I need to create a hyperlink field. I have one field with the file name, and another field that contains only part of the file path (the real path is unknown). The table contains 14,000 records with 14,000 different DWG file names.

Is it possible to create a Hyperlink field in a table or feature class that will start to search automatically with windows browser for the file at a specific folder according to the field with the estimated Path? i.e. one field with the file name to look for, and another field with part of the path to look at.

  • 1
    Are you talking about using the Windows Search protocol? msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/…
    – blah238
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 8:51
  • Thanks blah238 for your Contribution. Can This Search Protocol be implanted in a field HyperLink thru Python script ? is there a problem with using c++ at field calculator I'll really appreciate a sample. Thanks Geog Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 8:57
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    It sounds like both @blah238 and I found your question unclear in some respects. Would you be able to use the edit button to fill in the additional details that are coming out of comments, please?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 9:08
  • I've updated the Question. Hope its clear now. Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 9:19
  • still not entirely clear.
    – Brad Nesom
    Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 14:32

2 Answers 2


It is easy to add a field to use for your hyperlinks and update it to be the concatenation of two fields for path and file names using the Field Calculator.

However, it sounds like you want this to happen dynamically, so my recommendation is that you add your vote to the ArcGIS Idea to Add the ability to add dynamic calculated field with formula based on other fields.

If that were implemented then such a dynamically calculated field could potentially be used with Hyperlinks.

  • Thanks PolyGeo for your Contribution. My problem is That i Have a file name, but the folder is unknown. So i need the hyperlink to trigger a windows search session and then open the file, i assume that Python script is needed here. Thanks Geog Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 8:00

Hyperlink Doesn't work that way. Hyperlink wants a file (specific) or URL to open and the application to open it with. You could use it to open windows explorer to a folder with some command line switches, but would probably need to disable the data execution prevention settings.
Then perhaps feed in a search string but I haven't found a switch for it..
But to venture a guess at clarifying your question.
You can build a link with the partial path, file name and a known path all as one hyperlink. "If" you are saying you don't know the part of the path where the actual file resides. The only solution I can think of is to use something like a system search, convert that to a database field, parse it and "Get" the rest of the path to complete the link path.
So to finish clarification.
You need an application defined, a base path defined, and a file name defined.
If you take a look at this question you see at least part of you answer.
The part of the path that you don't have you can discover and match up to the file name.
Use the dir command with the system switch. You could either pipe that to a text file for processing or paste the results into an excel spreadsheet. You could then separate the file name by parsing the path. Join that to your attribute and calculate the remainder of the path.
Either into your existing path or better yet into a new field appending the entire path.

  • Thanks Brad Nesom for your Contribution. I didnt understand the second part of your answer.what i need to do in order to trigger the Windows Search protocol automoticlly frim arcmap ? Thanks again Geog (i know some python...) Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 19:08

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