I am using county data to create a map of a very localized area (about a city block). The data includes parcel, sewer, water, electric, stormwater, imagery, centerlines, etc.

Is there any way to force ArcMap to only draw the data that is within my current layout view? Each time I move the map an inch or add something it seems like I'm waiting a long time for it to draw everything out in the background.

I know I can select features manually and create a new layer or shapefile with them individually, however, there are quite a few dozen feature classes that need to be shown on this map.

This is something that would probably be useful in general and I'm sure it's a setting I have overlooked.


You will want to check out Clipping The Data Frame. Using this option, arcmap will only draw features that exist within the specified shape. The shape can be the extent of a layer for a basic rectangular clip, a specific feature itself for more complicated boundaries (a county feature), or one of a couple other methods detailed in the page I linked.

  • Thanks, that was it! Completely forgot seeing that awhile ago. Jun 4 '13 at 20:20

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