Zipping a shapefile via ArcToolbox


After receiving a request to modify the code to ignore .lock files, I have an updated to this post.


I’ve received a request on how to use the Zip Shapefile code I posted last week from ArcGIS. Sorry, I did not set the code up to call directly from ArcGIS but only as an illustration of how it can be done.

I have, however, with some minor tweaking, made a version that can added to ArcToolbox. The steps to install are below, please note that at one point I had you download a *.zip file that had been renamed to *.jpg–this should now be corrected and the link should lead you directly to  Because of this steps two and three are obsolete.

1) Download the code from here.
2) Rename the file from zipshapefile-zip.jpg back to
3) Unzip the file.
4) Move to C:Program
5) Optionally, move Zip Shapefile.tbx, perhaps C:Program FilesArcGISArcToolBoxToolboxes.
6) Add the toolbox to ArcToolbox. ESRI has instructions here on how to do this.

You should now have a new toolbox named “Zip Shapefile” with a script named “Zip a Shapefile” in it. Clicking on on the tool will bring up this dialog.

In response to Chris:

I believe you need to copy the file from the .zip that you downloaded to C:Program FilesArcGISArcToolBoxScripts, the error message is consistent with the tool not being about to find the python script there.

If you prefer to place the in a different location, you will need to change the source on the tool. To do this, right click on the tool in ArcCatalog and change the path of the Script File as set in the Source tab (see below):

Zipping a shapefile using python


After receiving a request to modify the code to ignore .lock files, I have an updated to this post.

One of the tasks I’ve been automating is publishing a weekly data update to a website. The update consists of shapefile. The trouble with shapefiles is they consist of 3 or more files with the same basename but different extensions in the same directory.

Not an overly complicated situation but a common one that ArcGIS does not have a solution out-of-the-box. Below is a bare-bones code snippet to do it. It has both the input shapefile and output zip file hard-coded. The call to the subroutine that does the work is: zipShapefile(wellsShapeFile,wellsZipFile)

import zipfile
import sys
import os
import glob
wellsShapeFile = "C:/cwi5_bk/WELLS/wells.SHP"
wellsZipFile = "C:/cwi5_bk/WELLS/"

def zipShapefile(inShapefile, newZipFN):
   print 'Starting to Zip '+inShapefile+' to '+newZipFN

if not (os.path.exists(inShapefile)):
   print inShapefile + ' Does Not Exist'
   return False

if (os.path.exists(newZipFN)):
   print 'Deleting '+newZipFN

if (os.path.exists(newZipFN)):
   print 'Unable to Delete'+newZipFN
   return False

zipobj = zipfile.ZipFile(newZipFN,'w')

for infile in glob.glob( inShapefile.lower().replace(".shp",".*")):
   print infile

return True

print "done!"