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Feature Class To Shapefile

Summary

Copies the features from one or more feature classes or layers to a folder of shapefiles.

Usage

  • Shapefiles have many limitations compared to feature classes in a geodatabase. For example, shapefile attributes cannot store null values; they round up numbers, they have poor support for Unicode character strings, they do not allow field names longer than 10 characters, and they cannot store both a date and time in a field. Additionally, they do not support capabilities found in geodatabases such as domains and subtypes.

    Learn more about shapefile limitations

  • The name of the output shapefile will be the name of the input feature class. For example, if the input is C:\base.gdb\rivers, the output shapefile will be named rivers.shp. To explicitly control the output shapefile name and for some additional conversion options, see the Feature Class To Feature Class tool.

  • If the output shapefile already exists in the Output Folder, a number will be appended to the end to make the shapefile name unique (for example, rivers_1.shp).

Syntax

FeatureClassToShapefile_conversion (Input_Features, Output_Folder)
ParameterExplanationData Type
Input_Features
[Input_Features,...]

The list of input feature classes or feature layers that will be converted and added to the output folder.

Feature Layer
Output_Folder

The folder where the shapefiles will be written.

Folder

Code sample

FeatureClassToShapefile example 1 (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the FeatureClassToShapefile function in immediate mode.

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data/airport.gdb"
arcpy.FeatureClassToShapefile_conversion(["county", "parcels", "schools"],
                                         "C:/output")
FeatureClassToShapefile example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script demonstrates how to use the FeatureClassToShapefile function.

# Name: FeatureClassToShapefile_Example2.py
# Description: Use FeatureClassToGeodatabase to copy feature classes
#  to shapefiles
 
# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env
 
# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data"
 
# Set local variables
inFeatures = ["climate.shp", "majorrds.shp"]
outLocation = "C:/output"
 
# Execute FeatureClassToGeodatabase
arcpy.FeatureClassToShapefile_conversion(inFeatures, outLocation)

Licensing information

  • ArcGIS Desktop Basic: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Standard: Yes
  • ArcGIS Desktop Advanced: Yes

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