I am using ArcMap 10.1.

Today while making a map I encountered a problem with the fill from one of the displayed polygons flooding the whole map:

enter image description here

Notice the upper right corner where the polygon appears hollow, it should have the dots inside of it, not the other way around.

Thinking back to my days of playing with MS Paint it occurred to me that the fill was acting like the 'Flood Fill' tool does when the area you are trying to fill isn't entirely closed.

On a whim, I moved the map slightly to the west, so that the polygon didn't break on the edge of the map, and amazingly, the problem immediately disappeared:

enter image description here

Has anyone else encountered this type of drawing error?


2 Answers 2


This occurs when geometries are "not simple". In your case I'm guessing the ring directions of the geometries are incorrect. Run the Repair Geometry tool to fix the problems.

  • And in my case 10.0.2. Repair geometry didn't fix it. I had to go to the polygon that the bleed started on. It was not a ring. It did have a huge number of vertices in that one area and I suppose it either had multiple instances of self intersects or duplicate nodes after thinning (manual weed) them out and running repair then it stopped.
    – Brad Nesom
    May 18, 2013 at 6:14

I haven't seen polygon bleeding for years in ArcGIS but believe it or not updating the graphics drivers fixed it at the time.

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