I'm working with a complicated fGDB featureclass which contains hundreds of fields, in a variety of text and numerical formats. This is proving difficult to export into tab-delimited text file format.

The problem

After opening the table in ArcMap:

  • Export to DBF results in the numbers being handled correctly, but the field names being truncated after 8 characters
  • Export to Text results in the numbers being placed in quotations with commas separating the thousands (eg "5,181,613") and commas (not tabs) separating the values. This makes it difficult to replace the commas with tabs

My current workaround

  • export the table to DBF in ArcMap
  • export it again to CSV
  • edit the CSV file and remove the values, retaining just the headers
  • replace the commas in the headers with tabs
  • open the DBF file in Excel
  • export from Excel to a new tab-delimited text file (which has truncated headers)
  • copy/paste the headers from the edited headers file

Please tell me there's an easier way!

1 Answer 1


Directly export to Excel file using the Table To Excel (Conversion) tool. No field name truncation and no formatting issue with numbers:

Table To Excel (Conversion)

Then you can easily export to a correct csv(txt) file from excel

  • 1
    Wait, are you telling me that Esri have once again written some really useful functionality, and not exposed it to the ArcMap UI? Instead I need to open ArcToolbox like an animal? (Thanks for the tip!) Commented Jul 1, 2015 at 12:40
  • You are welcome. Actually This tool is there since version 10 of ArcGIS ;) Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 0:26
  • 1
    It would be kind of nice if they'd expose it to the > Export window in ArcMap's table - like, you know, all the other data formats.... Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 0:32
  • ERROR 001530: Input table exceeds the 256 columns limit of the .xls file format - lucky I have a workaround, and lots of patience Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 0:33

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