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Add Subtype


Adds a new subtype to the subtypes in the input table.


  • A field in the feature class or table must be assigned as the subtype field before new subtypes can be added. This is done using the Set Subtype Field tool.

  • If you add a subtype whose code already exists, the new subtype will be ignored.

  • If you need to change the description of an existing subtype, you would first have to remove the subtype, then add a new subtype with the same code and a new description.

  • You can also view and manage subtypes in Subtypes view which can be opened by clicking the Subtypes button found in the Design section of the Data ribbon, or by clicking the Subtypes button on the Fields view ribbon.


AddSubtype_management (in_table, subtype_code, subtype_description)
ParameterExplanationData Type

The feature class or table containing the subtype definition to be updated.

Table View

A unique integer value for the subtype to be added.


A description of the subtype code.


Code sample

Add Subtype example (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the AddSubtype function in Immediate mode.

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data/Montgomery.gdb"
arcpy.SetSubtypeField_management("water/fittings", "TYPECODE")
arcpy.AddSubtype_management("water/fittings", "1", "Bend")
Add Subtype example 2 (Stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script demonstrates how to use the AddSubtype function as part of a workflow to add subtypes to a field.

# Name:
# Purpose: Create a subtype definition

# Import system modules
import arcpy
    # Set the workspace (to avoid having to type in the full path to the data every time)
    arcpy.env.workspace =  "C:/data/Montgomery.gdb"
    # Set local parameters
    inFeatures = "water/fittings"
    # Process: Set Subtype Field...
    arcpy.SetSubtypeField_management(inFeatures, "TYPECODE")
    # Process: Add Subtypes...
    # Store all the suptype values in a dictionary with the subtype code as the "key" and the 
    # subtype description as the "value" (stypeDict[code])
    stypeDict = {"0": "Unknown", "1": "Bend", "2": "Cap", "3": "Cross", "4": "Coupling",\
                 "5": "Expansion joint", "6": "Offset", "7":"Plug", "8": "Reducer",\
                 "9": "Saddle", "10": "Sleeve", "11": "Tap", "12": "Tee", "13": "Weld", "14": "Riser"} 
    # use a for loop to cycle through the dictionary
    for code in stypeDict:
        arcpy.AddSubtype_management(inFeatures, code, stypeDict[code])     
    # Process: Set Default Subtype...
    arcpy.SetDefaultSubtype_management(inFeatures, "4")
except Exception as err:

Licensing information

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

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