With Arctoolbox and python scripting I'm creating long tool, but one of the steps is to select by attributes with SQL expression. Let's imagine that:

featureCar = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0) is Data Type/Feature Set: attributes weight, length, height

filter = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1) is Data Type/SQL Expression.

output = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(2)

In addition, when I run a tool from arctoolbox and previously specify in sql expression:

"weight" > 2000 AND "length" > 2 AND "height" > 1 from featureCar with assistance of Query Builder

I'm expecting that this query as it is will be passed to arcpy.SelectbyAttribute_management, but it seems not. How to pass this expression correctly to arcpy.SelectbyAttribute_management in python script? I've tried:

arcpy.SelectbyAttribute_management(featureCar, "NEW_SELECTION", "(filter)"), and similar solutions with quoting filter, but I always get ERROR 000358: Invalid expression. I've noticed that is something with '\'{}\''.format(filter), but don't know how.

1 Answer 1


A few things...

  • filter is a reserved name in Python (it's a builtin function) so you shouldn't use that as a variable name.
  • your where clause is already a string as you are using GetParameterAsText() to return it as a string, so no need to put it inside quotes. You should try something like this:

reference your where clause like this:

where = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)

and pass it in like this:

arcpy.SelectbyAttribute_management(featureCar, "NEW_SELECTION", where)


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