I am creating a line shapefile from a csv in a Python (2.7) script. I am assigning an ID field from the csv to a variable and then later using it in the Calculate Field tool. The ID field originally looks like this '011947-OCT-084' which ArcGIS(10.1) does not seem to like, so I removed the '-'s and when I use that variable in the tool I get an error:

ExecuteError: ERROR 999999: Error executing function.
Expected end of statement
Failed to execute (CalculateField).

Here is my code ("temp" is the shapefile temporarily stored in in_memory):

with open(inCSV, 'rb') as input:
    with open(outCSV, 'wb') as output:
        csvwriter = csv.DictWriter(output, headers, delimiter = ',')
        for row in csv.DictReader(input):
            uniqueID = row['Common_id']
            newID = uniqueID.replace("-", "")
            arcpy.AddField_management("temp", "uniqueID", "TEXT")
            arcpy.CalculateField_management("temp", "uniqueID", newID)
            row['Common_id'] = newID

I'm not entirely sure what the cause behind this is, as I've used variables in the Calculate Tool field before without a problem. Thoughts?

1 Answer 1



arcpy.CalculateField_management("temp", "uniqueID", repr(newID), "PYTHON_9.3")

The default language is VBA, so need to specify that, and newID probably isn't properly quoted as a Python expression so repr() will take care of that.

  • 1
    Fantastic, I'm not sure I've ever heard of the repr() function, but this will come in handy a lot!
    – AlmaThom
    Sep 20, 2013 at 18:15

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