My ArcMap (10.5.1) Python add-in uses a combobox. When an item is selected from the combobox's drop-down menu, the expected actions are executed successfully. Sometimes these actions actions can take some time to complete, and sometimes some further UI is required (in the simplest case, a progress dialogue). The problem is that the combobox's drop-down menu remains visible on screen during this time and can partially or completely obscure whatever subsequent UI is displayed.

I would like the combobox to be dismissed as soon as I make the selection (eg, at the beginning of onSelChange()).

How can I force the combobox's drop-down menu to disappear immediately after an item has been selected?

The combobox will disappear as soon as I interact with anything else on screen (outside of the combobox). But this is not really sufficient and results in a terrible UI.

Below is the minimal add-in code that demonstrates the issue for a combo-box:

import arcpy, pythonaddins, time

class TestComboBox(object):
    """Implementation for TITest_addin.TestComboBox (ComboBox)"""
    def __init__(self):
        self.items = ["Item {}".format(i) for i in range(100)]
        self.editable = False
        self.enabled = True
        self.dropdownWidth = 30 * 'W'
        self.width = 10 * 'W'
    def onSelChange(self, selection):
        with pythonaddins.ProgressDialog() as prog:
                prog.title = "This is a test."
                prog.animation = "Spiral"
                prog.canCancel = False
    def onEditChange(self, text):
    def onFocus(self, focused):
    def onEnter(self):
    def refresh(self):


I think that any combobox add-in with self.editable = False may exhibit the same problem. Merely changing that line to self.editable = True fixes the issue. However, having self.editable = True is not an option for my add-in.

I have logged this issue with ESRI now, and will post back here if I get any useful information from them.

  • 1
    Sounds like you need to force some sort of application refresh on the GUI, I don't believe arcpy exposes such methods, happy to be proven wrong!
    – Hornbydd
    Commented Aug 8, 2018 at 16:40

1 Answer 1


Following my support request, ESRI have now logged this as a bug. It's not yet clear if/when it will be fixed, but they are investigating further.

ESRI also noted that the drop-down blocks not only other add-in UI elements, but anything else on the entire computer. They particularly noted that if they switch to their browser, even the view of the browser is blocked by the add-in's drop-down.

ESRI Bug is at: https://my.esri.com/#/support/bugs/BUG-000117373

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