Tool documentation structure
The illustration below shows the desktop help system with the table of contents expanded on the Proximity toolset in the Analysis toolbox. The illustration shows the table of contents structure shared by all toolboxes.
- Every toolbox has an overview topic that describes the purpose of the toolbox. The overview also has a table of all the toolsets within the toolbox with links to each toolset overview topic. In addition, there is a section containing links to related topics that you may find of interest.
- Every toolbox has a licensing topic that contains licensing information about every tool in the toolbox.
- Each toolset has an overview page as well, structured much like the toolbox overview page. The organizing principle of the toolset is summarized in the toolset overview page.
- Following the toolset overview are the individual tool reference pages for the tools in the toolset. See below for more information on the tool reference page.
- Finally, there may be a toolset concepts book. The topics in the concepts books contain detailed information about the tools in the toolset.
Documentation and licensing
- The installed desktop documentation contains topics for all tools regardless of your licenses. For example, the Network Analyst toolbox is always installed even though it requires a ArcGIS Network Analyst extension license. Another example is the Identity tool found in the Analysis toolbox—it requires an ArcGIS Desktop Advanced license, but the documentation is installed if you have an ArcGIS Desktop Basic license.
- Licensing for tools can be found at the bottom of each tool's reference page. Additionally, each toolbox contains a licensing topic that lists the licensing requirement for each tool.
- Tool documentation is not installed for separate products. For example, the Coverage toolbox documentation is not installed unless you install ArcInfo Workstation.
Tool reference page
All tool reference pages use the same layout, described below.
A short summary of what the tool does. This summary may contain a link to another topic containing an in-depth discussion of how the tool works.
Optional illustration that helps explain what the tool does.
Notes and clarifications about using the tool. When the notes refer to a particular parameter, the parameter label (what appears on the tool dialog box) is used rather than the parameter name (what appears in the syntax). The correspondence between the parameter label and name is usually obvious, but in some cases, the parameter name will be noted to avoid confusion.
The exact syntax for executing the tool in a script. It is followed by a table listing all the parameters with their names, explanations, and the data (value) types. See Understanding tool syntax for complete details.
Contains one or more Python code samples using the tool.
This is a list of the environment settings that the tool honors. Each environment is linked to the environment settings reference page. If the environment is of particular importance to the tool, there may be further information about the environment.
A list of related topics, which always includes the toolset overview page.
Licenses required in order to use the tool.