I have some pretty old software that I am forced to use (no option). It's old enough that it doesn't recognize shapefiles of type Polyline-M, it only recognizes shapefiles of Polyline.

I have a shapefile that is completely Polyline-M that I need to convert to plain old Polyline.

Does anyone know how to do this in ArcMap 10?

5 Answers 5


Just use an ArcToolbox command, such as "Feature Class to Feature Class"

Click the "Environments..." button

In the "M Values" and/or "Z Values" just specify the Output as "Disabled"

  • For some reason that command freezes my ArcMap! But, I did get the "Copy Features" command to do the same thing, just leaving out the M values in the Environments (that was key). And then exporting the data frame out to a shape file. Worked like a charm! Thank you!
    – jsmith
    May 16, 2011 at 16:29
  • 1
    Strange that it freezes ArcMap... But I'm glad it helped you solve your problem. And it's true I could have give more details!! Next time.
    – jeb
    May 16, 2011 at 17:02

While jeb's answer led me to this answer, his lacked a little bit of detail that I would have liked in an answer. This is the easiest way I found to convert PolyLine-M to Polyline.

  1. Open your ArcToolBox
  2. Open "Conversion Tools"
  3. Expand "To Shapefile"
  4. Run "Feature Class to Shapefile (multiple)"
  5. Select your input shapefile
  6. Choose your destination folder in which your new shape file will be created. IE. "C:\"
  7. Click on the Environments button
  8. Expand "M Values" and choose to disable them (This is what removes the M values so that it will become a regular polyline shapefile)
  9. Click create, and your new file will be created in whatever destination folder you chose

There are several ways to achieve the above. But this ultimately seemed the easiest in the long run.


At 9.3.1 I think you have to use a workaround..exporting it to file/personal geodatabase with m/z values disabled then you could export out to shapefile if needed.


If I remember correctly, it worked for me. But maybe jeb's answer works also.


In ArcToolbox Tool, choose Data Management Tool -> Features

Choose feature to line/point/polygon

Disable Z or M in Environment... form

Clip for you https://youtu.be/efaKbtgeFbE


ogr2ogr from the GDAL distribution can also do this quite simply:

ogr2ogr -nlt LINESTRING NewShapefile.shp OldShapefile.shp

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