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Hints file


At ArcGIS Enterprise 10.9.1 or higher it is recommended that you add or edit big data file shares through your portal contents page instead of ArcGIS Server Manager. Learn more about adding big data file shares in the portal.

A hints file is an optional text file (.txt) that can be used to help generate a big data file share manifest. To learn more about big data file shares, see Get started with big data file shares. After a big data file share is created and a manifest has been generated, you can upload a hints file and regenerate the manifest using your big data file share item in your portal contents. The hints file provides specifications that are used when regenerating the manifest. Each big data file share can have a single hints file with hints for multiple datasets. Hints can only be applied to datasets that are derived from delimited files.

Hints allow you to provide help to manifest generation with delimited file parameters such as field names, encoding, field delimiter, and quote characters. It is recommended that you upload a hints file before editing individual datasets if the file and datasets include the following characteristics:

  • You have a delimited file without headers, and want to apply field names to your data.
  • The quote and delimiter characters were not recognized when the manifest was first generated.
  • The encoding of your dataset was not recognized.

If you upload a hints file, you need to regenerate the manifest. Only datasets with hints provided or new datasets will be updated, and changes made to any other datasets not in the hints file will remain the same.

The following is an example of a hints file, outlining hints for datasets named hurricanes and earthquakes:

# earthquake dataset (# means comment)

   # hurricane dataset

The following table outlines the hints parameters:

Hints parameterDescriptionExample


The names of the fields to be used for the specified dataset. This is useful for delimited files without headers.



The type of delimiter applied to separate fields.



The character used for quotes.



The type of encoding applied.



Character that marks the end of a record.



Flag indicating whether the delimited file has a header row.


To learn more about how to add a hints file, see Edit big data file share input datasets.

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