Exporting a coverage to a shapefile may truncate field values

Last Published: April 25, 2020


Exporting a coverage to a shapefile, using ArcCatalog or ArcToolbox, may truncate the values for particular fields.


The algorithms ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox use to export coverages to shapefiles assign precision and scale to the output fields, which may truncate values. If the original coverage field is a float with no set precision and scale, ArcCatalog and ArcToolbox will set a precision and scale for this field in the exported shapefile. Sometimes the set scale will not be large enough to capture all the data from the decimal.


Use ArcMap to export coverages to shapefiles. The algorithms used by the export command in ArcMap will set a scale sufficiently large enough to capture all the data right off the decimal.

  1. Add the coverage to ArcMap.
  2. Right-click the layer in ArcMap's Table of Contents.
  3. Click Export Data under the Data menu.
  4. Click the Browse button and navigate to where the data will be stored.

    Verify the file format is specified as shapefile in the Save as Type dropdown list.

  5. Click Save and click OK

Article ID:000003500

  • ArcMap 9 x
  • ArcMap 8 x

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