I have a constantly updated Excel file containing address information which I am currently copying into the attributes of new polygons which I am creating on a daily basis. I am currently doing this my manually by copying the address across from the Excel file each time a add a new polygon.

I am looking for a way of automating this process. After producing my polygon I would like a drop down box/ or search function of a unique ID which once selected will fillout the correct attributes by pulling them from the Excel file.

I am new to arcgis 10 and would have previously used the VBA editor to have a go at this (no expert). However, I see that unlike the previous versions there is not longer and VBA editor and has been replaced by python, which I am unfamiliar with. I have also spotted the model builder tool, not sure if this could be used to solve my problem? So really I'm just asking for a point in the right direction.

Is there any scripts available to solve a similar problem which I can modify?

closed as off-topic by PolyGeo Sep 7 '15 at 7:53

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  • Good question. Usually python offers a great way to automate tasks in ArcGIS. – Cody Brown Sep 18 '12 at 16:06

VBA and VB are very similar, and ESRI has made it much easier at version 10 to write 'quick and dirty' scripts with something called an add-in. If you're running ArcGIS 10.0, download and install Visual Basic 2008 Express. If you have 10.1, get Visual Basic 2010 Express. This link got me started building add-ins: http://www.ian-ko.com/free/EC10/CustomizationEnvironment10.htm

Good luck.


If you want to take the plunge and learn some Python, there is a great module called PyShp which provides a simple interface for shapefile reading and writing, which would allow you to automate the updating of attributes from excel files without needing to load arcgis.

When I performed a similar operation and moved to pyshp I noticed a significant reduction in processing time compared to the same operations using the geoprocessor.

  • Thanks for the replies guys. It seems that the best option for me is to learn python as its so well integrated with ESRI products. I'm starting to see how much its possible to do with a small bit of python knowledge. – Matthew Sep 19 '12 at 7:48

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