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This problem is addressed in ArcGIS 8.1 Service Pack 1. See Related Information section below.
The INFODBASE and ARCSHAPE commands are adding a null character at the end of each value in text fields. This shows up as a box in Excel, and as a vertical line in Foxpro . For example:
This is a known issue at version 8.1.
The following two methods have multiple options for removing the null characters or avoiding them when converting a coverage to a shapfile.
=left, B1,((len(B1)-1)Where B is the text column which contains the null values.