The Attributes tab is used to view the attribute fields of each layer and their definitions. The Attributes tab is also used to view, delete, or create spatial and attribute indexes for the layer.

Spatial indexing and attribute indexing can save valuable field time. Although ArcPad can index your data in the field, most mobile devices do not have sufficient processing power to index large datasets. Consequently, it is recommended that indexes be created on the desktop PC. It is a good idea to create a spatial index, as well as attribute indexes, for all fields that will be queried in ArcPad using the Find tool. An attribute index can reduce find times from many minutes to seconds.



When checked, an index exists for the associated geometry or attribute. When unchecked, an index does not exist for the associated geometry or attribute. Checking an index check box creates a new index; unchecking an index field check box deletes the existing index. Geometry, or spatial, indexes are automatically deleted when a shapefile layer is activated for editing and are automatically created when the shapefile layer is deactivated for editing. Spatial or attribute indexes cannot be created while the shapefile layer is active for editing. In contrast, spatial indexes are dynamically maintained for ArcPad AXF files and, consequently, cannot be created or deleted.

Shapefiles can have a spatial index defined for the geometry or coordinates of the features. The spatial index is stored in .sbn and .sbx files associated with the shapefile. Shapefiles can also have an attribute index for each field in the shapefile’s dBASE table. Each attribute index is stored in a file using the naming convention of <shapefile>.<field>.atx.

The default is to use the existing indexes for the shapefile or ArcPad AXF feature table.


Displays the attribute field names. The first row, Geometry, is not a field but is used for viewing, creating, and deleting the shapefile’s spatial index.

This is a display-only field.


Displays the attribute types (C = Character, D = Date, N = Numeric, L = Logical).

This is a display-only field.


Displays the size of the attribute fields.

This is a display-only field.


Displays the decimal precision of numeric attributes.

This is a display-only field.