I have feature class with 70,000+ records (file geodatabase). I want to make in bulk update on an attribute where the value is NULL. Select by attribute shows that I have 5,000 records like that. Doing it one by one is going to be a pain.

In sql pseudo code it should be something like that:

 UPDATE <MyAttributeName> = 'NewValue'
 WHERE <MyAttributeName> IS NULL

How do I do that with ArcMap 10.1?

  • 1
    Wouldn't a simple field calculation expression solve this easily? Or am I missing something obvious?
    – Paul
    Sep 3, 2013 at 14:13
  • I did some t-sql scripting for a regular (non-GIS) database for the last 2 weeks, so my brain is still firing t-sql :) sorry. Need some time to switch back to ArcGIS way of manipulating data...
    – mitaka
    Sep 3, 2013 at 20:28

2 Answers 2


You would select the rows which are NULL (sounds like you have done that) then simply run the calculate field tool.

Right Click the field you want to modify (while objects are selected)
field calc1

Then input your value "newvalue"
NOTE: 1. if you don't have a selection this will work on "ALL" rows in your table!
2. Double quotes in this area on your text/date value. See esri help for examples of vba/python/string/number/codeblock options
3. Must begin edit session to run in FGDB.


May be an overkill, but I tried Python with the Field Calculator:

Python script check for NULL values

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