How To: Link to other map documents within a map document


In ArcGIS, users may want to link their map documents, hyperlinks, or scripts to other known map documents. The instructions provided describe how to use hyperlinks in the attribute table of a feature class.


  1. Add a new field in a feature class. This can be done in a new or existing feature class.
    With a new feature class:
    i. In ArcCatalog, navigate to a file geodatabase.
    ii. Right-click the file and navigate to New > Feature Class.
    iii. Select the appropriate name and alias, coordinate system, XY Tolerance and database storage configuration.
    iv. Under 'Field Name', create a new field called 'MXD_Path', and set the Data Type to Text.
    [O-Image] FieldName
    v. Click Finish.

    With an existing feature class:
    i. Add a new field by right-clicking the feature class and navigating to Open Attribute Table > Add Field.
    ii. Name the new field 'MXD_Path', and set the Data Type to Text.
  2. Start an Edit session, and create or highlight a new or existing feature in the feature class. This is the visual key on which the link is accessed.
    At least one feature must exist. To create a new feature, start an Edit session and use the ‘Create Features’ tool to create polygons, lines, or points.
  3. Open the Attribute window, and paste the file path to the MXD in the MXD_Path field.
    [O-Image] Attributes
  4. Stop and save edits.
  5. Right-click the feature class and go to Properties. Go to the Display tab and check on 'Support Hyperlinks using field:'. Select the MXD_Path field and make sure Document is checked. Click OK.
  6. Select the Hyperlink tool, and click on the feature with a hyperlinked path in the MXD_Path field. The hyperlinked map document opens in a new ArcMap session.
    [O-Image] hyperlink

Related Information