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I have a CSV file in which some fields contain values greater than 255 characters. I want to ask that wether joining the CSV file with a shapefile overcomes the 255 character limitation of shapefile and displays the data in CSV completely. If not, then what is the solution for it?

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    It's not going to work, use a feature class instead of a shapefile.
    – GISGe
    Oct 14 '15 at 12:18
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    You have a tag for arcgis but make no mention in your question body or title about the GIS software that you are using. Is it ArcGIS for Desktop?
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 14 '15 at 12:20
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    I did a quick test for this on QGIS 2.10.1. The shapefile can display more than 255 characters (since the data itself is coming from the .csv file). But if you re-save this shapefile, with the joined data, as a new shapefile, the maximum number of characters is 254 (strangely not 255 for me).
    – Joseph
    Oct 14 '15 at 13:43
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    254 is the correct limit to string field width in a shapefile (the dBase III+ character field limit ).
    – Vince
    Oct 14 '15 at 16:57
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    @Rehan - If you just want to display the data, leave your shapefile joined with the csv.
    – Joseph
    Oct 15 '15 at 9:51
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As commented by @Vince:

254 is the correct limit to string field width in a shapefile (the dBase III+ character field limit ).

To workaround the this limit you will either need to

leave your shapefile joined with the csv

as suggested by @Joseph, assuming that displaying it is all you need to do.

However, if you need to store the more than 254 character field in a feature class then I think using a file geodatabase (as suggested by @GISGe) instead of a shapefile will be your best option.

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