I have a feature class with mostly unpopulated fields (ArcMap Standard 10.1, in an SDE database, with attachments). I exported the attribute table as a .csv file so that a co-worker without access to ArcMap could do the research. He filled out the .csv file and now I need to add the data back into the feature class. I am not having any success with "Load Objects" because it just adds all of the data to the end of the attribute table instead of joining the fields. I am not having any success with "Join" because it duplicates the fields. Merge and append require the data to be of the same type (table and table or feature class and feature class). I feel like I need a "link" tool... Does anyone know how to do this? Thanks!

  • How do you go about doing an update query?
    – user12217
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 17:49
  • Brad- I did export a unique field with the .csv file, but when I do a join based on that field it doesn't merge the fields together, it adds all of the already existing fields to the end.
    – user12217
    Commented Oct 24, 2012 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


If you exported the oid, fid or some other unique identification field.
Then I would do a join back to that field.
Then if you need to add a new field (actually create prior to the join) and calculate the join value to the fc.
Note that if you edit/split/delete features after the csv export the oid can change.

The csv will be on the end of the attribute table after a join. you can start editing and do a calculate.

You will see the table_name.field_name.
You calculate the joined field into the original field by right clicking on the field in the attribute table.
If you do not desire to calculate ALL records you should do a select first on just the records you want to update.


You can do an update query in your database. Import the CSV, and update your values from the new table.

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