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Merge datasets with unequal field lengths

Question asked by aliceell on May 28, 2019
Latest reply on May 28, 2019 by EPolle_TensingInternational

I have several shapefiles that I want to merge together into one shapefile so I don't have to keep juggling them all.

However, I can't use the Merge geoprocessing tool because it gives me a "001156: Failed on input OID; could not write value to output field TXPYRS_NAME" error. This seems to be because each shapefile has a different length for TXPYRS_NAME. 


But when I go into ArcCatalog and try to change the field length in the Shapefile Properties window from 15 to 35 to match the other shapefiles, it says "Unable to alter field's length". 


Another GeoNet user says it's impossible to change the field length for a feature class that already contains data. So how am I supposed to merge these files if the field lengths are different and unchangeable...?