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Shapefiles in ArcGIS Pro

You work with shapefiles in ArcGIS Pro in a similar way to working with feature classes. They can be added to the map as a layer and you can work with their fields and properties in the fields view.

Add a shapefile to the map

You can access a shapefile in ArcGIS Pro by using a folder connection in the Catalog pane.

  1. Add a connection to a folder.
  2. Navigate to the location of the shapefile within the folder connection.
  3. Right-click the shapefile and select Add to Current MapAdd To Current Map to add the shapefile to the current map.

Alternatively, you can click Add Data Add Data on the Map tab on the ribbon and browse to the shapefile location.

Working with shapefiles in fields view

Fields view can be used to add or delete fields, view field properties, or modify layer properties for shapefiles. See An overview of fields for more information on fields view.

Below is an example of some standard editing tasks you can do in fields view. Here, edits are being made to a shapefile layer named Building.

  1. Delete unnecessary fields.
  2. Add a new field named BLDGTYPE.
  3. Change the layer properties of a field: visibility, read-only, or field alias.
  4. Some field properties are read-only and are disabled, such as Field Name.
Example edits done on a shapefile in fields view

Limitations of shapefiles

Although a shapefile may appear similar to a feature class, it does not have advanced geodatabase behavior, so there are some limitations.

  • In fields view, you can add, delete, or copy fields, but once the field is saved, altering the field properties is not supported.
  • Domains and subtypes are not supported for shapefiles.
  • Shapefiles cannot be added to the project Databases folder but must be stored in the project folder or a folder connection.
  • Adding an attribute or spatial index is currently not supported for shapefiles on the layer properties indexes tab. See the Indexes toolset for more information on adding or removing an index in ArcGIS Pro.