English

How To: Increase the character length for a text field in ArcMap

Summary

In some scenarios, users may want to modify the character length of an existing text field in an attribute table to include a longer name, such as a hyperlink. A hyperlink may not work in a field with a default length of 50 characters.

Users cannot increase the character length of an already existing text field. An example error message may appear when trying to edit a field value beyond the length allotted:
[O-Image] This field will only store strings
However, users can create a new text field with a length of 255 characters, and set the new field to mirror the properties of the original field. Instructions provided describe how to create a new text field in an attribute table to increase the character length allowed.

Procedure

  1. Add a new text type field in the attribute table. To do this, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help topic: Adding fields
  2. In the Add Field dialog box, after selecting the field type Text, input 255 in the Length box and click OK.
    [O-Image]
  3. Click the Editor menu on the Editor toolbar and select Start Editing.
    [O-Image]
  4. Right-click the new field and select Field Calculator.
    [O-Image]
  5. In the Field Calculator dialog box, double-click the required field name from the Fields list to enter the name into the expression box, and click OK.
    [O-Image]
  6. Go to the Editor menu and select Save Edits.
    [O-Image]
  7. Click the Editor menu and select Stop Editing.
    [O-Image]
    Users can now input text with a longer name into the new text field.

Related Information