Create a 2D or 3D buffer

In the Modify Features pane, Buffer Buffer creates a new feature around one or more polyline, polygon, or multipatch features at a specified offset distance. When you select polyline features, you can specify how to draw the ends of the buffer and on which side of the selected feature to create the new feature.

Optional settings include previewing the new feature before you create it, and dissolving two or more features into one nonoverlapping feature.


To create a new feature around another feature, select the feature, specify an offset distance, and click Buffer. For polyline features, you can customize the final shape of the new feature.

  1. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Modify Modify Features.
  2. In the Modify Features pane, expand Construct and click Buffer Buffer.

    The tool opens in the pane.

  3. In the pane, click Select Active Select and select one or more features.
    • To select multiple features, press and hold the Shift key.
    • To remove a feature from the selection, press and hold the Ctrl key and click the feature.
  4. Click the Template arrow and choose a feature template.

    The template determines the destination layer and resulting feature type of the new feature.

  5. In the Buffer Distance text box, type the distance around the selected feature to which you want the buffer to extend.

    The message Warning Enter buffer value greater than 0 appears when you type a value that is less than zero (0).

  6. In the Rings text box, type the number of multiple buffers.
  7. Check Preview to display a preview of the buffer.
  8. Check Dissolve to merge two or more buffers into one nonoverlapping feature.
  9. Specify the shape for the ends of the buffer:
    • Round Round End—Creates the buffer with round corners at each end.
    • Square Straight End—Creates the buffer with square corners at each end. This option is available only when selecting polyline features.
  10. When the selected feature is a polyline, specify the side of the feature to create the buffer:
    • Both sides Both Sides
    • Left side only Left Side
    • Right side only Right Side
  11. In the pane, click Buffer.

    A polyline, a polygon, or a multipatch buffer feature is created around the selected features at the specified offset distance.

In this topic
  1. Buffer