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Create adjoining polygons

In the Create Features pane, the polygon autocomplete construction tools automatically sketch boundary segments that are shared with other polygon features. The shared boundary is inferred between the first and last vertex where they touch or cross other polygon features and form a traceable contiguous path.

Vertices for z-enabled 3D polygons are interpolated to follow the angular pitch of the adjoining polygon feature. For steps to specify z-values, see Specify an elevation for 3D features.

Autocomplete Polygon

To create an adjoining polygon, click Autocomplete Polygon Auto-Complete Polygon. Create the new polygon feature, cross the adjacent feature in at least two places, and click Finish Finish. The adjoining polygon boundary is automatically traced.

  1. In the Catalog pane, do one of the following to add the layer to your map:
    • Expand Databases Databases, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • Right-click the default database and create a new polygon feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off as you sketch a feature.

  3. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a polygon feature template.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  5. Next to the tool palette, click the Active template button Forward.

    The tool palette and the feature attribute table for the template appear in the pane.

  6. In the attribute table, type the values you want to apply to the new feature.
    • For group templates, click a template icon to display its attribute table.
  7. Click Autocomplete Polygon Auto-Complete Polygon.
  8. Click the first vertex inside the polygon feature with which you want the new feature to share a boundary.
  9. Create the remaining segments using one or more of the following methods:
    • Drag and click the pointer using the active tool.
    • Right-click and use the context menu to specify x,y,z coordinate locations, distance, and direction.
    • Use the tools on the construction toolbar to include other segments in a series of connected arcs, curves, or straight lines.
      Construction toolbar
    Note:

    Do not sketch the shared boundary segments.

  10. Click the last vertex inside the polygon feature so that the new feature crosses the boundary in at least two places.
    Caution:

    When the new feature spans across two or more unconnected polygon features, the first and last vertex must be inside or touch the same polygon.

  11. To finish the feature, right-click and click Finish Finish or press the F2 key.

    Shared boundary segments between the first and last vertex are automatically traced along the inferred contiguous path.

Autocomplete Freehand Polygon

To create an adjoining free-form polygon, click Autocomplete Freehand Polygon Auto-Complete Freehand. Click and drag the pointer to create the new polygon feature, cross the adjacent feature in at least two places, and click the map. The adjoining polygon boundary is automatically traced.

  1. In the Catalog pane, do one of the following to add the layer to your map:
    • Expand Databases Databases, expand the database containing your data, and drag the feature class onto the map.
    • Right-click the default database and create a new polygon feature class.

    Creating a feature class or dragging one onto a map adds the layer to the current map and creates a feature template with default settings.

  2. On the Edit tab, in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    Tip:

    This tool temporarily disables snapping until you finish a feature. You can press and hold the spacebar to temporarily turn snapping on as you sketch a feature.

  3. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  4. In the pane, click a polygon feature template.

    The construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

  5. Next to the tool palette, click the Active template button Forward.

    The tool palette and the feature attribute table for the template appear in the pane.

  6. In the attribute table, type the values you want to apply to the new feature.
    • For group templates, click a template icon to display its attribute table.
  7. Click Autocomplete Freehand Polygon Auto-Complete Freehand.

    If snapping is turned on, it is temporarily disabled until you finish the feature.

  8. Click the first vertex inside the polygon feature with which you want the new feature to share a boundary.
  9. Drag the pointer across the polygon boundary and sketch the new feature.
    Note:

    Do not sketch the shared boundary segments.

  10. Click the last vertex inside the polygon feature so that the new feature crosses the boundary in at least two places.

    Shared boundary segments between the first and last vertex are automatically traced along the inferred contiguous path.

    Caution:

    When the new feature spans across two or more unconnected polygon features, the first and last vertex must be inside or touch the same polygon.