I tried to open bathymetry map to the ArcMap but I just can open .shp file but I could not open other files accompanied with shp file because of the file type. How do I import .dbf, .prj, .sbn, ,sbx, file to the ArcMap?


1 Answer 1


They are not supposed to be opened with Arcmap directly (except for dbf, which can be opened independently). They are being used when you are adding the shp file to the Arcmap!

description of each file:

dbf (database file): contains the attribute table of the shape file

prj : a textual file containing the projection system of the shape file

sbn, sbx: contains geometrical indexes of the shapefile

idx: contains attribute indexes of the attribute table

Once you add a shapefile to the map, these files are being used implicitly.

  • 3
    Your last sentence is key. For most users a Shapefile is all of these file types taken together. ArcMap is designed to see these related files as a whole. --- And so it's worth noting that moving geospatial data for ArcGIS applications is best done through the ArcCatalog Window/Application. --- Similarly, adding data to an ArcMap session is best done with the Add Data button or drag-n-drop via the Catalog Window.
    – user23715
    Nov 10, 2015 at 21:46
  • See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shapefile "Mandatory" and "Other files" headings Dec 13, 2018 at 16:43

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