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Export a table directly to an MS Excel file


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  • 1. A couple versions ago we were given the ability to import and work with MS Excel files.  I've always needed to be able to EXPORT a table directly TO an Excel (.xls) file, without have to find a 3rd party app to do it.  (Still not in version 10's Table Options>Export command>Save as type options dropdown.)  Currently, we can export to a text (.txt/.dbf) file then import it to Excel; too many steps.  ESRI can this functionality be added soon???

    2. And why is "File Geodatabase" in the dropdown list twice?

    3. Also, the export should default to the previous "Save as type" last selected?  Not to the never used .dbf file type!!!
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    Posted by   jakek  to ArcGIS DesktopGeodatabase Jul 6, 2010

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Comments (53)

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Apr 11, 2015
Choose the destination workbook and file format. Note that reports can only be exported in the older *.xls file format, not in the newer *.xlsx file format. During the export operation, Access prompts you to specify the name of the destination workbook.

Thanks !

Feb 20, 2015
Where is this Implemented? What version?

Jul 17, 2014
It seems to me legitimate to find all these capabilities within the ArcCatalog > Dataset Properties > Fields interface (e.g. arrows to reorder fields, etc.) as well as tools such as, for example, ArcToolbox > Data management > Fields > Rename or ArcToolbox > Data management > Tables > Reorder fields. Please allow this functionality ESRI!  We have replicas set up that must be unregistered and re-registered when we have to re-create a feature class or table because we want to add a new field in the middle of it.

Feb 24, 2014
This is verymuch required to quickly exrtact the data for different purposes especialy when need to share with Non GIS systems.

Aug 29, 2013
@6by9   It's include in the Toolbox > Conversion Tools > Excel.  It was NOT included where one would think it would show up, which would have been to right-click a layer in the TOC and have it show in the Data child menu, Export to...  And, available so when a table is opened, click Table Option > Export...  Still the same old options, XLS NOT listed here either.

Esri, could you please include the Excel export option in these menus???

Aug 28, 2013
Just installed 10.2 and cannot find the functionality, so am unclear what "implemented" is supposed to say in this case.

Aug 7, 2013
There is a software extension call Locus Track from the folks at GeoRover that does this very well. 

Aug 6, 2013
Hi All! Yes, as mentioned above, with the release of ArcGIS for Desktop 10.2, you can now convert Microsoft Office Excel tables into a table and vice versa. The Excel Toolset can be found under the Conversion Toolbox in ArcToolbox.

Aug 1, 2013
At ArcGIS Desktop 10.2, geoprocessing tools are available to convert tables to Excel and vise versa. Was released a few days ago.

May 14, 2013
Not everyone who uses ArcGIS are "GIS people"...

May 7, 2013
I disagree. Excel is a poor substitute for a database and should be avoided by GIS people for storing and manipulating data.

Not sure if this has been linked yet in the string below.... this is a great tool:

go teampython!

Feb 1, 2013
I always just choose export to text, and then change the extension to .csv. 

Dec 1, 2012
One more comment. Excel 2010 does not support to save into dBase file format, but Access 2010 still does.

Dec 1, 2012
By the way, I forgot to say that its time to forget DBF files. ArcGIS supports import/export Access files too with the same Data interoperability toolbox. Excel and Access files can be opened directly from File menu ->Add Data->Add XY Data.

Dec 1, 2012
I someone is looking for "export to excel" option, it is in ArcGIS for quite a while. It can be found in "ArcToolbox -> Data Interoperability -> Quick Export". In the dropdown above you can select an imput layer. Below that click on the Output Dataset button. In the popping up window you can select the output format you need. There are lot of formats available: e,g. Excel, dBase, txt, xml and many others. After selecting a format you can press Parameters button to select which Excel version you prefer. Then give the name and location of the output dataset on the second dropdown. You can choose coordinate system too.

It works fine with excel. I did not try the others.

Jun 21, 2012
Wow!  This is a great response and good dialog.  We, however, have been doing the suggestions mentioned.

@ those who suggested copy/paste: I liked this until I noticed if I have fields "hidden/turned off" I get some very strange results sometimes on the paste into Excel - some fields appear or all appear in strange order, very erratic.  The need is to have the hidden fields left out of the export/copy/paste altogether using a selected set of records.

