How to convert MXD to MAP using Amein!

Let us start with an existing Arcmap mxd project. Here i have added some local shapefiles (but can be sde) and have styled them to my liking.

I will assume you have have already added the amein! plugin into your toolbar. Lets run it,

This popup gives you general layer information which isnt all that interesting. Click ‘Exit’ to get back to the main setup screen. In the bottom left of the panel there is a UK Flag, click it to switch the language to english.

The ‘Paths’ tab is pretty self explanatory. I like to add these in myself later, but Amein! allows you to save/load settings to make things easier for future conversions, so add your own setup information and move onto the ‘Project’ tab,

Theres a couple of important things you should fill out in this tab. Firstly, give your project a name as this is what the output mapfile will be called. Secondly, be sure to add your relevant EPSG code. To not confuse most reading this i will stick to using the WGS84 code of 4326.

There is further options for WMS metadata if you wish to add more tags or setup options for your keymap. I’d highly recommend leaving ‘use reference map?’ checked as Amein! will generate the jpg and also spatially reference it inside the mapfile. Another shortcut.

Scalebar tab is self-explanatory. The Legend un Query (almost english :) ) tab has (for some reason) error checking to make sure you enter a font for ‘Font of Legend Caption’. Type in ‘Arial’ and move on to the Layer tab ..

As the instructions state, the order in which you ‘edit’ the layers affects the position inside the mapfile. At this stage i wouldnt worry too much, as its easy to manually cut/paste any offending layers later. Click ‘Edit Layers’ button and then select a layer (bottom-up)

There are a lot of symbology and labelling options here. No changes are required here, so in my case i will simply press ‘Ok’ and it will take me back to the previous dialog. Notice that the layer has been removed from the ‘Feature’ list.

Try and think of that feature list as a bucket waiting to be converted. As soon as you have ‘Edit Features’ on all the layers until none are left in the list, you can continue and create the map file. Once this is done, press ‘Ok’ to create the mapfile in the folder specified in the ‘Path’ tab.

Open the mapfile in your text editor and ensure the following paramters point to the correct paths,


Now assuming you have a working mapserver install, simply execute a relevant WMS (getmap/getcapabilities) URL. If all went well you should have an output almost identical to the arcmap project. Look ma! No hands


34 thoughts on “How to convert MXD to MAP using Amein!”

  1. Hey Matt, any idea how to get the extension to show up? I’ve registered the dll and turned on the toolbar but don’t see the extension in my list of installed extensions. I’m using 9.1 as well.


  2. Hallo,

    I have a Problem witc AmeiN. It starts but the button OK is not active so i cant create the files. Do any one no what i’m doing wrong?

    Please help me!



  3. Folks,

    I seem to have the same problem that Yzheng described in his september entry about using Amein in ArcGIS 9.1.
    When editing a layer in the dialog box, even when using the default settings, we get the same error and the whole thing crashes.
    Is there a fix or a trick???

  4. Good to hear dacasine. There still seems to be people having problems with 9.1 so any pointers for them would be appreciated :)

  5. Does anybody understand a:
    ‘Run-time error ’70’
    Permission denied
    When I select Edit Layers this error pops up. And does anyone have a support document for this tool?

  6. I am using ArcGIS 9.1 with Amein 1.01, and I had the problem where the icon was greyed-out in the toolbar. Then I followed matt wilkie’s fix, posted Oct 22nd, 2005 at 12:26 am, and now it works fine. He noted that you also have to enable the Extension in addition to installing the toolbar. Thanks matt!

  7. Hello,

    I try to use Amein with ArcGIS 9.1
    most attempts endet in

    ‘Run-time error ‘70′
    Permission denied

    on very rare occasions the mapfile generation
    succeeded but this could never be reproduced in
    the same project. Files that stay locked ?

    Christe or others: have you found a solution ?


