I have a layer file and I need to apply unique value categories to that layer based on the field present in attribute table of that layer

I tried using:

input = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
output = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
symbologyFields = {"VALUE_FIELD", "#", "symbol"}
arcpy.ApplySymbologyFromLayer_management (input, output,symbologyFields)

But this code shows an error that ApplySymbologyFromLayer_management can accept only two arguments. But I took this code from ArcGIS tool reference site http://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/tool-reference/data-management/apply-symbology-from-layer.htm

What actually I need is to color my polygons using the values in the attribute table field.


I can say that apply symbology by going into properties tab and click on categories and the unique values and select the field. This I am in need of doing it with the help of code.

Can anyone help regarding this?

  • For questions that involve code we ask that you show us where you are stuck with your own code by including a code snippet in your question. There is an edit button beneath your question which will enable you to do that and a {} button that enables you to format any highlighted code nicely.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 8:56
  • 1
    Welcome to GIS SE. As a new user, please take the Tour. In addition to a more thorough code snippet, please make sure that you include the exact errors you encountered (formatted as ASCII text, so it's legible on all devices and free text searchable)
    – Vince
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 9:15
  • Try to changing symbologyFields = {"VALUE_FIELD", "#", "symbol"} to symbologyFields = ["VALUE_FIELD", "#", "symbol"]. There should be no curlybrackets
    – Bera
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 10:09

1 Answer 1


The documentation for Apply Symbology From Layer with ArcGIS Pro shows this syntax (four parameters):

ApplySymbologyFromLayer_management (in_layer, in_symbology_layer, {symbology_fields}, {update_symbology})

while the documentation for Apply Symbology From Layer with ArcMap shows this syntax (two parameters):

ApplySymbologyFromLayer_management (in_layer, in_symbology_layer)

You are working with ArcMap but referring to the documentation from ArcGIS Pro.

  • ok sir thank you for confirmation. please help us to color the polygons based on the unique values in the field
    – user116338
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 10:19
  • That is a different question, and so should be asked as a new one, after correcting your code for the number of allowed arguments.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 10:29

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