Work with data types, formats, and categories


You need the following account and license types to use this workflow:

  • Microsoft license—You need a Microsoft 365 license and the Contributor role or higher to use this workflow.
  • ArcGIS account type—Standard users can perform the basic functions of this workflow; you do not need to sign in.

You can use ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 data types, formats, and categories to improve location data matching results.

See Data and geocoding to learn more about geocoding.

The following sections contain information about setting up data for ArcGIS for Microsoft 365 and how Microsoft Excel converts that data to ArcGIS attribute data.


The types and formats of the data mapped by ArcGIS for Excel in general reflect Microsoft Excel data types and formats.

Cell value types

In general, the data types that can be written to a cell are number, text, logical (true and false), or error value. When you type input in a cell, Excel automatically detects and assigns the type.

For example, if you type abc, it is recognized as data type text. If you type true, it is recognized as data type logical and is automatically capitalized as TRUE to demonstrate that it is a logical value. If you type 0123, it is recognized as data type number and is converted to 123 in the cell.


The leading zero is removed when Excel assigns the data type and converts the value.

Format numbers

In Excel, you can format data type number as currency, percentage, decimal, and so on. This allows you to change how the number appears while keeping the data numeric rather than converting it to text, preserving numeric filtering and sorting capabilities.

See the related Microsoft documentation for more information.

ArcGIS for Excel converts Excel number formats to ArcGIS Arcade expressions so that the numeric properties are preserved while properly formatting the data in map layer pop-ups and labels in Excel. The formats are also preserved in Arcade when the map or layer is shared to ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Enterprise, and across ArcGIS. ArcGIS for Excel supports the conversion of all built-in Excel formats to Arcade, and recognizes most custom Excel number formats.

Location data such as postal codes can be either converted to data type text or kept as data type number with special formatting applied to preserve any leading zeros.

Learn more about special formatting in Excel

Dates and time

In Excel, dates and times are represented as number data type, with date or time formatting.

Learn more about formatting numbers as dates

Learn more about formatting dates

However, since Excel automatically detects the type, it may fail to detect the value as a date and incorrectly convert it to text data type.

Learn how to convert dates stored as text to dates

Map Excel value types to ArcGIS field types

When creating a layer from Excel data, the value types of each column must be identified to create the corresponding field in the new ArcGIS feature layer. The following table lists the Excel column types and the corresponding ArcGIS field types in ArcGIS for Excel:

Excel column value typeArcGIS field type

Number (not formatted as a date or time)


Number with date or time formatting




Logical value


Mixed (for example, numbers and text in the same column)