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How To: How to import Microsoft Excel table data with field lengths greater than 255 to a file geodatabase

Summary

Microsoft Excel table data with field lengths greater than 255 characters can be imported to a file geodatabase. However, ArcMap converts the field with data containing more than 255 characters into the binary large object (BLOB) field type. Data converted to BLOB type is not readable by ArcMap; this is currently a known limitation. In ArcMap versions 10.1 through 10.3.1, save the Excel table as a tab-delimited text file or a CSV file.

Note:
Prior to ArcMap 10.1, no alternative workaround exists.

Procedure

Instructions below describe how to import Microsoft Excel table data with field lengths greater than 255 to a file geodatabase.

  1. To save the Excel table as a tab-delimited text file or CSV file, navigate to File > Save As > Save As Type.
  2. Navigate to ArcToolbox > Conversion Tools > To Geodatabase > Table to Table, or right-click the geodatabase, and click Import > Table.
  3. In the Table to Table dialog box, select the desired text field as the 'Input Rows'.
  4. In the Field Map section, right-click the field containing the long text values, and select Properties.
  5. In the Output Field Properties dialog box, change the 'Length' property to a value that accommodates the length desired.
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  6. Click OK to begin the conversion.

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