Does anyone know why in ESRI help website (1, 2), it states that the field length if not specified will default to 255. However when I manually create a shapefile the max character is only 254. Why is there this difference of 1 character?
The maximum length of a text field in a shapefile is 254 due to the underlying dBASE format limitations.
From ESRI - "Geoprocessing considerations for shapefile output ":
Geodatabase data type dBASE field type dBASE field width (number of characters) ... Text Character 254
Description Limit Size of character fields 254