In previous versions I could just export as a .DBF file, open it with Excel and then convert it to an Excel file. However, now in ArcGIS 9.3.1 the .DBF file can no longer be open by Excel. I have also tried saving as a text file but to no avail.

  • 1
    see this gis.stackexchange.com/questions/26227/…
    – iRfAn
    Commented Jun 27, 2012 at 11:12
  • @Camille The double click open function no longer works (It has been gone a long time as 9.3.1 came out several years ago). you have to navigate to the file in excel and select the file in the open dialog box.
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Jun 18, 2014 at 13:48

5 Answers 5


You can still do this, although Excel has made it more difficult by breaking the loading sequence for associated .dbf's.

Export normally.

Open Excel on its own.

Go to File -> Open, select 'All Files', and find the .dbf.


At ArcGIS 10.2 for Desktop a new tool called Table To Excel (Conversion) was introduced to export a table to an Excel file.


Converts a table to a Microsoft Excel file.


• Table To Excel is able to convert only to Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 Workbook (.xls) format.


XTools Pro has a Export to Excel option that exists in the free tools available even after the 14-day trial period. I've been using that for years. You can export the attributes to Excel, or if you have Excel installed, you can just directly open up the attributes in Excel.


You can also drag and drop the dbf into Excel (at least Excel 2007/2010). Sometimes easier than doing this:

Go to File -> Open, select 'All Files', and find the .dbf


The .dbf should open without any problems in excel, however, if it's a feature class in a geodatabase you can't get to the dbf.

Option 1: If you have a license with X-Tools (maybe even the free version) you can export table to excel, which will launch the program automatically.

Option 2: Export Data outside of the geodatabase (to a shapefile) and grab the dbf just like Chris.Leeney suggested.

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