Problems exporting attribute tables to PDF

Last Published: April 25, 2020


The attribute table changes and becomes unreadable after exporting the Layout view to PDF.


This is a known limit for ArcGIS 8.1.2 and below. This issue has been resolved in ArcGIS 8.2.

Solution or Workaround

Instead of choosing the option to Add Table to Layout, the attribute table must be inserted in the layout as a Microsoft Excel worksheet.

  1. Right-click on the layer and click Open Attribute Table.
  2. Click Options and click Export. Under Output Table, verify the path to the DBF file and click OK.
  3. In Layout view, click the Insert menu and click Object. Click Create New and click Microsoft Excel worksheet as the Object Type. This will open a blank Microsoft Excel worksheet.
  4. In Microsoft Excel, click the File menu and click Open. For Files of type click All Files. Browse to and open the DBF file. This will open a second worksheet. Copy and paste the relevant information from the DBF file to the first worksheet and close Microsoft Excel.
  5. The Microsoft Excel table should now be in Layout view, and the layout is ready for export to PDF.

Article ID:000005150

  • ArcMap 8 x

Receive notifications and find solutions for new or common issues

Get summarized answers and video solutions from our new AI chatbot.

Download the Esri Support App

Discover more on this topic

Get help from ArcGIS experts

Contact technical support

Download the Esri Support App

Go to download options