Problem: ArcMap field alias name is ignored


This problem is noticed when using the properties dialog box on a layer or table in ArcMap to set alias names for fields. When using data in ArcMap, some dialog boxes and dropdown lists display the field's alias name, while others display the actual field name. Field aliases are sometimes not carried over when performing operations on the data.


In some cases, the underlying table needs to be accessed instead of the layer or table object in ArcMap. The underlying table is independent of the ArcMap application and does not know about the field aliases set in ArcMap.

Solution or Workaround

The actual field name is used instead of the alias name in the following cases:

  • Calculating values with the field calculator in the table window
  • Output field names when exporting data
  • Using Dissolve in the Geoprocessing Wizard or Summarize from the table window
  • Generating reports
  • The Primary display field dropdown list in table or layer properties
  • The identify tool when used on a nonspatial table in the table window
  • The field dropdown lists in the Joins and Relates dialog box
  • Previously set field aliases removed after a join