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Cut a hole in a polygon feature

In the Modify Features pane, Split Split or Clip Clip can be used to cut a hole in a polygon. Holes in polygons are created as component part features nested in the parent polygon and subsequently deleted to create the hole.

Split and delete a part feature

To create a hole using split, click Split Split, select the feature, and create a closed cutting line in the feature. Select the nested feature that represents the hole and press the Delete key, or right-click and click Delete Delete.

  1. On the Edit tab in the Features group, click Modify Modify Features.

    The Modify Features pane appears.

  2. Expand Divide and click Split Split.

    The tool opens in the pane.

  3. To split editable features without selecting them, check Allow splitting without a selection in the pane and proceed to step 6.
  4. In the pane, click Active Select Active Select, and select the feature you want to modify.

    The selection appears as a list in the pane, and the construction toolbar appears at the bottom of the map.

    Construction toolbar
  5. To refine your selection, right-click a feature in the list and use the following commands on the context menu:
    • Flash Flash—Flashes the selected features in the map.
    • Zoom To Zoom to Selected—Zooms the view to the selected features.
    • Pan ToPan to Selected—Pans the view to the selected features.
    • Only Select This Unselect—Removes all other features from the selection.
    • Unselect Clear Selected—Removes the feature from the selection.
  6. On the Edit tab in the Snapping group, enable your snapping preferences.
    • Press and hold the Spacebar to temporarily turn snapping off.
  7. Create a closed splitting line that represents the hole in the feature using the tools on the construction toolbar.

    As you create the splitting line, the x, and y, coordinates appear in the vertices table.

  8. To close and finish the cutting line, use one of the following methods:
    • Snap to the first vertex of the cutting line or cross the first segment, right-click and click Finish Finish or press the F2 key.
    • Create the last open vertex, right-click, and click Square and Finish.

    The cutting line splits the selected feature, creating a nested feature that represents the hole.

  9. On the Edit tab, in the Selection group, click Select Active Select, and click the center of the feature that represents the hole.
  10. Do one of the following to delete the part:
    • Press the Delete key.
    • Right-click and click Delete Delete.
    • On the Edit tab in the Selection group, click Delete Delete.

    The nested part is deleted, leaving a hole in the polygon.

Clip a nested feature

To create a hole using clip, click Clip Clip and select the overlapping feature you want to remove as a hole. In the pane, specify a buffer distance of 0 (zero), click Discard Discard, and click Clip.

  1. On the Edit tab in the Features group, click Modify Modify Features.

    The Modify Features pane appears.

  2. Expand Divide and click Clip Clip.

    The tool opens in the pane.

  3. In the pane, click Select Select and select the overlapping feature you want to remove as a hole. This is the clipping feature and it must be on the same layer as the features you want to clip.

    The selection appears as a list in the pane.

  4. To refine your selection, use one of the following methods:
    • On the map, click the Selection Chip Switch Selection drop-down arrow, hover over the features in the list, and click the item when it highlights on the map.
    • In the pane, click an item in the list to flash it in the map, right-click the feature you want to edit, and click Only Select This Unselect on the context menu.
    Note:

    By default, ArcGIS Pro installs with the selection chip enabled. To learn more, see Configure selection feedback for editing.

  5. In the Buffer Distance text box, type 0 (zero).
  6. Click Discard Discard.
  7. Click Clip.

    The selected feature splits the overlapping feature and is deleted, leaving a hole in the polygon.