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How To: Convert a text field to a date field in ArcMap

Summary

Starting at the 10.0 version of ArcGIS Desktop, a geoprocessing tool has been included that allows for the conversion of a text field that contains dates or times to a formatted date field.

Instructions provided describe the steps for using the 'Convert Time Field geoprocessing tool. In this article's example, the time format 'yyyyMMdd' is used.

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Procedure

  1. Open ArcMap and add the layer or table that includes the text field to be converted to a formatted date field.
  2. Open the Convert Time Field geoprocessing tool: ArcToolbox > Data Management Tools > Fields > Convert Time Field.
  3. Populate the Input fields:
    1. From the Input Table drop-down menu, select the layer or table that contains the field to be converted.
    2. From the Input Time Field drop-down, select the name of the text field to be converted.

      The Input Time Format field should be automatically populated. In this example its current time format (ex: yyyyMMdd)
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Note:
The Convert Time Field tool supports over 30 different pre-designated time and date formats.
  1. Populate the Output fields:
    1. Create a name for the new date field under Output Time Field.
    2. From the Output Time Type drop-down select DATE.
Note:
The Output Time Format and Locale fields are not selectable for the time type DATE. Select type 'TEXT', 'LONG', or any other type if a different time format for the output is desired.
  1. Click OK. The process completes and the dialog box closes. The date field is formatted to MM/dd/yyyy by default.
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Related Information

Last Published: 11/15/2021

Article ID: 000008953

Software: ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1 ArcGIS for Desktop Basic 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1 ArcGIS for Desktop Standard 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1 ArcGIS-ArcEditor 10 ArcGIS-ArcInfo 10 ArcGIS-ArcView 10