ArcGIS Pro is the latest professional desktop GIS application from Esri. With ArcGIS Pro, you can explore, visualize, and analyze data; create 2D maps and 3D scenes; and share your work to yourArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal. The sections below introduce basic elements of the user interface. You will build on this knowledge as you use the application, read the help, and complete tutorials.

 

Projects

In ArcGIS Pro, a body of related work—consisting of multiple maps, scenes, layouts, data, tables, tools, and other resources—is typically organized in a project. By default, a project is stored in its own system folder. Project files have the extension .aprx. A project also has its own geodatabase (a file with the extension .gdb) and its own toolbox (a file with the extension .tbx).

When you start ArcGIS Pro, there are various ways to open saved projects and create new ones. If you work frequently with a project, you can pin it to the start page for quick access; any project you have recently saved is also accessible from the start page. You can browse to other saved projects to open them.

You can create projects from one of the four system templates. Each template creates a project file and adds content to it. For example, a project created from the Map template starts with a map view containing a basemap layer. You can also start without a template. This allows you to work in ArcGIS Pro without saving a project file.

New projects can also be started from project templates made by you or shared with you by colleagues. A project template is a customized starting state for a project. Recently used templates appear on the start page. You can also browse to templates.

The ArcGIS Pro start page
Projects are opened and created on the start page.

ElementDescription
1

Open an existing project. Recently opened projects appear in the Recent Projects list. You can right-click and pin Pin a recent project to keep it on the list.

2

Browse to projects that are not on the list of recent projects.

3

New projects can be started from several default templates. You can start without a template if you don’t need to save your work in a project.

4

New projects can also be started from templates. Recently used templates appear in the Recent Templates list and can be pinned.

5

Browse to project templates that are not on the list of recent templates.

6

Set ArcGIS Pro application preferences and manage other settings, such as portal connections and licensing.

Elements of the ArcGIS Pro start page

ArcGIS Pro user interface

The main parts of the ArcGIS Pro interface are the ribbon, views, and panes. For a hands-on introduction, try the Introducing ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorial.

Ribbon

ArcGIS Pro uses a horizontal ribbon at the top of the application window to display and organize functionality into a series of tabs. Some of these tabs (core tabs) are always present. Others (contextual tabs) appear when the application is in a particular state. For example, a set of contextual Feature Layer tabs appear when a feature layer is selected in the Contents pane.

ArcGIS Pro ribbon

ElementDescription
1

The Quick Access Toolbar has commonly used commands. It can be customized.

2

The Explore tool is used to navigate maps and scenes and identify features through pop-ups.

3

Ribbon tabs, such as the Analysis tab, organize functionality. When a tab is selected, its associated tools display on the ribbon.

4

Dialog box launchers open panes or dialog boxes with more functionality.

5

Groups organize functionality on a ribbon tab.

6

Contextual tab groups and their associated tabs appear under specific conditions. Tab groups are highlighted in a color such as orange or green.

7

Buttons and tools execute software actions.

ArcGIS Pro ribbon elements

You can customize the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar.

The Quick Access Toolbar customized with the Create Features tool
You can right-click a tool on the ribbon to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Views

Views are windows for working with mapsscenestableslayoutschartsreports, and other presentations of data. A project may have many views, which can be opened and closed as needed. Several views can be open at the same time, but only one is active. The active view affects which tabs appear on the ribbon and which elements are displayed in panes, such as the Contents pane.

ArcGIS Pro application with an active map view

ElementDescription
1

A map view is a window that displays a map.

2

Every view has a tab that can be used to close or move the view. The tab of the active view is blue. Clicking a view tab makes the view active.

3

The Contents pane lists the contents of the active view, such as the layers in a map or the elements in a layout.

4

The ribbon provides commands that can be used with the active view.

An ArcGIS Pro map view

Panes

A pane is a dockable window that displays the contents of a view (the Contents pane), the contents of a project or portal (the Catalog pane), or commands and settings related to an area of functionality, such as the Symbology and Geoprocessing panes.

Contents and Catalog panes

Panes offer functionality that is more advanced or complete than ribbon commands. Panes may have rows of text tabs and graphical tabs that partition and organize functionality.

Symbology pane with marked pane controls

ElementDescription
1

Some panes have more than one page. Use the Back button to switch pages.

2

Text-based primary tabs, such as Gallery and Properties, partition the pane’s functionality.

3

Graphical secondary tabs partition the functionality of a primary tab.

4

Expanders are small arrows that you click to show or hide settings.

5

The Menu button contains additional commands.

6

Handles allow you to resize areas of a pane by dragging. Handles can be horizontally or vertically oriented.

 

Settings page

On the Settings page, you can modify ArcGIS Pro options, configure your license and portal connections, manage add-ins, and more. The Settings page can be accessed in two ways:

  • From an open project, click the Project tab on the ribbon.
  • From the ArcGIS Pro start page, click Settings in the lower left corner.

You can access the settings you want to change using the list on the left side of the page. You can also create, open, and save projects, open the help system, get information about ArcGIS Pro, and exit the application.

ArcGIS Pro Settings page

ElementDescription
1

Create a new project or open another project. If you have a project open, you’ll be prompted to save it before switching.

2

Save your current project or make a copy using Save As.

3

Click Portals to manage portal connections and set your active portal. Click Licensing to view the details of your license and to configure licensing options.

4

Click Options to access general project and application options as well as options for specific functional areas such as editing, layout, and geoprocessing.

5

Configure Python environments and packages and manage add-ins.

6

Open the help system.

7

Get information about your ArcGIS Pro version and update to new versions.

ArcGIS Pro Settings page

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