I am building a model and am trying to create a variable (that will be turned into a parameter and then added as a field) that is a drop down list where only specific values can be chosen.

Any help in how to do this. I have:

  1. right clicked the white space in ModelBuilder
  2. clicked on create variable
  3. selected string
  4. right clicked on the oval and chose 'list of values'
  5. Entered my list items

This doesn't seem to act as a drop down when running the model. Am I doing something wrong? These are text values I'd like in the drop down.

  • 1
    It could be worth taking a look at this ArcGIS Discussion Forum thread on creating Variable Pick Lists with ModelBuilder.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


Often a particular tool that will be accepting this variable may have the option of a value list filter for the parameter.

  • 1
    Thanks. I found this doc shortly after I posted the question. Works exactly how I need it.
    – Craig
    Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 19:24
  • 2
    Just in case you find generating a choice list from a field relevant: blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2011/08/25/… Commented Mar 26, 2013 at 7:56
  • Is it possible to create a value list filter dynamically? For example, if the tool is provided a dataset and field name as input parameters, can a set of distinct values be returned? Commented Oct 21, 2020 at 23:24

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