How Clip (Analysis) works

Use Clip when you want to cut out a piece of one feature class using one or more of the features in another feature class as a "cookie cutter". This is particularly useful for creating a new feature class that contains a geographic subset of the features in another, larger feature class.

For example, suppose you are studying the transportation needs of a particular county. You would like to work with a feature class that contains only the roads or segments of roads that fall inside this county boundary, but all you have is a feature class containing roads for the whole state. You can clip the roads in the state roads feature class using the county polygon as the cookie cutter to create a new feature containing just the roads in the county.

Feature classes

The feature class that is having its features clipped can contain points, lines, or polygons. The clip feature class, however, must be a polygon feature class.

Clip polygon illustration

Clip line illustration

Clip point illustration


The attributes of the features in the output feature class are the same as those of the features in the feature class being clipped. Unlike the Intersect and Union geoprocessing operations, the attributes of the two inputs are not combined.