In ArcGIS (Arcmap 10.3.1), I would like to change the 'Value' column for one item in my symbology key, as there is a spelling mistake (see picture). How can I do this? (Without deleting the row and creating a new one.)

A symbology key entry which needs updating.

  • You could leave the error in your data and change the label if it is all too much effort? – Hornbydd Apr 20 '17 at 19:55
  • The error is something I would like to fix, rather than propagate. – Fab von Bellingshausen Apr 20 '17 at 20:06

The value is incorrect in your underlying data, not just in your symbology. To correct this properly and not just work-around it with a different label, you will need to modify the value in your data. It appears that the incorrect value is in your rock_class field.

To modify this value, first you need to select all instances of that value in your layer, and then use field calculator to populate with the correct value.

  1. Select all instances of value:

    Open your attribute table (right-click on layer and select Open Attribute Table) and click on the Select by Attributes

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    In the SELECT * FROM <layer name> WHERE: box enter

    rock_class = 'Metasedimenary'

    (where rock_class is the name of your field and Metasedimenary is the value you want to select). Click Apply and Close. You should now see your rows selected in the table.

    enter image description here

  2. Right-click on your rock_class field and select Field Calculator

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    In the field calculator window enter the value you want to change the values in your selected features to:


    enter image description here

    Click OK to run the calculation and close the field calculator. You will now see that the selected values have been updated to your new correct value.

    enter image description here

  3. You will now need to update your symbology (as it will still be trying to symbolise on the old value that no longer exists). In your layer symbology tab you can either Remove All and then Add All Values - this will possibly reset all your symbol colours - or you can selectively remove the incorrect values by just selecting the problem values and clicking "Remove" and then click "Add" and add the new correct values in from the selection.

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  • When I said "Without deleting the row and creating a new one" I was hoping that there was an alternative to your step 3 (removing the symbology entry and then recreating it). I wanted to avoid the time-consuming step of recreating the incorrect symbology entries. However, judging by your answer, it is not possible to edit symbology entries in this way, so I have accepted this answer as the best option. It is a shame ArcGIS has this deficiency. – Fab von Bellingshausen Apr 20 '17 at 21:59
  • 1
    If this has answered your question, please mark it as accepted. See What should I do when someone answers my question? – Midavalo Apr 22 '17 at 23:59

You can select that value in your table, and using field calculator, change it into the correct spelling. Then when you use that field in your symbology, the spelling will be correct

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