I would like to document within ArcGIS how the values for specific shapefile attribute fields were derived or obtained. Is it possible to input and export this information as a report with ArcGIS 10?

  • 10
    This sounds like Metadata - resources.arcgis.com/en/help/main/10.1/index.html#//… stored with the file format XML with shapefiles
    – Mapperz
    Jan 27, 2014 at 18:36
  • If Metadata does not sound like what you are after, would you be able to edit your Question to explain your requirements further, please? If it is, then just a reply Comment should be enough to give @Mapperz the opportunity to provide an Answer.
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 27, 2014 at 21:51
  • Thanks @mapperz for your suggestion. I don't however see in the metadata where individual comments on each attribute field would go. I was hoping to have a separate field for each attribute to create a data dictionary of sorts....
    – user6784
    Jan 27, 2014 at 23:46
  • you can customise your metadata using template help.arcgis.com/en/arcgisdesktop/10.0/help/index.html#/…
    – Mapperz
    Jan 28, 2014 at 2:05

1 Answer 1


This is something you can add in metada - see graphic to see where you would add it within the ArcGIS GUI.

Metadata GUI

I suggest looking at the ESRI Metadata Toolkit - the XML attribute I think you want is /metadata/eainfo/detailed/attr/attrlabl but as others have said in the comments you can use any schema you want, although Arc may not recognise it out of the box, so you will have to do some of the legwork yourself in terms of tools to work with it.

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