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ArcPy SHAPE, SHAPE_Area, SHAPE_Length fields are always VISIBLE, why?

Question asked by NHVRGIS on Oct 16, 2018

Hi All,


I am trying to write unit tests that will ensure all SHAPE related fields within an MXD are hidden. However, even if the SHAPE field visibility is unchecked within the ArcMAP -> Layer Properties -> Fields -> "Choose which fields will be visible" GUI, it seems impossible to read/access this state in ArcPY.


The following will all return "VISIBLE" rather than "HIDDEN" even if they have been hidden (as above):





In addition, Non-SHAPE related fields all return a result that always correlates to what is seen in the GUI. 

arcpy.Describe(lyr).fieldInfo.getVisible(arcpy.Describe(lyr).fieldInfo.findFieldByName("MY_HIDDEN_FIELD")) will return "HIDDEN".


I could jump to some conclusion blindly about why this is logical, however it would be far better to have any such explanation added to the documentation currently @ FieldInfo—ArcPy classes | ArcGIS Desktop 


Any help/explanation/workaround would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks in advance.