I am currently having issues with the Eliminate Polygon Parts tool (Cartography Toolbox). I have an Advanced License and ArcGIS Desktop 10.6.1. I run the tool on a polygon feature class, in order to delete features < 20 m2. The resulting polygons look fine. However, there is quite a problem with the attribute table of the feature class - it gets messed up completely.

I have 4 fields (int_300 / tiefe_300 / pq_id / p_typ), containing coded information (short integers). Some of the fields and information was added using the arcpy.AddField_management() and arcpy.da.UpdateCursor() tools. The information in the fields need to remain the same for further processing, but they don't. Somehow the "shape_length" and "shape_area" fields get moved to "pq_id" and "p_typ" respectively, "tiefe_300" just gets lost / set to zeros. See screenshots below.

I have found Shifted columns after Eliminate Polygon Part at GeoNet about a similar issue, but it has no solution on offer.

I suspect that there somehow exists a dependency on the order of the fields... but since I add the fields during processing I cannot do much about the original order.

How can I solve this problem?

Before: before

After: enter image description here

  • 2
    Make sure you've downloaded and applied all the 10.6.1 service packs. There was one that dealt with polygon topology issues.
    – Vince
    Aug 11, 2020 at 12:34
  • @Vince: thanks for the hint - unfortunately all new patches did not help. Maybe I'll update to 10.8.1 and see how this works.
    – dru87
    Aug 12, 2020 at 14:12
  • 1
    You should also repair polygon topology before running the eliminate.
    – Vince
    Aug 12, 2020 at 14:22
  • @Vince the topology of the polygons is fine. The repair tool does not change anything. I found out that the problem is indeed the order of the attribute columns. When I export the feature class to a shapefile and reorder the attributes, such that the shape_length and shape_area columns stand last, the eliminiate polygon part tool works fine, without altering the columns. This is weird. How do I reorder the columns "in place"?
    – dru87
    Aug 12, 2020 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


The problem can be solved with a workaround as follows:

  1. Run the dissolve tool on the feature class (checking the 4 fiels that need to persist later on - like this, shape_length and shape_area are moved to the end of the attribute table
  2. Run eliminate polygon part tool after the dissolving - everything works well

This seems like a bug to me. It also exists in ArcGIS Desktop 10.8.1.

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