Increase the character length for a text field in ArcMap

Last Published: April 25, 2020


In some scenarios, users may want to modify the character length of an existing text field in an attribute table to include a longer name, such as a hyperlink. A hyperlink may not work in a field with a default length of 50 characters.

Users cannot increase the character length of an already existing text field. An example error message may appear when trying to edit a field value beyond the length allotted:

[O-Image] This field will only store strings

However, users can create a new text field with a length of 255 characters, and set the new field to mirror the properties of the original field. Instructions provided describe how to create a new text field in an attribute table to increase the character length allowed.


  1. Add a new text type field in the attribute table. To do this, refer to the following ArcGIS Web Help topic: Adding fields
  2. In the Add Field dialog box, after selecting the field type Text, input 255 in the Length box and click OK.
  3. Click the Editor menu on the Editor toolbar and select Start Editing.
  4. Right-click the new field and select Field Calculator.
  5. In the Field Calculator dialog box, double-click the required field name from the Fields list to enter the name into the expression box, and click OK.
  6. Go to the Editor menu and select Save Edits.
  7. Click the Editor menu and select Stop Editing.
    Users can now input text with a longer name into the new text field.

Article ID:000012089

  • ArcMap

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