Problem: The Field Calculator does not display or calculate joined fields in a raster attribute table


In ArcMap, when a table is joined to a raster attribute table, the Field Calculator may not display the fields from the joined raster, or the calculator may be completely disabled. When disabled, it is not possible to calculate the field value in a raster dataset's attribute table.

With Esri GRIDs, Field Calculator calculations fail with an error when attempting to populate a field with the values of a joined field. The error may state:

"There was a failure during processing, check the Geoprocessing Results window for details."

In the Results window, the error is 000728:

"Field XXX does not exist within table."


There are several reasons why the Field Calculator tool may be disabled on a field, and these are detailed in ArcGIS Help, Fundamentals of field calculations.

Generally, the Field Calculator does not calculate fields in a raster attribute table if the join is not permanent.

Solution or Workaround

There are a few options for performing calculations on joined data and resolving Field Calculator issues.

• Add the joined tables or layers to ArcMap, and perform calculations on the data separately.
• Export the data to make the join permanent.
• Export the raster after joining the field to a new format (such as TIFF), and calculate the fields on the new raster.
• Use the Calculate Field geoprocessing tool on the raster attribute table.
• Use the Add Field tool to add the desired field(s) to the target table, perform the field calculation, and delete the appended fields.

In this example, the input raster dataset is in the GRID format. The output raster dataset is a new GRID file, and the fields are saved as attributes in the new file. Once the fields are saved as attributes of the new file, the Field Calculator tool is enabled.

To export the raster data to a new file:

For this example, the raster dataset is exported to TIFF.

1. Right-click the raster dataset in the Table Of Contents > Data > Export Data, to change the file format of the input raster dataset.

2. In the Export Raster Data dialog box, click the Format drop-down arrow and select TIFF.

3. Click Save.
4. Upon exporting the data, if an Output Raster dialog box displays asking to add the exported data to the map as a layer, click Yes.

To join the table to the new raster:

1. Right-click the raster dataset in the Table Of Contents > Open Attribute Table.

2. Click the Table Options drop-down > Joins and Relates > Join.

3. Fill the parameters in the Join Data dialog box.

• For the field, 'Choose the field in this layer that the join will be based on', select the desired field from the table.
• For the field 'Choose the table to join to this layer, or load the table from disk', select the target table.
4. Click OK. The raster dataset's attribute table is now joined.

To display particular fields in the joined attribute table, right-click the top of the fields, and select Turn Field Off.

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