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Joining American Community Survey files to Shapefiles

Question asked by HJK on Dec 12, 2015
Latest reply on Dec 13, 2015 by HJK

I used to have no trouble joining ACS files to shapefiles such as county tracts or block groups.  Recently, I find that I cannot.  ACS files come with "" fields that are numeric and do not join to shapefiles whose fields are all text.  I have tried numerous ways in Excel to turn the ACS numerical location fields to text, but when I load those files into ArcMap, ArcMap turns them all back into numerical fields.

HELP.  Vary frustrated that I can't figure out how join anymore.  And frankly, the Census Bureau pdf describes the process, but the process no longer works.  What's changed?   Me?  They?  Any and all recommenations will be welcome.