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Adding custom commands and toolbars from .dlls

Release 9.2
Last modified November 9, 2006
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About adding custom commands and toolbars

You don't have to use VBA to create custom commands and toolbars—in fact, in some cases, your custom commands and toolbars may require you to use another development environment. You can create custom objects in any programming language that supports the Microsoft Component Object Model (COM). Custom commands or toolbars created outside VBA are often distributed as ActiveX DLLs. If you have created some custom commands and toolbars or someone else has given you an ActiveX DLL containing custom commands and toolbars, you can easily add these objects to ArcMap or ArcCatalog. After adding a custom object to ArcMap or ArcCatalog, you can use it as you would any core command or toolbar.

How to add custom commands and toolbars

  1. Click the Tools menu and click Customize.
  2. Click Add from file.
  3. Navigate to the file containing the custom command.
  4. Click the file and click Open.
  5. The Added Objects dialog box appears, reporting which new objects have been registered with ArcMap or ArcCatalog.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click the Toolbars tab.
  8. Check the custom toolbar that was added or check the toolbar to which you want to add the custom command.
  9. Click the Commands tab.
  10. Click the custom command's category in the Categories list.
  11. Click and drag the command from the Commands list and drop it on the toolbar.
  12. Click Close.


  • If a search string is entered in the 'Show commands containing' text field, you may not see the newly added command(s) immediately after dismissing the Added Object dialog. Cancel the command list filtering by clearing the search string in the text field.
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