Rookie needing guidance, extracting a portion of a map

03-28-2017 07:42 AM
New Contributor III

Good morning.

Our application runs off of the Arc Engine, but there are times I am asked to do something minor in ArcMap.  I am not sure if I am looking or using the right terminology to track down a solution, but I would have to assume my request is common.

I have a copy of our mxd file.  I need to cut or fence a portion of it (I have removed any layers not needed).  I'd like to save this portion of our map as a shapefile.  The part I do not know how to do, are the steps to fence the specific area in Arcmap.

Thank you for any guidance.

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5 Replies
MVP Regular Contributor

I believe you are interested in the clip analysis tool. ArcToolbox>>Analysis Tools>>Extract>> Clip

Best Regards,


New Contributor III

I have read up a bit on the Clip feature, viewed some options and properties/steps within ArcMap.

Because I have a few layers in play, I'm still figuring out what and how to do it

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MVP Frequent Contributor

The mxd is one thing. The data layers within it are another.

These layers point to specific datasets somewhere in your syste. Are these in an enterprise db? SDE or something.

If you want to "export" certain layers but only for a certain extent your will need to either use Clip as suggested above, or a graphical select.

Using Select By Graphics—Help | ArcGIS Desktop 

Clip—Help | ArcGIS Desktop 

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New Contributor III

Thanks Neil.  As Jim suggested, I realize the Clip option is what I need to use.  I am just trying to figure it out now.   The eventual goal is to provide a piece of our map in shapefiles.  That is what I am after.  I thought I was on the right path, but when I viewed my attribute table - all my records were still present, even with the clipped portion of my map showing.

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Occasional Contributor III

2 options:

A. depending on the sites of the features in the layers, one way would be to use the Select Features tool to select all of the data in your current map extent, then for each of your layers you want to export, right click on the layer in the table of contents and choose Data / Export Data

B. another easy way would be:

1. right click on Layers data frame and choose Data Frame Properties => Data Frame tab

2. under Clip Options, choose Clip to Shape, then specify Shape

3. change it to Current Visible Extent - Ok - Ok

4. then right click on each layer and export => export data

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