 at 13:43
  • I checked it in both ways... :) dint work...
    – Ade'l
    Mar 22, 2013 at 14:02
  • For example, if you had a hexagon made up of six line segments, what would you like the final product to be? A single polygon? Or maybe a single hexagonal polyline with one attribute?
    – Aaron
    Apr 5, 2013 at 12:06
  • yeah either a single line or a single polygon (preferable)
    – Ade'l
    Apr 10, 2013 at 13:38

3 Answers 3


Try dissolving based off of OBJECTID or FID. Then use Feature To Polygon (Data Management) to convert your polylines to polygons if you wish. To illustrate, here are some sample lines:

enter image description here

Attribute table before dissolve by OBJECTID

enter image description here

Attribute table after dissolve by OBJECTID

enter image description here

  • where were u @aaron before I added this to bounty... :P well, this is working very well with exceptions like at times minor issues are faced. Once I get done ill b back... :) thx a lot
    – Ade'l
    Apr 5, 2013 at 14:05
  • yeah it worked out well.... thax a lot @aaron
    – Ade'l
    Apr 11, 2013 at 13:04
  • Having this same issue and the above solution is not working, no matter which field I dissolve on multiple lines persist Sep 5, 2014 at 15:49
  • @jeremythamm Are the polylines all touching? If not, you have broken geometry and need to fix that before doing the above steps.
    – Aaron
    Sep 5, 2014 at 15:56
  • 1
    @Aaron thanks, that was the issue, there was a tiny hole between two of the lines. Sep 5, 2014 at 21:26

If your lines are already in the same data layer, then you won't need anything from the toolbox -- just use the Editor, and follow the instructions in "Merging features in the same layer."

If you have different layers, first Merge them into one layer (Data Management | General | Merge), and then merge the features together using the Editor.

  • Hi @Erica, thanks a lot as it worked well with lil prob... this merge works only for two lines... More then two lines, and the option greys out... Is it possible to apply it to a number of lines....? I would need that as I have a bigger data set... :)
    – Ade'l
    Mar 22, 2013 at 14:04
  • Hmmm, it should be able to handle three or more into one long line -- which version of Arc are you working with? (I have 10.1, and it works.) Unfortunately, I haven't actually used this very frequently, so I don't know what sort of quirks you may run into like that.
    – Erica
    Mar 22, 2013 at 15:10
  • its 9.3 with me actually... I tried for the whole group first, failed... then I stepped back n moved to 4, failed, 3 failed and when I merged 2 lines it was a success... :)
    – Ade'l
    Mar 24, 2013 at 20:07
  • this solution is giving precision issues... cant use it for a large number of data sets... :(
    – Ade'l
    Mar 25, 2013 at 7:17
  • 1
    This is the solution. If you are unable to merge multiple lines on a single layer then there are other problems with either ArcMap or the data itself. Export your layer into a new file geodatabase, run repair features, create a new map document, load this single layer, start editing, select all featured and merge (editor menu) Apr 5, 2013 at 14:36

Not sure if this will work in your case, but suggesting to try the option "Convert Multipart Shapes to Single Parts" of "XTools Pro - Extension for ArcGIS"

  • tried it... but not much help... @aaron's idea is simpler and effective... :)
    – Ade'l
    Apr 5, 2013 at 14:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.