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ArcMap Desktop Introduction: Combining Features and Layers

Combine features in the same layer

  • Dissolve: A tool that combines multiple features within a layer into one based on a common attribute value. Online help.
  • Merge features: Must be done in an editing session.  Can combine selected features within a layer. Online help.

Combine layers (Merge and Append)

You can combine layers (e.g., if the tracts for each county are separate layers and you need a single tract layer for an entier metro area) to get one layer.

  • You can use the  Merge tool.  The result is a new layer without modifying your original layers. Online help.
  • You can also use the Append tool to simply add the features in a second layer to your target layer. Online help.


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Mark Thomas
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