p4 typemap


Modify the file name-to-type mapping table.


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


The p4 typemap command allows Perforce administrators to set up a table linking Perforce 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 Perforce.

By default, Perforce 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, Perforce 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.

Although this default behavior can be overridden by the use of the -t filetype option, 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 a more complete solution, allowing administrators to bypass the default type detection mechanism, ensuring that certain files (for example, those ending in .pdf or .rtf) will always be assigned the desired Perforce filetype upon addition to the depot.

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

Form Fields

The p4 typemap form contains a single TypeMap: field, consisting of pairs of values linking file types to file patterns specified in depot syntax:




Any valid Perforce file type.

For a list of valid file types, see the “File Types” section.


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.



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


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


See the “Global Options” section.

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 the “File Types” section.

  • 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 tell the Perforce service to regard all PDF and RTF files as binary, use p4 typemap to modify the typemap table as follows:

        binary //....pdf
        binary //....rtf

The first three periods ("...") in the specification are a Perforce 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")

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 a binary file format used by a popular word processor. 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), use the following:

        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 the “File Types” section.

By default, Perforce 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/...

Related Commands

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

p4 add -t type file

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

p4 reopen -t type file