##
Error Message

In ArcMap, when a record in a numeric field on a DBF table is populated, the following error message displays:"This number field can only have <x> digits to the left of the decimal."

## Cause

ArcMap has an error-checking capacity that is used in ArcGIS 9.2. This error-checking capacity validates entries in DBF fields that honor the precision and scale specified for the field. The problem occurs when the precision exceeds 14. Certain combinations of precision and scale yield an error message that may not correspond with the value entered in the table. For example:

Entering a three digit value in a field of type double with a precision of 18 and scale of three yields a message that states:

'This number field can only have 15 digits to the left of the decimal.'

A precision/scale of 15/3 respectively returns:

'This number field can only have 12 digits to the left of the decimal' when any number is entered.

16/2 yields the following error message when more than eight numbers are entered:

'This number field can only have 14 digits to the left of the decimal.'

##
Solution or Workaround

Create a new numeric field of type double without specifying a precision and scale. Populate the numeric field with the records from the existing field using the field calculator.