Performing reverse clip in ArcMap?

by Alan Carr   Last Updated February 13, 2018 12:22 PM

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:

enter image description here



Answers 10


Use the Erase (Analysis) Tool:

enter image description here

Jens
Jens
January 13, 2014 14:48 PM

Since Erase (as @Jens linked) only is available with an Advanced license, you can download ET Geowizards. It can be installed as an Arcmap toolbox.

Although you have to pay for the full suite, there's a free part of the program and the Erase function is included there (Overlay group).

Martin
Martin
January 13, 2014 14:55 PM

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.

Dan C
Dan C
January 13, 2014 20:52 PM

Another option here would be to perform a union and then delete the inner feature. After the union, select features from the initial layer and use the delete feature tool to remove the selected polygons.

Rob
Rob
January 16, 2014 16:58 PM

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'.

sara
sara
April 24, 2014 20:54 PM

I have found this method to work:

  • Start an editing session
  • Select the layer ('clip' feature or the 'output' as referenced in your image above) that you want to clip out of a larger polygon
  • On your editor toolbar, click the "editor" drop-down and select "Clip". Choose "discard the area that intersects"

Your "clip" feature layer will still be in tact, so go ahead and turn this layer off. This should perform a reverse clip.

Shelby Egan
Shelby Egan
March 14, 2016 20:45 PM

Here is the code to do ERASE without advanced license.

https://github.com/albykov/Python_Scripts/blob/master/eraseTool/o2erase.py

alby
alby
July 29, 2016 20:16 PM

Check out the select by location option. You can select all points falling within a feature layer. After these have been selected, go to the attributes and switch the selection.

Mike B.
Mike B.
September 13, 2016 21:00 PM

Personally, I just crate a reverse clipping mask. Create a rectangular extent of around all your features, cut a hole of your desired shape in it then use the clipping tool as per usual. Works just as well...

Jakub Sisak GeoGraphics
Jakub Sisak GeoGraphics
March 13, 2018 21:11 PM

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.

Map_Ninja
Map_Ninja
July 04, 2018 15:35 PM

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