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Costumer Service Toolkit (CST) Helpful Hints

The Washington State "Geo Tech" team continues to prepare helpful hints to assist you in your Customer Service Tool Kit activities. Please bookmark this page and check it often for new hints.

These documents require Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. Follow links for free downloads. 

Most materials are presented in a .PDF format.  Alternative text is not available for these publications as they can not be depicted in a narrative format. We apologize for any inconvenience. For readers requiring assistance with 508 issues please contact (509) 323-2985.

Many of these files are relatively large and may take a while to download.  The best way to view them is to right mouse click on the file name and select “Save Target As” to copy the file to your computer before trying to open it.


Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Adding Practice Note to map
(PDF;  154KB)
How to add custom note for a practice and have it print on map. 5/12/07
Change appearance of Callout labels   (PDF;  154KB) How to use the drawing toolbar to change the look of callout labels. 5/10/07
Geographic Names  (PDF; 341KB)  How to select and label points in the gnis populated and non-populated places layer. 10/10/06
Labels vs. Annotations 
(PDF; 511KB)
What’s the difference and how to make labels based on attributes. 10/02/08
Restore Tail Callout labels 
(PDF; 101KB)
When ArcMap creates call-out labels, they will not have a tail if they can fit totally within a polygon. This is a simple 2 step method to add the tail. 4/07/08


Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Map Scales   (DOC; 40KB) What does the scale mean and what scale will work best for a plan/soils map. 8/26/08
Save a map  (PDF; 218KB) The print to .pdf button is no longer on the Toolkit Toolbar. Here’s the steps to follow to generate an Adobe Acrobat version of a map layout. 6/04/08
Soil legends  (PDF; 7.5MB) How to give unique symbols to the clipped soil map units and make them transparent. 1/17/05

Practice Layers

Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Buffer into polygon practices
(PDF;  1.9MB)
How to incorporate a buffer into a Practice (polygon) layer. 2/04/05
Cattle Guard
(PDF;  1.9MB)
A cattle guard is a component of the Fence (382) practice. Fence is measured in feet and is best represented as a line. The cattle guard component is by number. This hint describes a way to display a cattle guard on the plan map. 5/16/05
Document Existing Practices 
(PDF;  163KB)
This hint describes a method of displaying and attributing existing conservation practices without adding them to the practice schedule. 6/13/06
Mask Practice Symbols
(PDF;  150KB)
How to make practice symbols easier to see by putting a mask around it. 5/12/07
Merge practice polygons 
(PDF; 724KB)
How to merge unattributed practice (polygons). 8/14/08
Move Points
(PDF;  137KB)
How to move practice (points) without deleting/re-making them. 6/20/08
Use Union to make separate
practices in field  (PDF; 444KB)
This shows how to make two separate practice (polygons) within the same field, e.g. a field access road within a field where trees/shrubs are being planted. 8/19/08

Planned Land Unit Layer

Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
CRP FSA Shapefiles
(PDF;  366KB)
How to copy the CRP shapefiles created by Farm Service Agency during CRP sign-up into a Planned Land Unit layer for the CRP plan. 6/16/06
Holes in PLU
(PDF;  267KB)
Occasionally, a Planned Land Unit layer copied from the Common Land Unit map will have a hole in it. This hint tells how to recognize and fix it. 2/16/06
Insert a field within a field
(PDF; 1.5MB)
How to make a field inside of another field without creating a polygon on top of a polygon. 9/15/08
Use copy-paste from one customer
to another  (PDF;  104KB)
Use to copy the field(s) geometry from one customer to another when land is transferred. 6/25/08

Soil Data Viewer

Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Calculate geometry to populate Calcacres
in Soil Map attribute table  (PDF; 130KB)
The calcacres column is empty when the Soils Map is created. Follow this hint to complete the acreage calculations. 4/08/08
Label soils in ArcMap  (PDF; 60KB) A simple way to create labels for soils. 4/23/09
Prepare to use the Soil Data Viewer (SDV) 
(PDF; 93KB)
How to display the soil Data View icon in ArcMap. 2/8/06
Save SDV Maps  (PDF;  150KB) How to save the temporary layer created by the Soil Data Viewer as a shapefile. 4/24/07
SDV Acres of Interpretations by field
(PDF;  150KB)
How to add an acres column to the shapefile exported from a Soil Data Viewer layer and to calculate the acres. 4/24/07
SDV Advanced mode  (PDF; 240KB) What properties should be chosen when using the advanced SDV mode. 7/24/08
Soil Data Viewer instructions  (PDF;  143KB) Once the Soil Data Viewer icon is loaded, this hint explains how to use the Soil Data Viewer to generate maps and reports. 9/7/06


Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Using NRCS Toolkit5 Practice Styles in ArcGIS  (PDF; 441KB) Use a style sheet to symbolize NRCS practices. 5/29/08
Wetland determination identifiers style in ArcGIS  (PDF; 231KB) Use this style sheet to symbolize FSA’s wetland points layer. 5/30/08

Tabular Toolkit

Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Add standard statement to plan  (PDF; 201KB) Add text before the signature block on the plan to explain something special about the plan. 9/17/08
Add additional folders or subfolders to customer folders  (PDF: 149KB) How to add additional folders or subfolders to the Toolkit Customer File. 6/24/08
Change a plan name  (PDF;  80KB) Simple way to change name. 4/03/09
Customize Narratives (PDF; 154KB) How to add additional text to a practice narrative. 2/28/07
Delete plans and folders 
(PDF; 1.7MB)
Many users have created extra "plans" as the result of learning ArcMap and adding new planned land unit layers there. This hint describes how to delete plans and remove folders. 6/21/05
Encrypt the "My Customer Files Toolkit" folder  (PDF;  208KB) Protect customer data needs by modifying Toolkit users with write permissions. 4/28/09
Move a Customer folder (PDF; 80KB) With proper permissions, a customer folder can be moved from county or endpoint to another. 4/29/09
Rename a Customer folder 
(PDF; 55KB)
When land changes from one owner or operator to another, the Customer File Folder can be renamed to reflect this change. 7/29/09
Reporting tab  (PDF; 102KB) Business rules for progress reporting from Toolkit. 3/14/06
Toolkit Contract Wizard
(PDF; 138KB)
Suggestions for sorting the practice schedule and selecting practices prior to starting the contract wizard. 3/10/06

Toolkit ArcGIS - General

Helpful Hint Description Issue Date
Add ArcToolbox to Toolkit ArcGIS Template   (PDF;  110KB) By default, when a user is in Advanced GIS user mode, the template does not display the ArcToolbox icon. This is how to add it. 3/28/09
Add an ArcMap County Template 
(PDF; 189KB)
This is a description covering the layers that are included in _ArcGIS92_Toolkit_Template.mxd. 6/19/08
Add Buttons to ArcGIS Toolbar
(PDF; 150KB)
How to add selection buttons to the ArcGIS toolbar for ArcMap when using the Advanced Toolkit GIS User Level. 5/07/07
Adding Geodata  (PDF; 2.8MB) How to add geospatial data to an ArcMap project from the 'Server' or other location on the Local Area Network. 11/27/04
Changing UTM zones 
(PDF; 3.7MB)
How to change the UTM zone of the data frame in ArcMap. 12/29/04
Determine Lat/Long and UTM Coordinates 
(PDF; 335KB)
Describes a simple way to determine latitude/longitude and UTM coordinates for a point on the map. 6/19/09
Geodata and templates for laptops 
(PDF; 2.3MB)
How to load geodata on the hard drive of a laptop and make a county template pointing to these layers. 6/17/05
Go to XY  (PDF; 219KB) How to use the new XY button available on the ArcGIS 9.2 toolbar. 7/03/08
How to use Clip  (PDF; 547KB) For layers, like geology, where Toolkit does not have a tool to do the clipping for you. 9/25/08
Installing plotter driver  (PDF; 1.6MB) Process that will show you how to add a large format plotter to your printers list so you can set up a large page size in ArcMap, ArcView or for other programs such as Word or PowerPoint. 8/04/05
Large document set-up 
(PDF; 1.3MB)
To set up a page layout for printing a large map, poster or sign; create a digital file of a large map, and transfer a file for printing at an office with a large format plotter. 8/04/05
Redirect ArcGIS layers 
(PDF; 173KB)
What to do when the ArcMap table contents displays a red exclamation mark beside a grayed-out check mark next to the name  of a layer. 9/11/06
Transparent Topo maps 
(PDF; 2.1MB)
How to use topographic map contours with a transparent ortho-mosic. 12/03/04
Using "Find" in ArcMap  (PDF; 6.1MB) How to use the "find" button on ArcMap to locate a specific feature within a layer. 1/14/06
Verify Toolkit SP4 installation and Customize ArcMap   (PDF; 275KB) Follow these instructions after a new installation of Toolkit. 5/06/09