I am working in ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 and/or 10.1.

I have two road network feature classes in a file geodatabase. I have created a 5 meter buffer around the first one, so it is now a polygon feature. The other feature is a line feature. I want to intersect the line feature road network with the buffered one and generate an output feature class that includes only the road lines that fall outside of the buffer.

When I run Intersect, the output is only the portion of the lines that fall inside the buffer.

Is there a process to "clip off" the lines that fall inside the buffer polygons and just output a line feature containing all the lines outside the buffer?

I am open to using other software if necessary. Thanks for your help!

  • 2
    I think the Erase tool would work...
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 18:24
  • Erase works perfectly. Thank you. How can I mark this as answered?
    – cgately
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 18:41
  • There's a little checkmark under the vote up/down by the answer. But mkennedy's answer was in a comment. If he posts it as an answer then you can accept it.
    – Pete
    Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 18:49

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure this warrants a full answer, but all rewards will go to a bounty I want to place tomorrow!

The Erase tool takes one or more features and uses them to remove any intersecting features from the input feature class. The erase feature type must be the same or higher order type as the input feature type. That is, if the input feature type is point, the erase feature type must be lines or polygons.

The ArcGIS 10.1 help topic is here.


Once you have selected the features that are inside the buffer you can use the "Switch Selection" button in the attribute table to invert your selection and get all the ones not lying inside. enter image description here

You can then export the selected features to a new feature class. To get the same results you could alsostart an edit session and delete the features that are selected inside the buffer, but this would alter your original dataset.

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