Creating a custom ArcGIS toolbar and icons to quickly join or remove InfoWater layer data tables

Many modelers make use of the “Join all Layer Tables” feature within InfoWater as it quickly joins all of the input and output data tables for each of the six InfoWater element data types to their associated ArcGIS Layer.  This workflow instructs the user in how to complete the joining or removing of layer data with a single mouse click instead of four separate mouse clicks that are necessary when using the InfoWater menu path for these commands.

Due to limitations in ArcGIS, joined tables may not always update especially if the columns associated with the output data joined are changed from when the original join occurred.  Typically this may occur if you join the tables and run a Standard analysis and the rerun the analysis using the Fire flow simulator.  Because the output reports for these two analyses are different and have different fields, it is not possible to directly update the data due to ArcGIS joining methodology without first removing the join and then joining the data over again.  Recent InfoWater changes will now automatically remove the joined tables when certain commands are completed that would run into this type of conflict such as different output data requires new output fields.  This was changed to avoid user confusion when ArcGIS limitations were found to cause the joined table data to not properly update under certain conditions.

Step 6Because joining tables using the menu tools can take four separate mouse clicks, any change that automatically breaks the table joins can lead to modeler frustration as the user would have to continually rejoin the data to make full use of this feature.  This post documents how a user can simplify the join procedure down to a simple click using a custom toolbar.  This workflow procedure shown below can greatly speed up the table joining ( or removing tabular joins) especially if tables may need to be joined repeatedly due to this change in the software programming.

Adding a custom Icon to a toolbar for the “Join all Layer Tables” feature

For InfoWater residing in ArcGIS

  1. Step 1: Set ArcGIS to be in Customize mode.
    1. Select from the ARCGIS Menu the Customize menu -> then select Customize Mode.
      1. Step1A
  2. Step 2: Create a Custom Toolbar
    1. When the ArcGIS Customize popup appears, select “New” as highlighted to create a custom Toolbar
      1. Step 1B
    2. Name the new custom toolbar.  In this example we will call it “Innovyze_Custom”
      1. Step 1C
    3. A new blank custom toolbar will be created as named.  This should be shown in the upper left corner of your toolbars and should look like this
      1. Step 1D
    4. Once created the Toolbar should also now show in the Toolbar dropdown list in the Customize pop up window:
      1. Step1E
  3.  Step 3: Add commands to the new custom toolbar
    1. First, switch to the Commands Tab in the Customize pop up menu
    2. Next, under categories search for the “InfoWater Tools” list and select it
    3. Lastly find the “Join All layer Tables” in the Command list (they should all be in alphabetical order)
      1. Step 2
    4. Using the mouse, left click on the Command “Join all Layer Tables” and hold the mouse button down.  Then while holding the button down drab the command to the new custom toolbar.  Once at the toolbar, release the mouse button and the command should appear in the new toolbar. (Click image below for a larger picture)
      1. Step 2D
  4. Step 4: Customize the Icon for the Command:
    1. Since the “Join all Layer Tables” command has no default Icon, it is recommended to customize the command button to change it from text to an icon.
    2. With the Customize pop up menu open (if it is closed you cannot make the icon change), right click on the new command we just added to our custom toolbar.  This will bring up a menu where we can change the icon for this command:
    3. Select the “Change Button Image” and select an Icon to use.  We recommend the one shown.
      1.  Step 3A
  5. Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to add additional commands to the toolbar as desired.
    1. In this case let’s add the “Remove All Layer Joins” command to the toolbar
    2. This command is also found in the “InfoWater Tools” category as shown below
      1. Step 4
    3. For the Icon for this feature we recommend selecting this icon
      1. Step 5v2
  6. Step 6: Verify Toolbars and close customization
    1. Once finished you now will have a custom Toolbar that looks like this:
      1. The Blue button will join all the layer tables
      2. The Red button will remove the joined tables
      3. The new Icons in the customized menu should look like this if added per this Post:
        1. Step 6
    2. Once verified close out the Customize pop up window by hitting the “X” in the upper right hand corner of the window.

That’s it!  You now have a toolbar you can add custom commands to.  The two buttons added here will allow joining or removing joins to be completed with a single click of the new icons rather than the four clicks it would take if using the InfoWater menus.


Please feel free to contact us at Innovyze Support if you have any questions or comments regarding this procedure at

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    About Patrick Moore

    I have worked in the Water industry for over 17 years both designing water infrastructure and using Innovyze software to build, calibrate, and analyze water system models. I have a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge with others and hope these blog posts assist users in improving their modeling skills.
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