Hawth's Analysis Tools for ArcGIS


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Input: any vector layer (point, line, polygon)
Output: multiple vector layers of the same type

  • for each unique value in a user-specified field, this tool creates a new shapefile containing only the features corresponding to that unique value
  • all attributes in the original table are copied to the new shapefiles
  • new shapefiles are named automatically (see below)


  • None


Getting started The vector layer you wish to split must be loaded into ArcMap before starting this tool.

Unique ID field The unique ID field can be an integer (strongly recommended), or a text field. If you use a text field you need to ensure that this field does not contain any entries that would interfere with this automatic naming convention:
original shape filename + _ + unique ID field name + _ + unique ID value + .shp
Thus the unique ID text field CANNOT contain special characters, e.g. / , ( ) * etc, and cannot be too long. I don’t have a great deal of error trapping built in to this tool, so you must make the effort to ensure that your unique values will work with this tool. Ideally, the unique ID field name will be short (e.g. UID, or ELKUID, or PLANTID, etc) and will contain integer ID’s.

Output folder When you run this tool one new shapefile will be created for each unique ID value in the field you specify. It is therefore important to ensure that 1) the output file does not already exist (best to use a new, empty output folder), 2) you have write permissions to the output folder, and 3) that there is enough disk space to accommodate a second copy of the vector layer (usually not an issue).

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