I'm trying to make a simple field calculation with ArcGIS 9.3:

New field = Old field - Old field(first value)

which in Calculate Field with python code should be


!Old field!  - first

Code Block:

list= [AngOriz]
first = list[0]

The error is

ERROR 000539: Runtime error : name 'AngOriz' is not defined Failed to execute (Calculate Field).

How could I transform a column field into a list?

  • 1
    Have you thought about using an update cursor to iterate through your rows and calculate your new field that way? Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 14:33
  • 2
    I'm having a bear of a time understanding this. Could you give us a sample of the data and explain what the calculation should result in if it works properly?
    – Nathanus
    Commented Jul 27, 2011 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


I'm not certain I understand the problem, but I asked a question here previously about the syntax when using the Python Codeblock. The key misunderstanding I had was that you need to pass in your field names as arguments to the code block. Here is a small example:

enter image description here

and the corresponding part of the attribute table:

enter image description here

In your case, I think the easiest thing would be to make a new field with the value from Old field(first value), and then use that for the calculation. This would not require putting python in the codeblock.

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