Toolbox Metadata. How does this work?

04-26-2013 09:07 AM
Regular Contributor

  • I've created several python scripts and created tools from them.

  • I have a custom toolbox that contains all of my tools.

  • I add this toolbox to the ArcToolbox window in ArcCatalog.

  • I want to create metadata and set parameter explanations for each tool.

I've noticed that, when I navigate to my toolbox using the ArcToolbox window, I cannot edit metadata by highlighting the tool in the toolbox window and choosing the 'Description' tab in the catalog window. I can, however, right click in the tool and choose 'Item Description', which opens another window and I can edit metadata in there.

Next, I go to the Catalog Tree Window and navigate to the location of the toolbox. In this situation, I can highlight the tool and choose the 'Description' tab and edit the metedata there. This, however, does not translate the edited metadata back to the same tool in the ArcToolbox window. If I open the tool in ArcToolbox window and highlight a parameter, I still get a description message of 'No description available'. So, it's like I have to edit the metadata twice. Once in the Arctoolbox window and then again in the Catalog Tree Window.

I've noticed this about the Description tab in ArcCatalog. It only honors selection in the Catalog Tree Window. If I a have tool selected in the ArcToolbox window, the description is still set to whatever is highlighted in the tree window, not the toolbox window.

Is this how it's supposed to work? I'm OK with only having to be able to edit metadata in the Catalog tree window, but the fact that metadata does not translate back to the same tool in ArcToolbox window is odd to me. Am I doing something wrong?

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1 Reply
Regular Contributor
I suspect this is just a refresh issue with the ArcToolbox window.  There is definitely only one item description that you edit using the item description editor, available in ArcCatalog or the Catalog tree in ArcMap. 

After editing the Item Description in Catalog, exit the application (ArcMap/ArcCatalog).  Open the application, show the ArcToolbox window, and see if your item description has been refreshed.  If that doesn't work, try removing and adding your tool to the ArcToolbox window.  If neither of these work, I'll do some more investigating. 

What version you running?  Obviously, it has to be 10.x since Item Description was introduced at 10.0, but what specific version you on?
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