I have a problem with the whereclause on python for arcpy.Select_analysis.

I try to use a variable for condition:

for row_stat in rows_stat:               % for calculated the variable"maxi"
    maxi= row_stat.MAX_GRID_CODE         % for calculated the variable"maxi"
del rows_stat                            % for calculated the variable"maxi"
where = '"GRID_CODE" = maxi'             % whereclause
arcpy.Select_analysis("point_acc.shp", "point_max.shp", where)

Ofcourse, I get an error message telling me that 'maxi' can't be found in "point_acc.shp" but I don't want 'maxi' but the number in the variable maxi!

Who can help me write this?

  • Could you please add more context? For example, what are you iterating and why in the for loop?
    – Aaron
    Sep 4, 2014 at 15:11
  • with the 'for' , I am iterating a number (reel double) contain in an other table. I use that to find the Value Max in this other table.
    – paul
    Sep 4, 2014 at 15:18
  • Looking at the logic of this code the for loop will constantly overwrite the maxi value. Is this what you want (unless your table is a table of 1 row)? If not then you need to test is MAX_GRID_CODE is greater than the maxi value.
    – Hornbydd
    Sep 4, 2014 at 15:28
  • yes this table have only 1 row. It contains the value maximum of a shape producted after a arcpy.Statistics_analysis.
    – paul
    Sep 4, 2014 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


You are passing maxi in as part of a string instead of as a variable, so the SQL statement always ends up being "GRID_CODE" = maxi instead of variable, e.g. "GRID_CODE" = 500 when maxi = 500.

Instead, use:

where = '"GRID_CODE" = {}'.format(maxi)

This inserts whatever value maxi is holding into the string, and your SQL should then correctly select.

  • Finally I have still a problem when I use your code. The problem is: ValueError: zero length field name in format But when i ask to print my variable maxi i have the right numeric value.
    – paul
    Sep 8, 2014 at 14:33
  • Try maxi.getOutput(0); if that doesn't work, then you may need to ask a new question with a more complete snippet of your current code.
    – Erica
    Sep 8, 2014 at 14:46

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