I'm having problems adding tabular data to an ArcGIS project and need some help! Example of my table is below (please note that the fields have been edited since the capture was taken to remove any spaces or special characters and to shorten them).

ArcGIS displays the x and y data without a problem. However, I am unable to plot the values for the individual fields in my table (example below – I added an ObjectID field at one point after receiving error messages for the lack of one, but it still didn’t read this); when I attempt to do this in symbology it displays no data on the map whatsoever.

Via symbology I was hoping to add a point for each of my fields for the x and y co-ordinates in order to indicate the different values in the three fields, but it only plots one point for the co-ordinates and there doesn't seem to be an option to modify this.

I've had more joy plotting graphs based on this data, but I'd like to add data labels to the graphs - is it possible to do this? Also, on the layer menu on the left hand side and when I create a legend, there is an image of a bar chart with '400' next to it - what does this relate to?

Tabular data example

  • I think you should do this one problem/question at a time. It sounds like your first problem/question is "unable to plot the values for the individual fields in my table". I recommend that you edit your question to remove details that are related to the other problems/questions and focus this question on just that problem. The others can then be researched/asked separately. Can you describe what you mean by "plot the values for the individual fields" in more detail? Are you meaning that you cannot apply a categorization on those values on the Symbology tab of the Layer Properties?
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 8, 2014 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


If I understand your question correctly, it sounds like want to have three points created for each row in your table (one for each of the three fields).

When ArcMap imports a table like this, it will only create one point feature for each row in your table. So if you want it to create three points per row (one for each of your fields given for each coordinate), you will need to modify your original table to have three rows for each coordinate. That isn't a very easy solution, so here's another idea:

Keep your data the way it is, with one point for each row, but symbolize it differently. Go to Layer Properties and the Symbology tab. Choose the Charts option, and then you have options of Pie, Bar/Column or Stacked.

It sounds like you may have tried this based on the last paragraph of your question. Does this fulfill what you are looking for? If not, can you explain your question further in the comments?

If you want to add labels, you can do that in the Labeling Tab and get the following result:

Edited to add: the labeling expression I used to get this result is (insert your own field names):

"<CLR red = '255'>" & [Common]  & "</CLR>" & ", " & "<CLR blue = '255'>" &  [Solicit]  & "</CLR>" & ", " & "<CLR green = '255'>" &  [Convict]   & "</CLR>"

enter image description here

  • Hi Sara, Do you know if it is possible to add data labels similar to the ones you illustrated above to pie charts in symbology? Oct 15, 2014 at 17:36
  • @MikeFallopian The process of adding the labels is the same whether you are using the bar symbology or pie charts, so yes, you can add them if you are using pie charts. If you are looking to add the labels over top of the pie chart itself, I don't know of a way to do that (short of converting them to annotation and positioning them), but you can have them display next to the chart in matching colors. Oct 15, 2014 at 19:13

Try editing your table so the field names don't contain spaces, special characters etc. That's what causes the error on export to shape, and may be the root of some of the other issues you have as well...

  • Thanks. Unfortunately, none of the field names in my table contain spaces or special characters. Any other reasons why I'm having problems with this data? Oct 8, 2014 at 9:12
  • 2
    Well, it looks like a space there in the first column between "Common" and "prostitute", but it may be a display glitch.
    – HavardMoe
    Oct 8, 2014 at 9:46
  • Ha! In my stress over not being able to import the data I completely missed that! Oct 8, 2014 at 9:52
  • Apologies for my idiocy... Oct 8, 2014 at 9:58
  • 1
    Also, for export to shape files, keep in mind that there is a 10 character column name length limit.
    – til_b
    Oct 8, 2014 at 10:28

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