Mxd Editor Tool

This document was published with and applies to ArcGIS 9.3.
A 10 version also exists.
Summary Mxd Editor is a tool that allows you to inspect and fix broken layers in your map documents (.mxd files). It is based on the Eclipse RCP framework and leverages the arcobjects components provided by ArcGIS Engine and ArcGIS Server. The tool is provided with the ArcGIS Engine Java Developer Kit and ArcGIS Server Java SOC installations.

Additional Requirements
  • For Windows, A JRE (version 5 or above) must be installed and available in your PATH.

Repairing broken layers

To check for and repair any broken layers in your .mxd document, launch the Mxd Editor tool by using the provided scripts (MxdEditor.bat for Windows and for Unix) under $ARCGISHOME/java/tools/mxdeditor.
Do not use the mxdeditor executables to launch the tool. Instead, use the batch file or the shell script because they set up the required environment before launching the tool.
Once the tool opens up, click the Open icon and browse to your .mxd document. The document's layers are listed in the TOC on the left, and the map's default extent is shown on the right. All broken layers will be flagged in the TOC with an exclamation mark in red.
You can right-click on any broken layer and repair it by choosing the Repair Data Source option in the context-menu.
The Repair Data Source option is unavailable for layers that are not supported, and disabled for layers that are not broken.
The Mxd Editor can only modify a layer's workspace - in other words, the location where the layer's data exists. It cannot modify what data the layer uses.
If your layer's data resides in an Enterprise Geodatabase, the Set Data Source dialog will allow you to change the ArcSDE connection properties of your workspace.
If your layer uses file-based data, the Set Data Source dialog will allow you to browse to your layer's workspace folder.
On Unix platforms, it is worthwhile to ensure that the dataset's name has no case differences with what the layer expects. For example, in the situation shown above, the layer being repaired expects a raster called orb1m_stp1.sid (indicated in the DataSource field of the Set Data Source dialog). Hence the /data/washington folder must contain a raster called orb1m_stp1.sid. If the raster name mismatches due to case differences, the layer will remain broken.
The Set Data Source dialog only allows you to browse to a folder on disk for file-based datasets. This is fine for most data because their workspace is always a folder. But if the workspace is a file (for eg, the workspace of a NetCDF dataset is the file ending with the .nc extension) you will need to manually append the file name to the path in the New Location textbox.
After specifying the new workspace folder or connection properties, you can apply the change to only that layer by using the Apply button, or to all broken layers pointing to the same workspace by using the Apply to All button. You can save the modified map as an .mxd document by using the Save button, and choose whether you want the map to store full or relative paths to your layers' workspaces.

Supported layers

Mxd Editor can fix broken layers that use the following data formats -

Layer's Workspace

A layer's workspace specifies where the layer's data exists. When the data is in an Enterprise Geodatabase, the workspace is represented by the ArcSDE connection parameters used to access the Enterprise Geodatabase. Sometimes, the workspace is also represented by the .sde file containing these parameters. When the data is represented by a file or a set of files, the workspace is the folder containing these file(s) - for instance, shapefiles. When the data is represented by a folder or a set of folders, the workspace is the folder containing these folder(s) - for instance, GRID rasters and Coverages. For File Geodatabases, the workspace is the folder ending with .gdb extension, and for Personal Geodatabases, the workspace is the file ending with .mdb extension. Being familiar with a dataset's workspace will help in repairing it's broken layer.

Online Updates

You can use the Mxd Editor's built-in update manager to check for and download updates that are posted on the EDN website. To do so, choose the Update option under the Help menu. This will bring up the Product Configuration dialog. Expand the tree on the left, right-click on the MXD Editor Feature, and choose Find Updates from the context-menu.