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Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips


Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

I've created several mapkeys lately so I thought I'd share some general tips I learned to write it down for next time. Please share your own tips below to expand the collection.

This was done on Creo 3 M060 but the ideas should hopefully be not specific to that.

Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

General Tips:

  • Mapkeys often break when upgrading between Creo Versions (Creo 3 vs Creo 1) but they can save you a lot of time in the year or two between versions.
  • Open the mapkey menu by searching for Mapkeys in the upper right. Also, if someone knows how find the Mapkey menu behind when its behind other Creo Windows, please share.

          Launch Mapkey Menu.jpg

  • Record commands from the RMB or the Quick Access Toolbar to eliminate extra Mapkey lines that just moves around Creo for no reason. Most commands can be launched without being on a specific interface tab.
  • Mapkeys skip any commands they cannot execute. This lets users add in some logic to close menus that sometime popup or delete items if that would cause an error (e.g. view4dxf view gets deleted if it exists to always allow view4dxf view to get added without throwing an error).
  • When editing mapkey text, always create a backup or copy of the original code so you can copy and paste back in as needed. I usually keep Notepad open to copy and paste code into before changing mapkeys.
  • As far as I know, mapkeys cannot have comment lines except at the start and cannot have blank lines. Please share if someone has a way to do this.
  • Mapkeys seem to have a minimum and maximum number of characters per line. I usually just visually compare to other mapkey lines to make sure it’ll work. Someone might know the exact limits.
  • Every line except the last line of a mapkey needs to end with a \
  • I like to record mapkeys and then save just that specific mapkey as a text file to my desktop to copy into my actual You can give it a relevant name to find it easier like This will save only the mapkey you have selected into a text file.

          record mapkey.jpg

Quickly Update Mapkeys in the Current Creo Session

THIS WAS MY BIGGEST DISCOVERY FOR MAPKEYS TESTING! Originally, I would update the text file and close Creo to update my mapkeys. However, you can just reimport the newly saved from within Creo so you don’t destroy your test setup. I wrote a mapkey to do that called UPMAP that uses my working directing My working directory is in the C:\Users\Public\Documents location. Hopefully this works for you but I make no promises. Make sure to save your work before trying any new mapkeys.

mapkey upmap @MAPKEY_LABELUpdate Config.Pro - upmap;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Command `ProCmdRibbonOptionsDlg`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `ribbon_options_dialog` `PageSwitcherPageList` 1 `ConfigLayout`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `ribbon_options_dialog` `ConfigLayout.ImportExportBtn`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Close `ribbon_options_dialog` `ConfigLayout.ImportExportBtn`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `ribbon_options_dialog` `ConfigLayout.Open`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Trail `UI Desktop` `UI Desktop` `DLG_PREVIEW_POST` `file_open`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `file_open` `Current Dir`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `file_open` `Ph_list.Filelist` 1 ``;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Command `ProFileSelPushOpen_Standard@context_dlg_open_cmd`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `ribbon_options_dialog` `OkPshBtn`;

Execute Multiple Mapkeys in one Mapkey:

I’ve only done this once so bear with me here with some help from James post linked below. This example calls >storetmp then >partnamesave followed by >loadconf mapkeys. Note the ~ is not required.

mapkey(continued) %>storetmpfile;%>partnamesave;%>loadconf;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `ribbon_options_dialog` `CancelPshBtn`;\

How to create a drawing with same name as active model with Mapkeys

Getting Input from Users

Sometimes you need to get input from users before continuing. You can change how the mapkey records input, but I haven’t played with this too much.

get input.jpg

I usually just leave it at the default and add code in as needed. The two commands I know about are @MANUAL_PAUSE and @PAUSE_FOR_SCREEN_PICK. @MANUAL_PAUSE lets you tell users what they’re supposed to do but make sure you tell them to RESUME and not click any Creo menus as needed. Sometimes you need a @MANUAL_PAUSE with @PAUSE_FOR_ SCREEN_PICK.


mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `visual_dlg0` `Edit`;@MANUAL_PAUSESelect primary surface. RESUME;\

mapkey(continued) @MANUAL_PAUSESelect the bottom edge or surface. RESUME;@PAUSE_FOR_SCREEN_PICK;\

Removing Duplicate Code from Mapkeys:

When inputting keyboard values, Mapkeys can create many extra lines which can make it tedious to edit later. Remove if possible but test as you go as some items cannot be simplified.

