Delete Field (Data Management)


This tool deletes one or more fields from a table, feature class, feature layer, or raster dataset.



DeleteField_management (in_table, drop_field)
ParameterExplanationData Type

The table containing the fields to be deleted. The existing input table will be modified.

Mosaic Layer; Raster Catalog Layer; Raster Layer; Table View

The fields to be dropped from the input table. Only nonrequired fields may be deleted.


Code Sample

DeleteField example (Python window)

The following Python window script demonstrates how to use the DeleteField tool in immediate mode:

import arcpy
from arcpy import env
env.workspace = "C:/data"
arcpy.CopyFeatures_management("majorrds.shp", "C:/output/majorrds_copy.shp")
                             ["STREET_NAM", "LABEL", "CLASS"])
DeleteField example 2 (stand-alone script)

The following stand-alone script demonstrates how to use the DeleteField tool:

# Name:
# Description: Delete several fields from a feature class
# Author: ESRI
# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env
# Set environment settings
env.workspace = "C:/data"
# Set local variables
inFeatures = "accident.dbf"
outFeatureClass = "C:/output/new_accident.dbf"
dropFields = ["STREET_NAM", "LABEL", "CLASS"]
# Execute CopyFeatures to make a new copy of the feature class
#  Use CopyRows if you have a table
arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(inFeatures, outFeatureClass)
# Execute DeleteField
arcpy.DeleteField_management(outFeatureClass, dropFields)
DeleteField example 3 (stand-alone script)

Use DeleteField to clear all unnecessary fields from a feature class or table.

# Name:
# Description: Delete unrequired fields from a feature class or tble.
# Author: ESRI
# Import system modules
import arcpy
from arcpy import env
    # Get user-supplied input and output arguments
    inTable = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(0)
    updatedTable = arcpy.GetParameterAsText(1)
    # Describe the input (need to test the dataset and data types)
    desc = arcpy.Describe(updatedTable)
    # Make a copy of the input (so we can mantain the original as is)
    if desc.datasetType == "FeatureClass":
        arcpy.CopyFeatures_management(inTable, updatedTable)
        arcpy.CopyRows_management(inTable, updatedTable)
    # Use ListFields to get a list of field objects
    fieldObjList = arcpy.ListFields(updatedTable)
    # Create an empty list that will be populated with field names        
    fieldNameList = []
    # For each field in the object list, add the field name to the
    #  name list.  If the field is required, exclude it, to prevent errors
    for field in fieldObjList:
        if not field.required:
    # dBASE tables require a field other than an OID and Shape.  If this is
    #  the case, retain an extra field (the first one in the original list)
    if desc.dataType in ["ShapeFile", "DbaseTable"]:
        fieldNameList = fieldNameList[1:]
    # Execute DeleteField to delete all fields in the field list. 
    arcpy.DeleteField_management(updatedTable, fieldNameList)
except Exception, e:
    # If an error occurred, print line number and error message
    import traceback, sys
    tb = sys.exc_info()[2]
    print "Line %i" % tb.tb_lineno
    print e.message


Related Topics

Licensing Information

ArcView: Yes
ArcEditor: Yes
ArcInfo: Yes