Hello, the title says it all.
For the life of me, I can not figure out how to create a simple polygon that would allow me to clip shapefiles from within that polygon, then export to dwg. I'm fairly certain I have figured out how to complete the last part (geoprocessing -> clip; then ArcToolBox -> export to dwg), but I can not figure out the first part. Internet and forum searches have not been useful, I suspect I'm using the wrong terminology.
For an example of what I'm trying to do (and the sole reason I purchased the program yesterday):
Our county has 2ft contours in a shapefile. When I create a site sketch (in Autocad) I would like to import those contours into Autocad. So, in ArcMap, I find the piece of property and would like to select contours only within the approximate bounds of the property. The select feature grabs the full length of each contour. To reduce the file size, I would like to clip the contours only within the property boundary. This is where I'm stuck. It seems from my GIS classes 15 years ago, this was a fairly rudimentary function. Can someone please give me the baby steps?
This is, at this point and for the foreseeable future, the only function I will use ArcMap for. So while training is in the cards, it is time I cannot take away from work right now.
As a bonus question, though this is likely not the correct area, I have a fairly "high powered" computer Win 7x64, 6 core @ 3.8, 32 GB memory, FirePro W4100. ArcMap really bogs down when loading large data files, (the County contours @ 800MB). Like over 30 seconds to refresh the screen every time I zoom or pan too much. Is there any way to tell my computer to allow this program to command as much performance as it wants?