Problem: Unable to display X and Y fields in the Display XY Data dialog box


After importing a table with latitude and longitude data from an Excel file into ArcMap, the X and Y Fields are not selectable in the Display XY Data dialog box.


This issue occurs when the latitude and longitude field data types are incorrectly set.

Solution or Workaround

  1. In the Table Of Contents, right-click the Excel table, and select Data > Export. Browse to the specific location, specify the name (the default name is Export_Output), and save as type: dBase table.
  2. In the 'Do you want to add the new table to the current map?' pop-up, click Yes.
  3. Right-click the newly created table, and click Open to open the Table dialog box.
  4. Go to Table Options and select Add Field to add a new field.
    • Name: Longitude1, Type: Double
    • Name: Latitude1, Type: Double

  5. To start editing the table, navigate to the Editor toolbar and select Start Editing.
  6. When prompted, select the newly created table.
  7. Right-click the Longitude1 header and select Field Calculator.
  8. In the Field Calculator dialog box, double-click the pre-existing longitude field. Press OK.
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 for the Latitude1 field.
  10. Close the table. Save and stop the editing session.
  11. In the Table Of Contents, right-click the Export_Output table, and select Display XY Data.
  12. In the Display XY Data dialog box, select X Field: Longitude1 and Y Field: Latitude1 to specify the coordinates. Click the Edit button.
  13. Navigate to the desired coordinate system, for example:

    • Geographic coordinate system > North America > NAD 1983

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