Shapefile text field unicode

Shapefile text field unicode

I used ArcGIS 10.3.1 to create shapefile with a text field with 5 length. When I entered a unicode text with 5 characters, ArcGIS lost the last 3 chars (saved only 2 beginning chars).

What's the problem?

ArcGIS Desktop has a only certain amount of unicode support, which relies heavily on the data. I know fGDB Feature Classes support Unicode by default. I don't think shapefiles do. I made a 5 character text field in a shapefile and it could only store 1 of my 5 enclosed alpha numeric unicode characters. Where as the fGDB FC works perfectly on the same test.

I did some digging and found these antiquated shapefile formats are not great at unicode, in fact unicode support is not enabled by default. You have to change the registry to enable it:

Unicode in ArcGIS - Shapefiles

Watch the video: ArcGIS - Converting a geodatabase to shapefiles