Fully support text-only Excel files

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2
02-09-2018 03:08 PM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
DanielleHartman__GISP
New Contributor III

Pro doesn't correctly load Excel tables if they don't contain any number fields. It treats the header row as a data record, as described below. This means I have to insert fake data into my Excel files or import them into a geodatabase, or some other workaround. Since I am often the only GIS user on projects that share a lot of Excel files, this is very inefficient, and simply frustrating.

https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/help/data/excel/work-with-excel-in-arcgis-pro.htm

"For tables that have all text column data types or have null values in the first row, column headers will be autogenerated (for example, Field1, Field2) when the table is opened."

Why is working with tables still such a headache? Esri customers have been asking for better table tools for decades.

2 Comments
DuncanHornby

Interesting, I've been trying to use Pro and various census tables provided to me in Excel and do simple joins using model builder. I have had terrible problems trying to get it to work and eventually gave up. You just can't join multiple Excel sheets and run simple calculate like operations. Yes I went through them to ensure the field headers were GIS friendly. I eventually abandon it by inserting an Excel to Table stage and working from these temporary tables.

Reading your idea it made me wonder if that was what I was suffering?  Pro won't support Access, Microsoft Excel won't save as dbf anymore, CSV files are a very poor mans substitute for structured data and we are finding Excel flaky as hell when connecting to Pro. How on Earth are we supposed to adopt Pro and work with tabular data...

grrrrrr......

JohnTownsend

Pro doesn't correctly load Excel tables if they don't contain any number fields. It treats the header row as a data record, as described below. This means I have to insert fake data into my Excel files or import them into a geodatabase, or some other workaround. Since I am often the only GIS user on projects that share a lot of Excel files, this is very inefficient, and simply frustrating.

I agree this is pretty maddening.  I currently have no issues with ArcMap displaying field headings from excel.  In the case of invalid field names, It handles it for you and if you import/export data into a geodatabase it adds "_" or replaces invalid field name characters, or replaces a null value to create a valid field name. Using the same data in ArcPro doesn't read or import/export correctly.  I have to go into excel and modify field names in order for it to display correctly and be usable. 

This is a step backward from ArcMap and I hope it is dealt with soon.  I am guessing many GIS users are like me and receive good, bad, and ugly excel files from non-gis users or other data sources on a regular basis and just want to get the data into GIS as quickly as possible.  I prefer be able to deal with cleaning the data up in a single program, rather to have to use some combination of validating and formatting data and fields in excel, using arcmap to process data, just to finally have it be usable in Pro.

I love using Pro, but its all these little bits and pieces that missed the boat during the migration that can make some of the simplest workflows extremely frustrating.