Problem: Unable to geocode a table from an Excel file


When geocoding a table from an Microsoft Excel file, such as .xls, the following error occurs:

There was an error trying to process this table.


This issue is most likely caused by invalid values or special characters (including spaces) in the header fields of the table in the Excel file.

Ensure that all field names, regardless whether or not the fields will be used to geocode, do not contain invalid values or special characters.

Solution or Workaround

Ensure the table is in the proper field format
Before geocoding the table, ensure the header fields adhere to the proper format suitable for ArcMap. Remove any invalid characters or spaces. For more information on proper format and appropriate characters, see FAQ: What characters should not be used in ArcGIS for field names and table names?

Save the Excel spreadsheet as a CSV file
If geocoding continues to fail, save the original Excel spreadsheet as a CSV file and attempt to run the geocoding processes again. For more information on how to save an Excel spreadsheet as a CSV file, see Formatting a table in Microsoft Excel for use in ArcGIS.

Convert the Excel spreadsheet to a table
Alternatively, use the Excel To Table tool to convert the Excel file into a more native ArcGIS format for geocoding.

  1. Open ArcMap.
  2. Navigate to the ArcToolbox window > Conversion Tools > Excel To Table.
  3. Open the Excel To Table tool.
  4. Browse and select the Excel file as the Input Excel File.
  5. Select the destination of the Output Table.
  6. Click OK.

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