FAQ: Is it possible to edit a raster attribute table or add items to it?


Is it possible to edit a raster attribute table or add items to it?


ArcGIS 8.x and 9.x do not support editing raster tables nor adding fields to raster tables. Therefore, when opening a raster attribute table the Start Editing option on the Editor toolbar is grayed out, and so is the Add Field option on the Options menu of the raster attribute table.

There are several workarounds to edit attribute tables for grids:

  • Download and install the Raster Editor toolbar for ArcGIS
    1. In a Web browser, navigate to the EDN Web site: (http://edndoc.esri.com/arcobjects/8.3/)
    2. The left side of the screen has a Table of Contents. Click on Samples.
    3. In the Table of Contents, click on Raster.
    4. In the Table of Contents, click on Raster Editor.
    5. Follow the instructions to download and install the toolbar.
  • Use ArcInfo Workstation to edit. See: How To: Edit a Grid value attribute table (VAT)
  • Use ArcView 3.x to edit. This requires the Spatial Analyst extension:
    1. Open ArcView 3.x.
    2. Verify that the Spatial Analyst extension is installed and turned on.
    3. Click the Add Data button.
    4. Select Grid Data Source as the Data Source Type.
    5. Navigate to the grid to edit and click OK.
    6. Click the Open Theme Table button.
    7. Click on the Table menu item, and click on Start Editing.
    8. Click on the Edit button, and then edit the values in the Grid.
    9. When editing is finished, select the Table menu and click Stop Editing.
    10. When satisfied with the edits, click 'Yes' to save them.
  • An alternative option, for display purposes only, is to join fields to a raster layer attribute table using the following procedure:
    The following procedure is for display purposes only.
    1. Right-click the raster layer in the table of contents of ArcMap.
    2. Point to Joins and Relates.
    3. Click Join.
    4. Follow the instructions in the dialog box.

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