Is there a way to perform a 'reverse' of the clip function in ArcMap?
I am not exactly sure how to explain this so here is a diagram:
Use the Erase (Analysis) Tool:
I have found this method to work:
Your "clip" feature layer will still be in tact, so go ahead and turn this layer off. This should perform a reverse clip.
Another free option if you don't have an Advanced license for ArcGIS is the Xtools Pro extension suite. Like ET Geowizards, some of the tools are only available if you buy a license but most of them are free forever, the Erase tool is one of the free ones.
How many polygons are you needing to 'reverse clip'?
IF it's just one or two, turn on your editing, select ALL the features that come into contact with this 'erase' polygon, then trace the erase polygon with the cut polygons editing tool. It'll slice up all your selected polygons. Unselect everything, then reselect the ones to delete, and just delete them. Silly workaround, but effective if you only have a few areas to 'reverse clip'.
Here is the code to do ERASE without advanced license.
1st run the intersect tool, it will select the areas that overlap between two feature classes. Then run the union tool, it will select all portions of the two feature classes but breaks at points where the feature doesn't have the same shape. Then run select by attribute to select the portions you want to delete.
Symmetrical Difference (Analysis) Features or portions of features in the input and update features that do not overlap will be written to the output feature class. Usage - The input and update feature class or feature layer must be of the same geometry type. Attribute values from the input feature classes will be copied to the output feature class.