I am new on Python and using Python within ArcGIS and a bit stuck hoping someone could point me in the right direction.

I want to remove the 6 last characters if the field is longer than 6 characters. I'm using the script in the field calculator.

def doThis(fld):
    val = 0
    if len(fld) > 6:
        val = fld[len(fld)-6]
    return val
        val = fld
    return val

Dothis( !Asset_ref!)

With the code above I get a SyntaxError: Invalid syntax (line6)

  • 4
    You haven't used Python string slicing syntax, and you have too many return directives (or wrong indent). Hint: "line 6" sometimes means "on line 5, making parse on line 6 invalid"
    – Vince
    Apr 26, 2017 at 10:53

1 Answer 1


This is the code you would need to use in the code block:

Pre-logic script:

def truncate_string(value):
  if len(value) > 6:
    return value[0:-6]
    return value


truncate_string( !CITY_NAME! )


CITY_NAME   ShortName
Abilene A
Abington    Ab
Ada Ada
Addison A
Adelphi A
Adrian  Adrian
Affton  Affton
Agoura Hills    Agoura
Akron   Akron
Alameda A
Alamo   Alamo

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