Customize ArcPad’s ‘Use-Once’ Map Navigator

MapNavigatorArcPad’s Map Navigator is a convenient way to zoom in or out and pan around your map without having to change the toolbar you are currently using.  But have you ever been frustrated by its ‘use-once’ property?  When you tap the Zoom Out or Pan buttons, they are used only once and then switched back to the Zoom In tool.  This can be confusing if you try to pan or zoom out more than once and forget to re-select the appropriate tool.  Isn’t the Map Navigator meant to be a time-saver?

Like anything in ArcPad, the Map Navigator is fully customizable, and you do not need to be a programmer to make this small, but very helpful change.

On your desktop, locate the ArcPad.apx file found in My Documents\My ArcPad. You can open this file in a text editor or in ArcPad Studio.  Locate the part of the xml that refers to the Map Navigator, and change the useonce=”true” to useonce=”false”.


Save and close the ArcPad.apx file and copy to your handheld.  On the handheld, you will need to place it in the same My Documents\My ArcPad folder and overwrite the existing file in there.

Now when you tap the Pan or Zoom Out tools on the Map Navigator, the setting will stick and will not automatically switch back to Zoom In.

There are many other easy ways to customize how this feature looks and even which tools are included, and you can learn about them here.

For more ways to make ArcPad work for you, stay tuned to this blog and check out our upcoming Advanced ArcPad class.