Formatting numeric fields in tables

Formatting a numeric field is one way to make it easier to work with your attribute information. Setting a numeric field to be a percentage, direction, or currency value immediately gives context to the number and makes its value easy to understand and read. If you add a table to the layout of your map, the numeric formatting will be honored.

If you find that numeric values are being cut off or rounded in the table, right-click the field, click Properties, then review the number formatting. Since six is the default number of decimal places to display in the Table window, you may need to increase this value to see the full number. For example, if you have a table in an ArcSDE geodatabase containing a field of type double with a scale of eight, the last two digits are dropped off because the Table window only displays six decimal places by default. Increasing the number of decimal places will allow you to see all the digits. Similarly, you can decrease the number of decimal places if you want to see fewer in the Table window.


Changing how attribute data is displayed does not change the underlying data. The formatting information is only saved in the layer or map you are editing.

  1. Right-click the table or layer in the table of contents and choose Open Attribute Table.
  2. Right-click a field heading and click Properties.
  3. Click the Number Format ellipsis button Ellipsis.
  4. Set the category and options you want to use on the Number Format dialog box.

    Each number format category has its own set of available formatting options. For example, with the Numeric category, you can specify the number of decimal places or significant digits to display; define the alignment of the cell; and turn on or off options for showing thousands separators, padding with zeros, and showing a plus sign for positive numbers.

  5. Click OK on all dialog boxes.

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