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Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

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Using “Clip” to Remove Overlaps from the Feature Class
There are at least two different ways to solve the problem of the non-planar features. The first one is to use the small square as a “cookie cutter” to clip away the duplicated areas of the large square that is under it.
____ 10. Start ArcMap with a blank map. Add as data Small_Squares_1. Open its attribute table and dock it or reduce its size so that you can see the map. Make the color of the polygons Hollow or No Color, so you can see the boundaries when you are editing. Sometimes the large square blocks out the small square.
____ 11. Start editing. Click the Edit tool. Click the map somewhere away from either square. Click the center of the small square, and notice one square or the other is selected in the table. Now press the N key on the keyboard. This selects the Next feature, namely, the other square. Repeated pressings of the N key alternates the selections. If the N key doesn’t seem to work well for you, use the attribute table and select the features with it. Or use the tiny toolbar that may show up, whose drop-down menu lets you select the square you want. However you do it, end up with the small square selected.
____ 12. Drop the Editor menu down and click Clip.
This tool lets you create a new area, derived from the large square. What will remain from the large square is either (a) that area that intersects the small square or (b) what is left of the large square after an area equivalent to the small square ...

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