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Imports the specified toolbox into ArcPy, allowing for access to the toolbox's associated tools.

Equivalent to the ImportToolbox function.


While any of the core ArcGIS toolboxes are accessible by default in a script, your own custom or third-party toolboxes must be added using ImportToolbox to use them in a script.

Other toolboxes may be found in any number of different folders or geodatabases and may have many different origins; they may be toolboxes you have personally created, or are toolboxes created internally by your organization, or toolboxes you have downloaded from sites such as the Geoprocessing Resource Center. In any case, these toolboxes need to be imported into ArcPy in a one-step process before they can be used as tools in Python.

Server toolboxes can also be added using a semicolon delimiter.


Internet ArcGIS Server


AddToolbox also supports working with secured ArcGIS online services using an ArcGIS Server connection (.ags) file. Using an .ags file allows credentials to be stored within the file, hidden from sight.

To allow any user to access your tool, use the UseSSOIdentityIfPortalOwned keyword. Executing AddToolbox will then prompt the Sign In dialog box if not already signed in, or will just succeed if already signed in.

import arcpy
tbx = ";World/ServiceAreas;UseSSOIdentityIfPortalOwned"

The Sign In dialog box will be used, running a stand-alone Python file.

If a token has already been previously obtained, it can also be used with AddToolbox.

import arcpy

token = 'sadsa213d2j32jsdw02dm2'
referrer = ''
tbx = ';' + \
      'World/ServiceAreas;token={};{}'.format(token, referrer)
result = arcpy.GenerateServiceAreas_ServiceAreas()


AddToolbox (input_file, {module_name})
ParameterExplanationData Type

The geoprocessing toolbox to be accessed from Python.


If the toolbox does not have an alias, the module_name is required.

When a tool is accessed through the ArcPy site package, the toolbox alias where the tool is contained is a required suffix (arcpy.<toolname>_<alias> or arcpy.<alias>.<toolname>). Since ArcPy depends on toolbox aliases to access and execute the correct tool, aliases are extremely important when importing custom toolboxes. A good practice is to always define a custom toolbox's alias; however, if the toolbox alias is not defined, a temporary alias can be set as the second parameter.

Return Value
Data TypeExplanation

Returns the imported module.

If needed, tool names can be accessed from the module's __all__ property.

Code sample

AddToolbox example

Add the specified toolbox.

import arcpy

# Import custom toolbox

    # Run tool in the custom toolbox.  The tool is identified by
    #  the tool name and the toolbox alias.
except arcpy.ExecuteError:

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