I am trying to join an excel spreadsheet to the attribute table of project locations in ArcMap. The excel CSV file is in my layers and I can open and view it as an attribute table. However, it is when I try and join the two attribute tables by FID that I encounter some problems. After selecting that I want to join by the FID field, I am unable to select the corresponding field in the table. (See pictures)

Essentially I a trying to create a reference map of all my projects. I dropped points at all the project locations on ArcMap and now I would like to link the data table with all the project info to those points.

If there is an easier/better way to do this, I am open to suggestions. I have a Microsoft Access database with the project info in it, but I don't really know how to access and link it in ArcMap.

Project location reference table

Excel sheet in ArcMap

Trying to join


2 Answers 2


You have three options at least.

  1. Copy the values from "Field1" to "Field32".
  2. Export your table from the Point Data Reference, copy the Excell Sheet info into it. Bring that back in to ArcMap as a .csv file and create a Shapefile/Feature Class from that using the "Display XY Data..." function in ArcMap.
  3. Using a .csv file (i.e. saving your Excel file as that file type) will likely get rid of the issue as ArcMap will see the first row ("Field1", etc.) as simply a header and see the remaining rows in the first column for what they are - numbers. The link should then work.

Add a layer from a CSV file

  • For some reason, although I populated the map with points, the northing & easting do not appear in the reference table. I'm not sure why this is. Jul 18, 2018 at 18:55
  • @StephYoung -- see option 3 and the link I added.
    – user23715
    Jul 18, 2018 at 19:02

You are joining with "Field32" instead of "Field1". Why "Field1" is not available in the list? Likely because it has a different data type (I guess string) than FID

  • The FID data type is an Object ID and the field I'm trying to join it to a string. Is there a way to change the data type or input another field in the project location attribute table? Jul 18, 2018 at 18:37
  • if it is an excel table, change the type within excel to something numerical
    – Mazu_R
    Jul 18, 2018 at 18:46

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