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I am trying to use the model builder tool in ArcMap 10. I would like to join an Excel file (xls) with a shp.file. The Excel file and the shapefile have one identical column with data but the Shp.file contains more data than the xls file. Therefore I would like to make a join, based on the two identical columns, and get a shape file that contains the data that is identical?

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Have you tried the Join tool?… – HDunn Apr 16 '13 at 17:08

There is an article from ESRI, which describes how to Join an Excel spreadsheet (.xls) to a feature class in ArcMap:

The article contains information about possible formatting problems and solutions. Since you want to use the model builder you should have a look on the Add Join Tool (ArcToolbox). In the ArcGIS 10.0 Help it is written that you can use OLE DB tables as join tables. MS Excel tables can be read when accessed directly in ArcGIS or through OLE DB. So it should be possible to use Excel tables with the Add Join Tool.

With ArcGIS 10.1 you can directly join MS Excel tables with ohter Feature Layers or tables using the Add Join Tool in model builder.

A white paper about MS Excel (accessed through OLE DB):

Another Thread in gis.stackexchange about problems with joining an excel table to a shapefile in ArcMap: Having problems with joining an excel table to a shapefile in ArcMap

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