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `visual_dlg0` `ZoneNmCreate`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `v`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `vi`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `vie`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `view`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `view4`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `view4d`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `view4dx`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Input `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `view4dxf`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Update `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT` `view4dxf`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `visual_dlg0` `Table_INPUT`;\

The RMB menu commands open and closes before executing. Remove these lines and go straight to the command.

mapkey(continued) ~ Timer `UI Desktop` `UI Desktop` `popupMenuRMBTimerCB`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Close `rmb_popup` `PopupMenu`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Command `ProCmdDwgPageSetup@PopupMenuGraphicWinStack`;\

In general, the ARM and DISARM commands when paired next to each other do nothing:

mapkey(continued) ~ Arm `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.ParTable` 2 `rowCUBE` `name`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Disarm `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.ParTable` 2 `rowCUBE` `name`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.ParTable` 2 `rowCUBE` `name`;\

In general, the OPEN and CLOSE commands when paired next to each other do nothing:

mapkey(continued) ~ Open `main_dlg_cur` `LayerActionMenu`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Close `main_dlg_cur` `LayerActionMenu`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Command `ProCmdLayer_SelectLayers`;\

When selecting items sometimes additional lines get added. Here’s an example where I select a parameter and designate it to Windchill:

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.ParTable` 2 `rowDESCP` `value`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ RButtonArm `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.ParTable` 2 `rowDESCP` `value`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ PopupOver `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.ParamUtils` 1 `ParamsPHLay.ParTable`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `relation_dlg` `ParamsPHLay.PBUtilDesignate`;\

OS Script or executing system CMD lines

I have limited experience with using this. The final mapkey code can become hard to read as it needs \n between CMD line commands – try to space it out to multiple make it legible. James has a good example here:

How to create a drawing with same name as active model with Mapkeys

I haven’t found the ability to toggle @SYSTEM with regular mapkey commands (I’m sure it’s possible). For now, I just call it at the end of the mapkey or create a separate mapkey just to do @system commands like in James’ example.

Creating mapkeys from Trail Files

You can also copy Creo mapkey code from trail files but keep in mind there will be a lot of trail file code you don’t want in a mapkey. I would only do this once you know how to read and write mapkeys. I strongly recommend sticking with the normal mapkey method I described above in the General Tips for most cases. Here’s an example:

Re: Can a mapkey delete itself?

If you have some additional tips, please share below.


Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

One thing that helps me remember what key string triggers a particular mapkey is to put it in brackets in the Name field; In, it will look something like this:

mapkey dd @MAPKEY_LABELSketch Dimension (dd);\

~ Command `ProCmdSketDimension`  1;

Months later I type in "dimension" into the search bar in the upper right corner of the ribbon, and a list shows up - and one of the items is "Sketch Dimension (dd)" - so then I remember that dd is the shortcut...

Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

Hi Lucas,

Thank you for all your mapkey tips!

If you want to avoid the mapkey window behind other windows you can use this config option:

display_mapkeys_dialog_on_top yes

Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips


Great tip! I eventually wrote a mapkey to get around that opens the mapkeys and will bring it to the top. It will exit out if you are currently recording a mapkey though... but I liked that better than not being able to find the mapkey window. Remove the last two rows if you don't like that feature.

mapkey map @MAPKEY_NAMEOpens Mapkey menu to display mapkeys in current session.;\

mapkey(continued) @MAPKEY_LABELOpen Mapkeys (map);\

mapkey(continued) ~ Command `ProCmdUtilMacros`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `mapkey_main` `NewButton`;\

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `mapkey_record` `CancelButton`;



Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

Use the config option "cmdmgr_trail_output yes" to eliminate most of the extra lines from your mapkeys.

Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

Moving this blog to the Creo area to give it exposure.



Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

To your question about character limit per line.  Unless it has changed in recent years, it has always been 80.

It does ignore "mapkey(continued)" in that count.

Therefore, I have always had these lines in my files... and drag my notepad window width to touch the end of the line as a visual reference.






Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

I have found a way to put a comment line in the middle of a multi-line mapkey.

It still gets parsed but gets ignored since plain text is not a command.

However, if you put a %.. in the line somewhere the mapkey will probably break.

The line of text just has to have a back-slash at the end.


mapkey vr @MAPKEY_LABELView Right;~ Command `ProCmdViewNamePick` 1 \

! testing a comment line in the middle of a mapkey \

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `nameviewlist` `nv_list`1  `RIGHT`;

Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

Don Rutledge These are both great tips! I just tested to comment line and it works! Not required but I might propose starting mapkey comment lines with mapkey(continued) so it's obvious that it's part of the same mapkey. I like using the ! to imply it's a comment but it's not required either.

mapkey(continued) ~ Activate `drawing_view` `psh_apply`;\

mapkey(continued) !Useful for long mapkeys or fancy logic\

mapkey(continued) ~ Select `drawing_view` `options_list` 1 `ViewDisp`;\

Re: Mapkey Writing/Editing Tips

Hi Lucas,

could you help me solving this problem?:

How to record Check-out OK Button for mapkey?