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I am trying to add a text field to my attribute table in ArcMap, but every time I do it adds a string type field instead.I've tried turning off the Allow Null Values and shortening the Length, but no matter what it makes it string instead of text field. If I can't make it a text field, how do I fill in the records for a string field? The table is attached to a polygon layer, I'm trying to add in short character codes to ID each polygon.

Why is it doing this and how do I get around it?

  • A string type is a text field. If you're looking to add a CLOB (character large object) text field to shapefile, that will fail, since shapefile doesn't support CLOB (and is limited to 254 characters). If you Edit the question to provide more details about your table format, you can get more specific assistance.
    – Vince
    Commented Dec 17, 2020 at 1:11

2 Answers 2


A string field is a text field! Also you cannot have a space in the field name, that is allowable in the alias.


This is an expected behavior in ArcMap.

String is common for programmers, and text is a more easier way of putting it in for new users to understand.


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