errors in add data because of special characters in header of spreadsheet

10-19-2017 11:39 PM
New Contributor II

This is a question that has long confounded us newbies to ARcmap in our group. Whenever we 'add data' an excel spreadsheet to a map's active frame we get errors if we have any spaces, characters like % etc. in the header row. So we end up 'cleaning' many columns and trying and trying before we are successful. I think that a powerful and popular application like ArcMap wouldnt be bothered by such characters and spaces as most spreadsheets have them and they are often necessary. So what are we doing wrong? Maybe there's something we dont know?

Any help would be much appreciated.

thanks a lot.


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MVP Esteemed Contributor

The 'rules' for naming conventions in Arc* products and in general

  • only letters and numbers and the _ (underscore) are allowed
  • can't begin with a number
  • keep names short, some products/environments/etc only allow names of a certain length
  • there are 'sub-rules' that apply to certain data formats and processes... you will learn them when you make a mistake
  • there are 'rules'... then there are 'rules' ... try not to find out what is a fixed rule and if there is a workaround, try not to use it.
  • there is a whole confusing world out there of UTF-this UTF-that and codepages and cpg files and 'regionalization or 'internationalization'... until that world comes together flawlessly, the 'English' rules, but if you need to use products using a different language base, be aware of it and how to deal with data and processes that differ from your settings.
  • it you want to see a set of 'rules' in is an example of applying rules to filenames...

Enjoy while learning...

Sometimes 'understanding' of the rules needs to be put aside for a time and 'acceptance' substituted in its place

When you then have time, you can revisit the 'rule' that you don't understand and study why it is there, when does it apply and whether there are workarounds.

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