Intersecting features

Intersect creates a new feature from the common areas or edges of any two selected features of the same geometry type. The new intersected feature is created using the settings specified in the chosen feature template.

You can create a new feature from the intersection of features of different layers, but the layers must be of the same geometry type (either line or polygon). The original features are maintained, and the new feature is created without attribute values in the current layer. You must manually enter attribute values for the new feature.

For instance, you can create a new sales territory out of overlapping sales areas. The top image shows two selected sales areas, and the bottom shows the result after using the Intersect command: a single sales territory (the purple selected feature) is created from the common sales areas.

If you are trying to intersect line features, they must share a common edge. For example, two lines that cross one another (for example, as an X) share a common point but not a common edge. To break this type of line intersection, use the Planarize Lines command located on the Topology toolbar or the Split tool on the Editor toolbar with intersection snapping enabled.

The Intersect command works on selected features, allowing you to choose which features are intersected in the output, although you cannot specify the output's attributes. On the other hand, the Intersect geoprocessing tool creates new features from the overlaps in all input layers or feature classes, and it allows you to determine which attributes from the input features are transferred to the output feature class.

  1. To use the Intersect command, you must first add it to a toolbar from the Commands tab of the Customize dialog box. Intersect is found in the Editor category.
  2. Click the Edit tool Edit Tool on the Editor toolbar.
  3. Click the features from whose intersection you want to create a new feature.
  4. Click Intersect on the toolbar to which you added it.
  5. Choose the target in which the new feature will be created.
    • If you have feature templates for the layers in your map, click the Template button and click the template to use to create the new feature. You can also double-click the preview of the template to choose a different template.
    • If you do not have feature templates, click the layer in which to create the feature.
  6. Click OK.

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