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Help Yourself to Free Technical Support

In addition to fee-based support services, Esri offers many free self-help support services. These services include the World Wide Web-based Technical Notes, and user-to-user discussion forums, as well as E-mail-based discussion lists. All these services are available worldwide 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The user-to-user services allow you to tap into a vast pool of knowledge and expertise available within the user community.

Self Help

If you have not enjoyed the benefits of our self-help services, you should check them out. Point your Web browser to

Listed below are descriptions of these free self-help resources.

Online Discussion Conferences

Esri has established on-line discussion conferences on the Web for each of Esri's products. In these conferences, complex issues are the subject of ongoing discussions in various threads. Each conference is organized into forums. For example, the ArcView GIS Online Discussion Conference contains forums for general ArcView GIS issues, Avenue, and each of the new extensions. Each forum is subdivided into threads that contain the actual discussion. The conferences include a search engine and optionally allow you to receive forum thread postings via E-mail.

Some conferences require you to complete a one-time registration to use the online conferences using either a product serial number or your end user number.

Esri Listservers (Esri-L and ARCVIEW-L)

Esri operates two E-mail-based mailing lists, Esri-L and ARCVIEW-L, which allow you to ask questions about Esri software worldwide. Mailing lists allow messages to be distributed to all of the lists' subscribers by submitting a message to a single address. When a message is sent to the list address, it is forwarded to all subscribers of the list, who each receive a copy of the original message.

Esri-L allows you to submit technical questions about all Esri software except ArcView GIS. ArcView GIS has a separate list.

To subscribe to Esri-L, send a message to The body of the message must contain the word "subscribe." Once subscribed, submit your questions to

Submit all questions about ArcView GIS to ARCVIEW-L. To subscribe to ARCVIEW-L, send a message to The body of the message must contain the word "subscribe." Once subscribed, submit your questions to

Technical Notes on the Web

The most frequently asked questions regarding the use of all Esri software are answered for you at These FAQs are derived from the same information that Esri technical support analysts use when responding to user calls. You may use our full text search facility to find the document you need quickly or, if you prefer, the FAQs are organized by product and subcategories and can be browsed.

These resources offer a variety of tools to assist you. Esri welcomes our users' comments or suggestions regarding these self-help resources. Please e-mail us at

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