Error: DLGARC - No Area attributes - Error reading DLG header

Solution or Workaround

Why does trying to convert DLG files from National Wetlands Inventory (NWI), (
US Fish and Wildlife) produce this message?

Arc: dlgarc optional test.1 test1

Converting Category from Map Clark_South,SD.
Scale is 24000, Resolution is 0.610.

No Area attributes in Category, PCODE file not created.
No Line attributes in Category, ACODE file not created.


In 7.0.4 the DLGARC command accepted some discrepancies in the DLG data, such as non-ASCII characters, as long as they didn't interfere with the value of the data.

In 7.1.1 DLGARC was rewritten and now it does not accept any non-standard ASCII characters.

In line 15 of National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) data there are 16 non-ASCII characters. Load the .dlg file into a UNIX textedit editor and verify line 15, it may appear something like this:
^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@^@ 873 873 01 594 594 010 904
904 1
On Windows NT, using Notepad editor, these characters may appear as small squares.

There are 2 ways of fixing the problem:

1. Delete these characters, and replace them with 16 spaces.

2. Delete these characters and replace them with the word: WETLANDS plus 8 spaces (makes 16 characters all together).

Make the correction VERY CAREFULLY, so everything other values are in the right format.

US Fish and Wildlife is aware of the problem, and they are working on fixing this data, but it will take a while until all the data is corrected.


A document that explains this problem can be found at the US Fish and Wildlife site:


This document contains the name of the contact there in case you have more questions.

This is not considered as ARC/INFO issue.

Related Documents:

11716 - DLGARC: standard format detected