  8. Hello,

    maybee I have found a way to avoid the
    ‘Run-time error ‘70′
    Permission denied

    Situation where the error occurs:
    Project like "Marokko" under Apache/htdocs/,
    mxd in this project, I try to generate opening the mxd, the ERROR OCCURS.

    Situation where the DOES NOT OCCUR:
    I copy the mxd somewhere else (the desktop)…
    I open it from there changing NOTHING ELSE.
    Generation works, the ERROR DOES NOT OCCUR.


  9. Whenever I load the plugin I just get a splash screen and then the plugin dies. I’ve tried reinstalling the plugin, and also running the plugin on a variety of maps (less data, all the data on local hard drive, etc..) but still no luck. Any ideas?

  10. Hi all,
    I’ve the same “greybutton” problem than Eric H.
    Amein toolbar shows up, but the tool isn’t usable…
    I’ve also searched the “matt wilkie’s fix, posted Oct 22nd, 2005 at 12:26 am” Tim was talking of, but can’t find it!
    Please, could someone be clear about solving this problem?!?

  11. Pietro, amein still works with ArcGIS 9.1 … the grey toolbar usually means you have added a toolbar that points to a disabled the extension.

    Open your extension dialog and there should be reference to amein, make sure its checked and you should be right to go

  12. …and that’s the problem: in my list of extensions I can’t find the Amein one.
    I’ve downloaded amein_101.dll and installed with customization in ArcMap, so the toolbar is ok (unactive) but the extension itself isn’t present between the other ones.
    What’s the correct procedure to install it Chris?

  13. Hy Chris,

    I have installed the AmeiN extension on ArcGIS 9.0. I can se the button and all seems to be ok, but after a clik … nothing appears! Can you help me?

  14. Hi!
    i have a problem with the symbol .sym file. Idon’t really know how to create it, can anyone help me!


  15. Hi,

    I am trying to use this tool with ArcGIS 9.2.

    it is just grayed out. Can some one post , why this tool does not work.

    Looks like we all talk in the air. I had a luck couple years back with ArcGIS 9.0,. But now we have upgraded all our ArcGIS 9.0 to 9.2.

    I dont know, whether thats causing the trouble. p.s. not enough documentation.

    I will appreciate your help.


  16. hello, if installed Amein open your GIS software ArcGIS for example and go to View–>Toolbars and select Amein toolbar it will apear and will be active if you open a file.

  17. Hello,
    I installed amein (amein.dll), i choosed View-> Toolbar and checked the Amein box, so the icon appeared, the extension is selected and he icon is active. But when i click on it nothing happens, i can just see the button going down and coming up immediately.
    I am using Arcmap 9.0, maybe I am missing somethig?

    Is there any log file i can investigate agaist?


  18. I solved the problem, there was something nasty with my installation of ArcMap; I reinstalled from scratch and everything works well!

  19. How do I get this application in English, I downloaded the “english” dll, and it’s still in German. Any ideas?

  20. I am using ArcGIS 9.1 with Amein 1.01, eventhough the “.mxd” file is activated,I had the problem where the icon was greyed-out in the toolbar. Can you help me?

  21. Thanks for the tip Werner – that was just enough to get me past the initial runtime error and generate a map file to work with in Vi.

  22. Damn! I have had your same problem… the trick to activate the button is this: Tools –> Extention and flag the “AimeN! Extension”.

    byebye Francesco

  23. I’m using arcgis9.1. I took the amein.dll. Put it on arcmap but it remains greyed even if I opened an .mxd project.

    How can i activate it?

    Thanks a lot


  24. I have had same problem. Just go to “Tools” in the ArcMap then select “Extension” and flag the “AimeN! Extension”.

  25. Buenas tardes. Por favor puede remitir en .PDF el manual de AMEIN?. Lo estoy probando y quisiera contar con información adicional a la dispuesta en este sitio.

    Carlos Nicolás.

  26. I have an beta version ArcMap2Mapfile tools. which convert your focusmap in ArcMap into a mapfile. Contact me if you are interested.

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