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Why does exporting a text file to a DBF file in ArcGIS create large files?
When exporting a text file to a DBASE file in ArcGIS, the output file often requires considerable disk space.
During the export process, integer items containing numbers larger than nine digits are converted to items with a type of double. Values stored as double require more disk space compared to other data types.
Text items, even if only 1 character wide, export to dbase as 255.
The schema.ini file can be used when loading text files to control field width and precision. Refer to the ESRI Knowledge Base article in the Related Information below for additional detail.