A few ways to share your custom geoprocessing toolbox


Let’s consider a situation when you’re creating a custom toolbox which must be shared with your colleagues or users in remote offices.

There are quite a few ways to distribute this custom toolbox:

1. If the Tool is only required in the System Toolboxes section of the Catalog Window, one can simply place the ToolBox in the location C:\Program Files\ArcGIS\Desktop10.0\ArcToolbox\Toolboxes

2. If the tool box is required in the MyToolboxes section of the Catalog window, then the custom toolboxes can be placed here:
C:\Users\<Current User>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcToolbox\My Toolboxes

3. Another way to get the toolboxes (from a custom location) to show up in the My Toolboxes section is to specify a custom location of the “MyToolboxes” folder in the registry:

WARNING: 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 Australia cannot guarantee results from incorrect modifications while following these instructions; therefore, use caution and proceed at your own risk.

Type RegEdit in the command line and when the registry editor opens navigate to HKEY_Current_User\Software\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcToolbox\Settings

(If this does not exist – create it).
In the settings key, right-click and select New > String Value and change the name of the string value to “My Toolboxes Folder” (no quotes). Double-click “My Toolboxes Folder” and change the data value to the new location of the My Toolboxes Folder. The location specified will become a default location for MyToolboxes list in the Catalog Window.

Some users may want to have a custom toolbox installed together with the ArcGIS Desktop software. Well, the addition of the custom toolboxes is not something that is possible to be set during the installation of the software itself but this can be done with an extra step once the software is installed and authorized on the users machines.
You can use a simple script to copy the custom toolbox from a network location and place it in the folder locations so that the toolboxes appear in the ‘System Toolboxes’ or ‘My Toolboxes’ section.

You can paste the script like the following one to the Notepad and save it as *.bat file

Xcopy  /s  c:\source  d:\target

The above script simply copies files from c:\source to d:\target (for example from the network folder to C:\Users\<current user>\AppData\Roaming\ESRI\Desktop10.0\ArcToolbox\My Toolboxes) . You can modify this to have it copy files from a network location to a location on the ArcGIS Desktop machine which will show the toolboxes in the System Toolboxes folder.

Once the bat file is created you can double-click on it to run or ask you IT to add it to the silent installation script used to install and authorise ArcGIS Desktop 10.

Happy geoprocessing with your custom toolboxes!

Ivan E

This entry was posted in General and tagged , , on by .

About Ivan E.

Russia-born geographer with a degree in Cartography and GIS with a 18-year Esri-related experience. Had been working for Esri Russia (CIS) then moved to Australia to join Esri Australia as support trainer in the Professional services dept. Area of expertise: ArcGIS Desktop software, 3D modelling (CityEngine), cartography, remote sensing

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