Create a [MAP] file for geoprocessing toolboxes/tools and use it to create a compiled help system (CHM)


Instructions provided describe how to create a [MAP] file for geoprocessing toolboxes/tools and use it to create a compiled help system (CHM). Each compiled help file (CHM) requires a single [MAP] file. This [MAP] file contains a textual ID and a numeric representation of each toolbox/tool. Each value must be unique.

The numeric value in this file corresponds to the Help Context value found on the Properties dialog box.
[O-Image] kb27680_1

The toolbox/tool uses this Help Context value to search through the [MAP] file. When the corresponding value is found the associated ID (in the [MAP] file) is used to navigate through the [ALIAS] file and find the correct *.htm to display when the CHM opens.


All [MAP] files follow the format below:
#define + IDH_ + <tbxname/toolname> + <Help Context value>

The following is an example:
#define IDH_AnalysisTools 1000000

The <tbxname/toolname> is a variable describing the toolbox or tool. It does not need to be the exact name as the toolbox/tool, it only needs to match the variable used in the [ALIAS] file. The examples shown use the toolbox/tool name for clarity and ease of use.

Follow the steps below to create the [MAP] file.

  1. Create a [MAP] file from scratch by opening any text editor.
  2. Follow the format above and enter a single line of text and numeric value for each toolbox/tool to reference, for example:

    #define IDH_Extract 1010000
    #define IDH_Clip 1010001
  3. Reference all toolboxes/tools and save the file with an *.h extension. Save the *.h file in the same location as the rest of the CHM project files.

    It must be compiled with all the other CHM files so that its functionality is embedded in the CHM and the help files open properly.

Article ID:000007284

  • ArcMap 9 x

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