@ those who suggest export to DBF: If a field name is longer than 10 characters it gets truncated.  You then have to go back in Excel and retype all those affected by the export.  But, mainly, my intent is to eliminate taking so many steps just to export to a simple Excel sheet.

In addition, I would like to be able to have more drag/drop capabilities added to ArcGis, such that if you grab a layer(s) in the TOC and drag it to a folder in Catalog or Win Xplorer, you would get a dialog asking to Save Table(s) to Excel/TXT/CSV or Save Layer(s) to Shapefile (more on this in a new idea I will post soon).  At this posting, I can't drag anything back to Catalog and have it saved or copied as anything, just get the black "no can do" circle.  The right-click layer>Data>Export Data..>navigate to folder is way old now and needs revamping!!!   *(Will post as new ideas soon.)

But I have been using esrikmarten  Export to Excel (at bottom of comments), which uses minimal steps!  Great tool btw!

Thank you all for so many votes for this!  I hope Esriville sees how much we all want it included in core Arcgis.

@Chris_Fox - Since this was posted 2 years ago, and now has 9,240 votes, will we ever see it included in the software?  Also, please see my "In addition" idea above.  Thanks Chris.

Jun 14, 2012
You realize excel 2003, 2077 and even 2010 will all still open .dbf files right? all you have to do is right-click on the DBF, go to properties and set the program that .dbf files open with and voila, your .dbf files will open in excel. Save to an XLS, XLSX ect and voila.

Remember that Excel files work in ArcGIS as folders and it is the Sheets that are the actual files. So in order to export to an Excel file, ArcGIS would also need to create an Excel file as well as the sheet in order to export your data.

They coul'd certainly do it, I suppose it's just not a priority right now since there is a very simple work around as I just pointed out.

The way I've gotten around this is to export the file as DBF and then right click on the DBF file, choose OPEN WITH, CHOOSE DEFAULT and select Excel. There is also a checkmark that you can check to ALWAYS USE THE SELECTED PROGRAM TO OPEN THIS KIND OF FILE.  That way anytime you export to DBF and open it will open in Excel. This has saved me a ton of time.

May 24, 2012
Glad to help, sgreenl.

To clarify my previous comment: a tool would be better than copy/paste because Excel loves to autoformat cells into the wrong thing like turning fractions into dates.  That means at times you have to manually tell Excel what it's supposed to be.  An export tool could preserve the data type and present other options too (select columns to export, insert it as a new sheet in an existing table without having to open that table, etc).

Feb 27, 2012
pmcatnip, THANK YOU for the suggestion! You have just made my life so much easier. Until this suggestion is implemented, I will use your workaround.  Saves a lot of time.  Here's a screen shot for the more visual learners out there. 

copy selected in ArcMap attribute table
copy selected records in ArcMap table

paste into excel
paste into excel

Dec 21, 2011
Further to matteitrem's comment, also subtype description rather than the code as well.

Dec 14, 2011
Maybe I'm misunderstanding the problem others are having, but copy/paste is a great workaround for me to get data into Excel.  I just select my features in ArcMap, right-click any of the little grey boxes on the left side of the attribute table, and click "Copy Selected."  Then I paste it in Excel and voila, a table.  An actual "Export to Excel" tool would be great though!

Dec 8, 2011
I want to be able to right-click in ArcCataog, select "Export" and then have the option to export to Geodatabase, Excel, or CSV. I don't care about DBF - does anybody else?

Dec 1, 2011
I would love to see Coded Domain Values exported as well.

Nov 1, 2011
DUDE! are we in the stone age??? OF COURSE we should be able to export to Excel!!!  For one thing, Excel doesn't even allow us to save to DBF's anymore... so why is ArcGIS still using them? CSV files or Excel is the way to go.  Please ESRI, don't waste our time anymore! I do SO much work with exporting tables to dbf/csv and then Excel, and it would be WAY better if we could save a step! 

Oct 13, 2011
Since ArcGIS 10 supports reading an Excel file in an ArcMap session, it would be helpful to be able to directly export to Excel from a geodatabase.  All of my end users have Excel and prefer data delivered in that application rather than text or .dbf.

