How To: Make ArcGIS read the image world file instead of the internal header


Instructions provided describe how to make ArcGIS read the image world file instead of the internal header. When displaying an image in ArcMap, the image may not display the correct coordinates or may not be aligned with other data as expected. Images may have internal georeferencing information stored in the file header. When raster data is displayed in ArcMap, the file header information takes precedence over spatial referencing information stored in the world file.


The instructions below include making changes to essential parts of your operating system. It is recommended that you backup your operating system and files, including the registry, before proceeding. Consult with a qualified computer systems professional, if necessary.

Esri cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions; therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.
An ArcGIS registry setting controls whether the header or world file information takes precedence. Follow the directions below to change this registry setting.
  1. Click Start > Run and type 'regedit' in the text box. Click OK.
  2. Navigate to the following registry location:
  3. Right-click FILEPREF.FAVOR_WORLD_FILE and select Modify.
  4. Enter a value of 'true' in the Edit String dialog and click OK.
    ArcGIS now reads the world file instead of the image header.
    An ArcObjects sample is available which generates a world file for an image. Clink the link to ArcObjects Online in Related Information and search on the keywords 'create world file' to access this sample.

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