Features don't draw or draw with the wrong symbol after joining

Last Published: April 25, 2020


After joining a table to a layer attribute table, the layer doesn't draw, or it is symbolized incorrectly.


This is a known issue. Fields in a joined table use altered field names. For example, a field named population in the layer will be called layername.population.

Since the joined fields have different names, ArcMap can't find the symbology field. The first field in the join layer is used by default. Since the data in this field doesn't match the symbology classes, features are drawn with the wrong symbols, or are not drawn at all.

Solution or Workaround

  1. Right-click the layer and select Save as Layer file.
  2. Specify a location and file name. Click OK.
  3. Right-click the layer and select Properties.
  4. Switch to the Symbology tab.
  5. Click the Import button.
  6. Make sure the 'Import symbology definition from another layer in the map or from a layer file' radio button is selected.
  7. Click the layer Browse button.
  8. Navigate to the new layer file, select it, and click OK.
  9. Click OK on the Import Symbology dialog box.
  10. Select a Values field on the Import Symbology Match Dialog and click OK.
  11. Click Apply and OK on the Layer Properties dialog box.

Article ID:000004412

  • ArcMap 8 x

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