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Problem: Some features in a shapefile do not draw when the ArcMap zoom tool is used


While zooming or panning around a shapefile in ArcMap, some features do not display.


The spatial index for the shapefile is corrupt.

Solution or Workaround

In a read-write shapefile, the spatial index is stored in two files that have the SBN and SBX extensions. In a read-only shapefile, the extensions are FBN and FBX. These files have the same name as the shapefile, and can be viewed in the directory with the shapefile using Windows Explorer.

  1. Start ArcCatalog. Navigate to the folder wherein the problem shapefile is located.
  2. Right-click the shapefile, and click Properties.
  3. Click the Indexes tab. Under Spatial Index, if the statement 'The shapefile has a spatial index' is displayed, click Delete. The spatial index is removed.
  4. Recreate the spatial index by clicking Add, Apply and OK. The spatial index promotes quicker display when the data is drawn in ArcMap.
The spatial index for a shapefile created in ArcView GIS 3.x has a different format than that used in ArcGIS Desktop, and the same drawing problem may occur when that shapefile is added to ArcMap. This problem is also resolved by replacing the spatial index for the shapefile.
For additional suggestions, refer to ArcMap: How to salvage a corrupt shapefile in the Related Links section below.

Related Information

Last Published: 3/10/2021

Article ID: 000005979

Software: ArcGIS-ArcEditor 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.3, 8.2, 8.1.2, 8.1, 10 ArcGIS-ArcInfo 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.3, 8.2, 8.1.2, 8.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.1, 10 ArcGIS-ArcView 9.3.1, 9.3, 9.2, 9.1, 9.0, 8.3, 8.2, 8.1.2, 8.1, 10