Sep 23, 2011
I don't understand the problem ... I have had a toolbox that exports any table to either Excel or HTML, for several years.  I thought I go it off ESRI's ArcScript site (the old, easier to use one)...

The export to Excel is 30 lines of python ... it is SLOW, but it works.
Surely a competent programmer could convert the SLOW python to something in .NET that would be faster...

Sep 22, 2011
Many people have commented on using the DBF as a means to get data to Excel. Problem with that is that the DBF is a very old format and does not support field names longer than 10 characters. (Field NAME, not content.)  So if you have longer field names, as allowed in any of the Feature Class storage types (File GDB, Personal GDB, SDE GDB), they will get truncated to 10 characters on export to DBF.
We always use the "copy selected" option, then paste directly into Excel, which preserves the field names.

Sep 7, 2011
@Chris_Fox  re: "This is functionality that we do understand the importance for and hoped to include in the next release unfortunately it was one of the items that fell out of scope for 10.1"  considering this is currently the 4th most popular idea of all time, and has been asked for since the ArcView 3.x days (14 years now?), why is ESRI refusing to support this?  This is not nearly as complicated as a 64bit version of Desktop (#2 idea).  Just do it.

Jul 5, 2011
@kmacleod, It is true that Excel 2007 doesn't support writting out to dbf, but it will read dbf files, so if you export your table to dbf In ArcMap you can still read it in Excel and save it as a .xlsx.

@Ternest, I wanted to respond to assure you that this is not the case. ArcGIS Desktop still only opperates on Windows which means it is still heavily dependent on Microsoft in many ways. Visual Basic 6 support was dropped at 10.0 because Microsoft dropped support for it in 2008. 10.0 is the last release for VBA as Microsoft has continued to encourage developers to move to .Net where it continues to fix bugs and add new enhancements. For that reason we continue to support .Net and continue to certify newer versions of the .Net Framework and Visual Studio as Microsoft releases them.

This is functionality that we do understand the importance for and hoped to include in the next release unfortunately it was one of the items that fell out of scope for 10.1.

Jul 1, 2011

For those that can’t see the writing on the wall… ESRI is quietly removing anything that is Microsoft based, no more MS Excel support, no more MS VBA support… and soon I’m sure they’ll replace PGDB (MS Access) with File Geodatabases only.

Apr 20, 2011
I should add that the reason this is important is because MS Excel since 2007 does not support .dbf files. They have been deprecated even on Mac version of Office.

Apr 20, 2011
Chris Fox, that is disapointing, this is a common workflow task, as evidenced by nearly 5,000 points voted.If a free tool can do this why is it not included? Why wait until ArcGIS 11.0 in ~2013???

Mar 29, 2011
I've been using the tool esrikmarten mentions and it works like a charm for me. I routinely create Excel files with it from my geodatabases. I agree that it would be nice to be able to do this with an OOTB install of GIS, but as long as it's not a tool with licensing I can't access (sorry, Xtools)  then I'll make do.

Feb 1, 2011

Thank you for all the comments and votes on this idea. We appreciate and understand the importance of this idea to many people's workflows. Unfortunately this functionality is not planned for the next release of ArcGIS Desktop but with your continued support for this idea may be considered for a future release. Until that time I would encourage everyone looking for this functionality to use the Geoprocessing Script and Tool Gallery Sample discussed in earlier comments.

Jan 22, 2011
Drag & Drop data form Attribute Table to Excel and vice versa.

Jan 14, 2011
Part 2

Using this workflow I could select whatever features I wanted, pick the fields I wanted and arrange the order of the fields how I wanted. In the end I would have an excel document that I could make a few minor tweaks to (formatting, etc.) and append the data right into the Access Database.  This process would take me 5-10 minutes at the most. Because the Crystal Report Wizard has been removed in ArcGIS 10 I can no longer do this. ESRI support’s solutions to this (Create Report and Export Data from the Attribute Table) are cumbersome and leave you with multiple header and footers to delete and require rearranging columns once you get the data into excel.  If possible could you please bring back the Crystal Report Wizard or could come up with a process that will allows people to easily move data from ArcMap to Excel?

Jan 14, 2011

Part 1

I would like to add a comment to this post about some functionality that has been removed in the transition from ArcGIS 9.3 to ArcGIS 10.  I consistently move data from ArcMap to our Access Database as field staff make changes to feature data with ArcPad.

