Unable to symbolize a layer based on two text fields in ArcGIS Online


Creating symbology based on multiple fields is required to assist in pattern analysis and data visualization. More than one field can be combined through the Change Style pane based on the list of attributes in the map. However, ArcGIS Online is unable to symbolize two text fields in the map viewer.

The image below is an attribute table showing the data on volcanic eruptions in Japan. Of the eight attributes, five are text fields (Name, Location, Type, Earthquake, Tsunami) and three are numeric fields (Year, Elevation, Volcanic Explosivity Index). The symbology based on Location and Type of volcano is to be created.

This is the attribute table showing five text fields and three numeric fields.

In the Change Style pane, choosing a text field as the first attribute causes the second attribute selection to display only the numeric fields.

This is the Change Style pane.


Symbolizing two text fields is not supported in ArcGIS Online. Symbolizing options are limited to the following field types:

  • One text field or one numeric field
  • One text field and one numeric field
  • All numeric fields

Solution or Workaround

As a workaround, follow the steps below:

  1. From the ArcGIS Online item details page, click the Open in ArcGIS Desktop option to launch ArcMap.
  2. In ArcMap, open the attribute table and create a new field to combine the two desired text fields. For more information on combining two or more fields in ArcMap, refer to How To: Use ArcMap to concatenate fields in a table.
    1. Add a field in the attribute table. In the Add Field dialog box, select Type as Text.

      This is the Add Field dialog box.
    2. Combine the two text fields using Field Calculator. In the Field Calculator dialog box, select Parser as VB Script.
    3. Select Type as String.
    4. Type the following code to combine the two text fields desired:
      [Field name 1]&" "&[Field Name 2]
    5. Click OK.

      This is the Field Calculator dialog box.
  3. Publish or overwrite an existing service in ArcGIS Online. For more information, refer to ArcGIS Online: Publish hosted feature layers.
  4. In ArcGIS Online, select the created text field in the Choose an attribute to show section.

    Select the new field based on the merged text fields.

    The image below shows point features representing the different combinations of the two text fields: Location and Type.

    This is the final output.

Article ID:000018749

  • ArcMap
  • ArcGIS Online

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