Creating Custom Tool Buttons for ArcPad

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					  Creating Custom Tool Buttons for ArcPad
  By Chris Wayne, ESRI–Olympia

  This tutorial will teach you how to create
  a custom toolbar for ArcPad using ArcPad
  Studio, the development environment that is
  included with ArcPad Application Builder.             Use the
  This toolbar incorporates three custom buttons        Attribute
  and three built-in ArcPad buttons taken from          dialog box
  other ArcPad toolbars. A basic understanding          to add name,
  of ArcPad is assumed.                                 image,
      Download the archive file,,         and event
  from the ArcUser Online Web site at                   attributes to This archive file               the elements
  contains several files: toolbar_tutorial.apm;         in the applet.
  the landmark shapefile; bit maps for custom
  buttons; and tutorial.vbs, a VBScript that
  contains the scripts that are referenced by the
  custom tools.
      ArcPad applets (or .apa files) are mini-
  applications created in ArcPad Studio and
  stored in ArcPad XML format. Applets can
  contain toolbars, forms, and system object
  event handlers; work in more than one ArcPad
  map; and eliminate the need to alter ArcPadʼs
  configuration. Unlike Java applets, ArcPad
  applets are modules that run inside the ArcPad
  application and are stored in the Applets folder
  in the ArcPad installation directory. They are
  loaded automatically by ArcPad. This exercise
  creates an applet for delivering the custom

  Getting Started
  All ArcPad customization files—configuration
  files, applets, and extensions—are stored in
  ArcPad XML format. ArcPad XML is based
  on the XML 1.0 specification and is UTF-8
  encoded. It uses the same syntax as ArcXML
  wherever possible, especially for symbology.
  All customization files are displayed in
  ArcPad XML in tree view. Custom toolbars              After adding
  can contain built-in ArcPad tools and custom          all the
  tools. Toolbars and tool buttons can be created       custom tool
  by using the Toolbar dialog box or by working         buttons, their
  directly in tree view. This exercise creates the      attributes,
  toolbar and tool buttons in tree view.                and the built-
    1. Verify that ArcPad, ArcPad Application           in ArcPad
        Builder, and the sample data that comes         tools to
        with ArcPad are installed locally on the        myToolbar,
        computer that will be used for this exercise.   the
    2. After downloading the sample data                tutorial.apa
        archive from the ArcUser Online                 should
        Web site, create a directory called             resemble this
        aps_tutorial. Unzip the archive into this       illustration.
    3. Start ArcPad Studio by choosing Start >
        Programs or using a desktop shortcut.
    4. Choose File > New > Applet. An

54 ArcUser October–December 2003                
                                                                                                                                                 Hands On

                                                                                                           What You Will Need
                                                                                                           • ArcPad 6.0.2
                                                                                                           • ArcPad Application Builder 6.0.1
                                                                                                           • San Diego sample data that comes with ArcPad
                                                                                                           • The archive for this tutorial downloaded from
                                                                                                             ArcUser Online Web site (
                                                                                                           • An unzipping utility such as WinZip

                                                                                                      Use the Toolbar dialog
                                                                                                      box to add built-in
                                                                                                      ArcPad tools to the
                                                                                                      custom toolbar.

        <APPLET> element appears under the            3. Right-click on the <TOOLBAR>                      <TOOLBUTTON> element.
        root <ArcPad> root element.                      element and choose Add Attribute. Type         3. Right-click on the <TOOLBUTTON>
     5. Rename it MyApplet by right-clicking             name in the Name field and myToolbar              element and choose Add Attribute. In
        on the <APPLET> element and choosing             in the Value field.                               the Name field, type name and type
        Add Attribute from the context menu.                                                               AddLandmark in the Value field.
        In the Attribute dialog box, type name       Add Custom Tool Buttons                            4. Right-click on the <TOOLBUTTON>
        in the Name field and myApplet in the        These tools will display a message, add a new         element and choose Add Attribute.
        Value field.                                 landmark feature by clicking on the map, add a        Type image in the Name field and
     6. Choose File > Save As and name this          new landmark feature using GPS, and provide           Landmark.bmp in the Value field.
        applet file tutorial.apa. Save it in <your   information about the layers in the current        5. Right-click on the <TOOLBUTTON>
        directory>\aps_tutorial.                     map. The process for creating each button             element and choose Add Attribute.
                                                     is the same. Add a tool button element to             Type onpointerup in the Name field and
    Reference the VBScript                           myToolbar and give it three attributes—name,          AddLandmark in the Value field.
     1. Right-click on the myApplet <APPLET>         image, and event. ArcPad tool buttons have         6. Save the applet again.
        element and choose Add Element.              four kinds of events—onclick, onpointerdown,        Repeat this same process to add the other
     2. Name the new element SCRIPT.                 onpointermove, and onpointerup. The              three custom tool buttons. Use the attribute
     3. Right-click on the new SCRIPT element        onpointerup and onclick event attributes will    values listed in Figure 1. The image values
        and choose Add Attribute. Type src in the    be used to call subroutines in tutorial.vbs.     $bex and $question are referencing bit map
        Name field and tutorial.vbs in the Value       1. Expand the <TOOLBARS>                       icons that are built into ArcPad Studio.
        field.                                            element. Right-click on the
                                                          <TOOLBAR>myToolbar element and              Borrow Built-In ArcPad Tools
    Add Toolbars                                          choose Add Element. Name the new            Because the attributes for built-in ArcPad are
    The <TOOLBARS> element will contain the               element TOOLBUTTON.                         already defined, they can be quickly added
    custom toolbar.                                    2. Reexpand the <TOOLBARS> and                 using the Toolbar dialog box.
     1. Right-click on myApplets and choose               <TOOLBAR> elements to see the new                                   Continued on page 56
         Add Element. Name this element
         TOOLBARS.                                    ELEMENT NAME             TOOLBUTTON              TOOLBUTTON                    TOOLBUTTON
     2. Add the custom toolbar by right-clicking      NAME ATTRIBUTE           DemoToolbutton          GPSAddLandmark                SummaryInfo
         on the <TOOLBARS> element and
         choose Add Element. Name this new            IMAGE ATTRIBUTE          $bex                    gpsLandmark.bmp               $question
         element TOOLBAR.                             EVENT ATTRIBUTE          onclick                 onclick                       onclick
                                                     Figure 1: Values for the other three custom buttons                                                                                                         ArcUser October–December 2003 55
Hands On

