Add a layer to ArcMap using IGxDialog

Last Published: April 25, 2020


This article pertains to ArcGIS versions 9.x. Later versions of ArcGIS may contain different functionality, as well as different names and locations for menus, commands and geoprocessing tools.

The GxDialog object is used to provide browser functionality to ArcMap or ArcCatalog. The IGxObjectFilter creates a filter to restrict the data types that appear in the browser.

Instructions provided describe how to add a shapefile to ArcMap using the GxDialog and a shapefile object filter.

Support for Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) for ArcMap and ArcCatalog ended with the ArcGIS 10.2.2 release, and Esri has not included VBA compatibility setups since version 10.5. See: ArcGIS Desktop and VBA Moving Forward


  1. Start ArcMap.
  2. Create a new UIButtonControl: How To: Create a new UIButtonControl​
For more information on creating a UIControl, see the ArcGIS Desktop Help topic: 'Creating custom commands with VBA and UI Controls'
  1. Right-click the UIButtonControl and select View Source.
  2. Copy this code into the UIButtonControl's click event.
' add data showing shapefiles only in dialog
' posted by Jenny R. of ESRI Discussion Forum

Private Sub UIButtonControl1_Click()
End Sub

Public Sub AddShp()
    'make a dialog box object that will show shapefiles only
    Dim pGxDia As IGxDialog
    Set pGxDia = New GxDialog
    Dim pGxObFil As IGxObjectFilter
    'the type of filter dictates what type of files can be chosen
    'in this case it is shapefiles
    Set pGxObFil = New GxFilterShapefiles
    Set pGxDia.ObjectFilter = pGxObFil
    'make a gxEnum object to hold the files that the user selects from the dialog box
    Dim gxEnum As IEnumGxObject
    If Not pGxDia.DoModalOpen(0, gxEnum) Then
        Exit Sub 'Exit if user hits Cancel
        End If
    Dim gxObj As IGxObject
    Set gxObj = gxEnum.Next
    'Identify the workspace to access the file from
    'in this case it will be a shapefile workspace factory since that is the type of file that will be chosen    
    Dim wksFact As IWorkspaceFactory
    Set wksFact = New ShapefileWorkspaceFactory
    Dim wks As IWorkspace
    Set wks = wksFact.OpenFromFile(gxObj.Parent.FullName, 0)
    'create a new feature class object from the selected workspace
    'set it to the name of the shapefile chosen in the dialog
    Dim featWrk As IFeatureWorkspace
    Set featWrk = wks
    Dim fClass As IFeatureClass
    Set fClass = featWrk.OpenFeatureClass(gxObj.Name)
    'make a feature layer from teh featureclass object
    Dim lyr As IFeatureLayer
    Set lyr = New FeatureLayer
    Set lyr.FeatureClass = fClass
    lyr.Name = gxObj.Name
    'display the new feature layer on the current map
    Dim mxDoc As IMxDocument
    Set mxDoc = Application.Document
    Dim pMap As IMap
    Set pMap = mxDoc.FocusMap
    pMap.AddLayer lyr
End Sub
  1. Click the new UIButtonControl to execute the code that displays the shapefile browser dialog box.

Article ID:000005014

  • ArcMap 9 x

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