I have a polygon shapefile with 93 objects in it. They have a column with values for the buffer distance. 90 of these objects have 5 as a value, while the remaining 3 have 0.

When I use the buffer tool, the shapefile created leave out the 3 records containing the 0-values, so only a shapefile with 90 objects are in it.

Why is this? I have managed to do this before with 0-values, is there something I have forgotten?

1 Answer 1


You do not say what version of ArcGIS for Desktop you are using, or whether any warning/error message was returned, but the help on warning/error 000026 : Buffer distance is zero for versions 10.2, 10.2.1 and 10.2.2 says:


Running Buffer with a distance of zero is not valid, as the expected output would be an exact duplicate of the input.


... If you are using a field to set the buffer distance, ensure that all records for that field have a value greater or less than 0.

I cannot recall whether this particular software behaviour has changed over time but I am sure that Buffer has had some changes made during the 10.x versions.

  • Ok, thank you. I use ArcGIS 10.3. I don't know why it was possible for me to do this before, maybe I should check the output I got.. Jan 6, 2016 at 10:27

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