p4 typemap

View or modify the file name-to-type mapping table.


p4 [g-opts] typemap
p4 [g-opts] typemap -o
p4 [g-opts] typemap -i

Syntax conventions


The p4 typemap command allows Helix Server administrators to set up a table linking Helix Server file types to file name specifications. If a filename matches an entry in the typemap table, it overrides the file type that would otherwise have been assigned by Helix Server.


This command:

  • only affects files that are added AFTER you create the mapping table

  • does NOT affect files that existed before you create the mapping table

Default behavior to determine file type

By default, Helix Server automatically determines if a file is of type text or binary based on an analysis of the first 65,536 bytes of a file:

  • If the high bit is clear in each of the first 65,536 bytes, Helix Server assumes it to be text.

  • Otherwise, it’s binary.

  • Files compressed in the .zip format (including .jar files) are also automatically detected and assigned the type ubinary.

Overriding the default behavior

The default behavior can be overridden by the use of the -t filetype option. See Overriding file type with the -t option.

However, it’s easy to overlook this, particularly in cases where files' types were usually (but not always) detected correctly. This situation occasionally appears with PDF files (which sometimes begin with over 65,536 bytes of ASCII comments) and RTF files, which usually contain embedded formatting codes.

The p4 typemap command provides the most complete solution, allowing administrators to bypass the default type detection mechanism, and ensuring that certain files (for example, those ending in .pdf or .rtf) are assigned the desired Helix Core filetype when they are added to the depot. See p4 add.


Users can override any file type mapping defined in the typemap table by explicitly specifying the file type on the Helix Server command line.

Form Fields

The p4 typemap form contains a single TypeMap: field. Each indented line under the TypeMap: field consists of a pair of values linking file types to file patterns specified in depot syntax:

Column Description


Any of the Helix CoreFile types.


A file pattern in depot syntax. When a user adds a file matching this pattern, its default file type is the file type specified in the table.

To exclude files from the typemap, use exclusionary (-pattern) mappings.

To match all files anywhere in the depot hierarchy, the pattern must begin with //...

To match files with a specified suffix, use //.../*.suffix or use //....suffix with four dots.

Later entries override earlier entries.



Reads the typemap table from standard input without invoking the editor.


Writes the typemap table to standard output without invoking the editor.


See Global options.

Usage Notes

Can File Arguments Use Revision Specifier? Can File Arguments Use Revision Range? Minimal Access Level Required



or list to use the -o option

  • To specify all files with a given extension at or below a desired subdirectory, use four periods after the directory name, followed by the extension. (for instance, //path/....ext) The first three periods specify "all files below this level". The fourth period and accompanying file extension are parsed as "ending in these characters".
  • File type modifiers can be used in the typemap table. Useful applications include forcing keyword expansion on or off across directory trees, enforcing the preservation of original file modification times (the +m file type modifier) in directories of third-party DLLs, or implementing pessimistic locking policies.
  • Specify multiple file type modifiers consecutively. For example, binary+lFS10 refers to a binary file with exclusive-open (l), stored in full (F) rather than compressed, and for which only the most recent ten revisions are stored (S10). For more information on syntax, see File types.
  • If you use the -t option and file type modifiers to specify a file type on the command line, and the file to which you are referring falls under a p4 typemap mapping, the file type specified on the command line overrides the file type specified by the typemap table.


To make Helix Core Server consider all PDF and RTF files as binary, use p4 typemap to modify the typemap table as follows:

        ## comment line
        binary //....pdf  ## comment appended
        binary //....rtf


  • The first three periods ("...") in the specification are a Helix Server wildcard specifying that all files beneath the root directory are included as part of the mapping. The fourth period and the file extension specify that the specification applies to files ending in .pdf (or .rtf).

  • Comments are preceded by ##

A more complicated situation might arise in a site where users in one area of the depot use the extension .doc for plain ASCII text files containing documentation, and users working in another area use .doc to refer to files in the legacy binary file format of Microsoft Word. A useful typemap table in this situation might be:

        text   //depot/dev_projects/....doc
        binary //depot/corporate/annual_reports/....doc

To enable keyword expansion for all .c and .h files, but disable it for your .txt files, do the following:

        text+k //depot/dev_projects/main/src/....c
        text+k //depot/dev_projects/main/src/....h
        text   //depot/dev_projects/main/src/....txt

To ensure that files in a specific directory have their original file modification times preserved, regardless of submission date:

        binary   //depot/dev_projects/main/bin/...
        binary+m //depot/dev_projects/main/bin/thirdpartydll/...

All files at or below the bin directory are assigned type binary. Because later mappings override earlier mappings, files in the bin/thirdpartydll subdirectory are assigned type binary+m instead. For more information about the +m (modtime) file type modifier, see File types.

By default, Helix Server supports concurrent development, but environments in which only one person is expected to have a file for edit at a time can implement pessimistic locking by using the +l (exclusive open) modifier as a partial filetype. If you use the following typemap, the +l modifier is automatically applied to all newly-added files in the depot:

        +l //depot/...

Indent each line under Typemap:

Related Commands

To add a new file with a specific type, overriding the typemap table

p4 add -t typefile

To change the filetype of an opened file, overriding any settings in the typemap table

p4 reopen-t type file