Is there any way to copy a column from excel to an attribute table's column in ArcGIS?

  • Is this just to populate a table with data or do these need attached to spatial features?
    – Clay
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:48
  • Just to populate with data
    – AndM
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 13:52

2 Answers 2


If the purpose is to link data found in an attribute table to and excel file where the spatial information isn't necessary it may be best for you to export the attribute table as a .dbf. You can drag and drop the file into an open excel table (2010 maybe earlier), once the file is open in excel you can do all of your joining within excel and not ArcMap. It seems you may be more knowledgeable with the excel format and this may be the best approach.

Within ArcMap you can import excel files as a table using the Excel to Table Tool. After importing the table you can join the information by using the join field tool. You simply select a field that is common to both the original data and the excel file you are trying to join.

  • After I edit the .dbf table in excel it will apear in arcmap with the values I inserted in excel?
    – AndM
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 14:45
  • No, it will be a separate file which you can save as an excel table. If you need the information within ArcMap your best bet is to use the Excel to Table tool and then link to the data in ArcMap using the Join Field tool. I would add screen grabs to assist you, but I don't know how to paste them into the comment window. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 15:16
  • I just read that you do not have access to the tool. I would just work outside of ArcMap it seems you have a very limited license. To export the attribute table from ArcMap open the attribute table and select export from the drop down box in the upper left hand corner. Then follow the steps I referenced earlier. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 15:23
  • Thank you. I have arcgis 10.0 i think that tool is only for 10.1 or 10.2
    – AndM
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 15:41
  • Let me know if you have had success. Also if your question gets answered don't forget to accept the answer you deem correct. Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 15:52

You need to understand that ArcMap data is stored like a database instead of like a spreadsheet and so you need to use the tools ArcMap provides to efficiently get data in/out of it.

There is a pretty thorough guide here on how to work with excel data in ArcMap.

The actual function you are likely looking for is Excel to Table

edit: or try converting your excel to CSV and use this function.

  • Thank you but I still don't know how to do
    – AndM
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 14:09
  • How about now? (Added function name)
    – Clay
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 14:32
  • The problem is that I don't have that function in Conversion toolbox
    – AndM
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 14:38
  • Try my other function using csv?
    – Clay
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 20:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.