Match addresses with ampersands in the street name in ArcMap

Last Published: December 18, 2023


This article describes how to modify the USAddress.lot.xml file to find addresses that contain ampersands in the street name. This method uses an address locator that was created using one of the US Address address locator styles (US Address—Dual Ranges, US Address—One Range, US Address—Single House, US Address—Street Name).

This procedure only applies to locators built with the Create Address Locator tool, and does not apply to locators created in ArcGIS Pro 2.3 or later with the Create Locator tool.


Make a copy of the USAddress.lot.xml prior to modifying the file.
Make sure to have write permissions to the Locators folder where the address locator templates are stored.
Notepad++ is an example of a text editor that can be used to modify the XML file.
  1. Open the USAddress.lot.xml in a text or XML editor. This file is found in the following location:
C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.x\Locators
Substitute '10.x' in the address above to match the version of ArcMap in use.
  1. Scroll down or search for the comment 'This section defines basic elements for address parameters like optional Hyphens, Decimals, numbers, alphabets, Latin Characters, unit junks, separators etc.'
  2. Modify the basic element definition for 'word' to remove the ampersand symbol from being excluded.


<def name="word">
<alt>`[^ \t,;#$%^&amp;*@!~|":]+`</alt>


<def name="word">
<alt>`[^ \t,;#$%^*@!~|":]+`</alt>
  1. Save the edits.
  2. Create a new address locator using any of the US Address locator styles, and use the resulting address locator to find addresses where there are ampersands in the street name.

Article ID:000011967

  • ArcMap

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