  Creating Custom Tool Buttons for ArcPad
  Continued from page 55

                                                                                                                                           Use the
                                                                                                                                           custom tool
                                                                                                                                           buttons to
                                                                                                                                           display a
                                                                                                                                           box or add
                                                                                                                                           features either
                                                                                                                                           or (if you are
                                                                                                                                           in San Diego
                                                                                                                                           and have
                                                                                                                                           a receiver)
                                                                                                                                           by using
                                                                                                                                           GPS. The
                                                                                                                                           button (shown
                                                                                                                                           here) obtains
                                                                                                                                           about map

   1. Double-click on the <TOOLBAR>                     and paste the code from script.txt                (i.e., the arrow to the right of the
      element. A dialog box for adding                  (Control + V). With the addition of this          hammer-and-wrench icon) and choose
      commands to the toolbar will pop up.              code, tutorial.vbs now contains all the           Options. Scroll to the right until the
      Scroll through the list of commands               subroutines referenced by the custom              Paths tab is active. In the Applets File
      in the left pane of the dialog box and            tool buttons.                                     Path window, type or browse to the
      click on clearselected. Click on the Add       3. Click the Compile button to compile               aps_tutorial folder.
      button to add it to the custom commands           the script. If compilation succeeds, the       3. Alternately, copy the .bmp, .apa, and
      already listed in the right pane.                 computer will beep. Check for omitted             .vbs files to <root directory>:\Program
   2. Repeat this process for the                       text if the script wonʼt compile.                 Files\ArcPad\Applets.
      featureproperties and zoomtoselected           4. Save tutorial.vbs and tutorial.apa again.      4. Using either method requires closing
      commands.                                                                                           ArcPad and restarting it because ArcPad
   3. Save the applet now.                          Try Out the                                           only loads applets when it is initialized.
                                                    Customizations in ArcPad                            After restarting ArcPad, the custom toolbar
  Write Scripts for                                 Before starting ArcPad, copy the files it will   should appear. Click on the Bex button to invoke
  the Custom Commands                               need to access for the customizations.           the message box. Use the other buttons to obtain
  Several of the subroutines needed for              1. Copy toolbar_tutorial.apm from               information about map layers or add landmark
  the custom buttons are already listed in              aps_tutorial folder to <root directory>:     features either interactively or by using GPS (if
  tutorial.vbs, but two more need to be added           \Program Files\ArcPad\Samples\San            you are in San Diego and have a receiver).
  from the script.txt file that was included            Diego (or wherever the ArcPad sample
  with the archive downloaded from ArcUser              data was installed). Copy all of the         Additional Information
  Online.                                               landmarks.* files to the same folder.        For more information on using ArcPad
    1. Open script.txt in WordPad, select all the    2. Start ArcPad and open toolbar_               Studio to customize ArcPad, take the ESRI
       text, and copy it to the system clipboard.       tutorial.apm. The customizations are not     Virtual Campus ( workshop
       Close WordPad.                                   visible but donʼt worry. There are two       Customizing ArcPad. Public domain templates
    2. In ArcPad Studio, choose File > Open             ways to call them up—altering the Path       for ArcPad have been developed for various
       and set the file filter to All Files. Open       setting or copying the customization         applications and are available at no charge
       tutorial.vbs from the aps_tutorial folder.       files. To change the path, click on the      from
       Scroll to the very end of the script,            pulldown menu under the tools button         templates.html.

56 ArcUser October–December 2003                                                                                                  

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