DBFHTML: Describe and list a DBF file

A common problem with older scientific data products is understanding the quirks introduced in the data by conversion to the DBF format, which typically is created when geospatial data are exported to the shapefile format.

This program reads a specified DBF file and generates an HTML page describing its contents, in three parts:

In the list of fields, if any character field has the longest width possible (254 characters) and its longest value is the same, the field is highlighted as a potential problem because it is possible that the field's contents were truncated to fit the field length limit imposed by the DBF format. In the listing of the row data, any cell containing a value that may have been truncated is highlighted as well.


dbfhtml.exe 1.3M Executable for Microsoft Windows command line
dbfhtml.kit 390K Tcl Starkit, contains source code
dbfhtml.tcl 6.2K Tcl source code, requires TclDBF extension


This program is run from a command line. For users of Microsoft Windows who may be unfamiliar with the command line, see How to get a command prompt in Microsoft Windows and The Windows Command Line.

At the command prompt, type dbfhtml filename.dbf, replacing filename with the name of your DBF file. If a small window opens, just close it by clicking its close box.

If using the starkit version (dbfhtml.kit) run the program using tclkit 8.4 , like tclkit dbfhtml.kit filename.dbf A suitable version of tclkit may be obtained from Tclkit Downloads. I believe this program will require a tclkit version 8.4, not 8.5.

Technical contact:

    Peter N. Schweitzer
    Mail Stop 954, National Center
    U.S. Geological Survey
    Reston, VA 20192

    Tel: (703) 648-6533
    FAX: (703) 648-6252
    Email: pschweitzer@usgs.gov