I want to rename some fileds on a SHP file, (the fields on the DBF file), using ArcCatalog (ArcGIS Desktop v10.2.2).

From ArcCatalog, right click on a SHP file -> Properties... -> Fields. Then the program let you rename the field and change the data type... apparently.

Shapefile Properties

When I hit Enter or click Apply, an error appears: Failed to alter the name of the field.

The file is not in use, nor read only, and the name of the field is under the 10 character limit.

Ironically, I can do it with gvSIG!

  • I've experienced the same problem, and I've ended up creating a new shapefile with the right field names, joined and copied the value
    – Vale
    Dec 2, 2015 at 8:39
  • 1
    You simply can't. This is arcgis limitation. Use Merge tool to rename the field name and recreate the whole shapefile (Easiest approach!). Dec 2, 2015 at 8:41