I'm trying to find a function in the Field Calculator (preferably in VB Script) that can add numbers into a field that already has data.

I have year data ranging from the 1960s to 2014 in string format, and the only data I currently have in my field is the last two digits for each year (i.e. 60, 71, 75, 00, etc. which represents 1960, 1971, 1975, 2000).

Is there a way I can add the 19 and 20 to the correct years using the Field Calculator for the entire field?

I apologize if this is a repeat question, but I'm new to the site and couldn't find any answers.


1 Answer 1


I'm not sure how to do this is VB Script, but I do in python. In the field calculator, set your Parser to Python. Click the Show Codeblock box. In the input box (where you see fieldname = above), type in getYear (!fieldname!), where fieldname is the name of the field with the years.

The code block code depends on if your field is a string or a number type (int, float, etc). If it's number, this will work for you:

def getYear (val):
    if val == None:
    if val > 15:
        return val + 1900
        return val + 2000

If your field is a string/text type, go with this:

def getYear (val):
   if val == None:
   year = int (val)
   if year > 15:
       return str(year + 1900)
       return str(year + 2000)
  • Thanks for the advice, and I was able to get it to work! Interestingly, for some reason, the code block code would only work after I wrote the script in GUI first, then copied and pasted it into the Field Calculator. Any ideas as to why that would be?
    – Tula
    Aug 24, 2015 at 21:04
  • Cool, I'm glad it works for you. The failure could be for a number of reasons. Check Geoprocessing tab -> results. In the results window, find your failed attempt and check the messages. That might give you a little hint. Oftentimes it's an indent issue. Aug 24, 2015 at 21:59

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