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In ArcMap 9.3, we had issues with our toolbars always stacking up instead of remaining where they were placed. This was mainly an issue on dual monitor workstations and we would occasionally see the issue on a single monitor workstation. When we reported the issue to ESRI, they said it was a known bug: NIM003161.

I won't have an opportunity to install ArcGIS 10 on a dual monitor workstation for a couple of months and I was wondering what the user experience is when opening saved MXDs on dual (or triple) monitor workstations? Are toolbars staying put?

I looked up bug #NIM003161 and its status is on-hold and last modified on March 25, 2010 and the version fixed is still blank. That part worries me a little, but I'm hoping ESRI just hasn't gotten around to updating that bug. Or maybe ESRI will read the answers to this question on and update their bug info accordingly!

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I have run across this issue in ARCMap 10 as well. ESRI said to delete my Windows USER profile.... That is a 8 hour rebuild fix I am trying to avoid. Any solution on this topic? – user2442 Mar 23 '11 at 22:55
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I've got 2 monitors, running Vista 64 with ArcGIS 10.0.

I opened arcmap, moved the window to the secondary monitor, undocked several commandbars and saved the mxd, then closed arcmap.

When I reopened arcmap it placed the commandbars where I had placed them (in their undocked state), then prompted me for the mxd. I selected the mxd I had saved and it was presented it on the secondary monitor just as I had saved it. The commandbars remained undocked. It also worked with commandbars undocked on secondary monitor and main window on primary monitor.

I guess if I unplugged the secondary monitor, I'd prefer to have the commandbars stack next time I open arcmap, but I didn't test that.

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+1 - and I received the same answer ( for Windows 7 & ArcGIS 10 from another user. – Jay Cummins Aug 10 '10 at 17:13

This Bug is deferred. I haven't had the opportunity to test this behavior on a dual monitor setup, but I would assume that it has not been resolved.


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It still exists at version 10. I was looking for a fix and came across your question. Everytime I open a mxd my toolbars are all scattered.

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which operating system do you use? – Jay Cummins Aug 17 '10 at 18:47
I had thought commandbar positions were persisted in the Normal.mxt. But in 10.0 I see they are not (modification date on Normal.mxt is unchanged). I don't see anything in the registry. I guess that might make a good question: "Where are arcgis desktop commandbar positions persisted?" – Kirk Kuykendall Aug 17 '10 at 21:30

According to ESRI, using MS .NET 3.5 is recommended. A quick search shows that 4.0 is not backwards compatible. Whodathunk?

Scattered toolbars for me too. It seems to happen when I dock them on the bottom or the side. However, it still happens on the top, it is just less noticeable.

Kirk, I think that undocked is not the issue, at least at 10.

Jeff, this may be a bug we Arc 10 users are having. I never experienced dual monitor problems from 8.3-9.x.

Good luck, and remember, everything will be fixed at 11!

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I've found that stacking toolbars in a pyramid fashion stops the toolbars moving around. For example, if you take the bottom-most row in at the bottom of the window, if the right-most toolbar in the row above can fit into the right of the of the row below it, the whole structure will shift.

TLDR: Make sure your edge-most rows are filled entirely.

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