In 9.3 and earlier versions I would use the Crystal Report Wizard to export data from selected features to Excel. My Process was this

1)      Select what fields I would want to export and the order of the fields using the Crystal Report Wizard

2)      Select Table as Style of the Report and give the report a title

3)      Select Edit with Crystal Report Designer on the last page of the wizard and click Finish

4)      When Crystal Reports for ESRI would Open I would click the Export Button on the Standard Tool Bar

5)      From the box that appears set Format: to Microsoft Excel 97-2000 – Data Only and click OK

6)      Click on Typical: Data is exported with default options applied.

7)      Save the Excel file where you want

Dec 7, 2010
since we're on the topic of Excel, it would be really nice if ArcGIS would release an Excel file that has been removed from the TOC without the need to close out the MXD.

There are many times that I open an Excel table in an ArcMap session, find out that I need to some additional work on the Excel table, remove the table from ArcMap, but can't open it in Excel because it has been locked by ArcMap.

Oct 18, 2010
The  Xtools Pro extensions has had this feature for quite a while now. It works great I use it several times a week, you just pick the fields you want exported and boom, it opens a new excel worksheet with the data you want. The amazing thing is this is one of the FREE features of Xtools, even after the trial period is over. check it out here:

Sep 15, 2010
When I export to a .dbf, I just double click on the table, it automatically opens in Excel, and I save it as a .xls. 

Aug 23, 2010

In addition to what you described, It would be even better if the user could select (n) number of columns and have the option to copy/paste. It seems to only work on selected rows...

Aug 7, 2010

For feature classes you can copy and paste the text contents of the Tableview directly to Excel after selecting the records you want using Copy Selected.  Unfortunately this is not true for the Tableview of Standalone Tables.

Another idea posted on the Ideas page would be to make copy/paste operations work for Standalone Tables within ArcMap the same way that they work for copying and pasting selections of features from a Feature Class.  This would not only give you another option for exporting to Excel (using Copy Selected on a Standalone Table's Tableview), it also would make maintaining Tables in ArcMap as easy as Copy and Insert Row operations in Excel.  If this idea were implemented it would hugely enhance ArcMap's support for editing and maintaining of one-to-many and many-to-many table relationship as well.  If you want ArcMap to behave more like Excel for its Standalone Tables, then I beleive you should promote the idea posted here:

Aug 7, 2010
 It is possible to currently copy the selected rows in that attribute table and paste them into an EXCEL file.  Admittedly this is not the same a "Save as" command but it is a work-around for now.


We can drag and drop .dbf file into opened MS Excel and save as .xls/.xlsx file

Jul 15, 2010
@esrikmarten, Sorry, had to remove the tool from the .mxd Layers data frame and add it back.  Apparently, I added the tool to the dataframe prior to installing xlwt, installed xlwt module and did not reload it.  Works great now! My error!  Thanks again.

Jul 13, 2010

@jakek, what do you mean by " It wants to export like you say to .csv, no matter the extension (format) chosen."?  If you choose XLS it exports to XLS, if you choose CSV (or if you don't have the python module installed), it exports to CSV.

Let me know it's not working for you.

Jul 13, 2010
@esrikmarten, thanks, the tool works as you stated.  It wants to export like you say to .csv, no matter the extension (format) chosen.  I still think the option for a direct to Excel export is a must have function for ArcMap/Catalog/Toybox.

Jul 12, 2010
@rirabbani, what i'd do is run the "Add XY Attributes" tool on the data before running Table To Excel.

Jul 9, 2010

Yes, this feature would be really useful, furthermore in the export we should be able to export the lat/long for point geometries.

Jul 9, 2010

It is very easy to export a table to excel using ArcGIS 10 (or 9.3).  Granted it is not a default export option, you can use an ArcGIS script tool from the Geoprocessing Script and Tool Gallery to perform the export.

Here is a link to the downloadable tool: Export to Excel

The only thing the tool requires to run is to install a free python module that allows you to write to excel files.  You can download the xlwt module from here: Python xlwt


User-added image

Jul 6, 2010
iI'm pretty sure this has to do with ESRI trying to avoid paying licensing fees to Microsoft for the ability to create files in MS's proprietary .xls/.xlsx format. 



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