Problem: Coded value domain descriptions are not maintained after exporting data


When exporting the table of a feature class with coded value domain descriptions in ArcMap, the coded value is displayed instead of the descriptions.


This is a known limitation. ArcGIS, by default, exports domain codes instead of domain descriptions.

Solution or Workaround

Select one of the solutions shown below. Option A allows the particular table to display the coded value domain descriptions, whereas Option B allows all tables exported to display the coded value domain descriptions. Option C can be used to display both coded domain values and descriptions.

Option A

1. Open the exported table.
2. Click Table Options > Appearance.
3. Check the 'Display coded value domain and subtype descriptions' check box.

The coded value domain descriptions are displayed.

Option B

Change the Environment settings, and use the Table to Table tool.

1. Click the Geoprocessing menu > Environments. This opens the Environment Settings window.
2. Click Fields, and check the 'Transfer field domain descriptions' check box. Click OK.

3. Navigate to Conversion Tools in the Catalog window > To Geodatabase > Table to Table.
4. Select a table as the input, and specify the output location and the name of the output table. Click OK.

Option C

1. Use the Domain to Table tool to export the domain and domain descriptions.
2. Join the table to the source feature class.
3. Export the joined table to a shapefile.

Option C adds a new field for domain descriptions. For more information on exporting a feature class to a shapefile containing domain descriptions instead of domain codes, refer to the following article, HowTo: Export a feature class to a shapefile that contains domain descriptions instead of domain codes.

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