Hi, I've been tackling this issue for days & would really appreciate any tips.
In ArcMap 10, is there a way to "cut holes" in a specific polygon (using smaller existing polygons) without affecting the rest of the features in the same layer?
Here's the simplest example I can think of: Let's say I have a lake (polygon A) with several islands (polygons B, C, D). I also have polygon E that is identical to polygon A. I am trying to figure out how to get polygon E to represent just the water (i.e. minus the islands). All the features are located within the same dataset. Attempt #1: Clip Tool -- I tried to highlight just polygons E, B, C, D and use the Clip Tool. But to get it to work, it seems necessary to Merge B, C, & D together first, then Clip, then Delete. This isn't ideal in my case because I'd like to keep the island features intact & not completely erase them from the dataset. Clipping also seems to cut through ALL the features, including polygon A, which I'm not trying to cut.
Attempt #2: Move, Clip, Move Back -- My temporary solution has been to export polygons E, B, C, & D to a new dataset. Then do all the clipping there, ending up with just the clipped polygon E. Then I copy that back to the original dataset & delete the old polygon E. While this method keeps polygon A & the island polygons intact in the original dataset, I'm afraid this many steps in the process will lead to errors. I was hoping for a more efficient, more easily repeatable method for future projects.
Is there not a way to clip polygon E using the outlines of B, C, & D without messing with anything else? If not, is there still an easier way than what I described? I appreciate any help!
On a side note, is there a quick way to copy a feature from one dataset & paste it into another, or is it necessary to "Start Editing" in 1st dataset - Copy - "Stop Editing" then "Start Editing" in 2nd dataset - Paste - "Stop Editing"?
Sorry for such a long-winded question! Thanks for your time.