A project template is a customized starting state for a project. It can include maps, scenes, layouts, databases, folder connections, and other elements. Any configuration of a project that you may want to reuse can be saved as a project template. One reason to create project templates is to standardize practices within a workgroup or organization. For example, you can ensure that maps, scenes, and layouts have a consistent appearance, use the same datasets, and apply the same symbology. Another reason is to tailor the user interface for specific user roles. For example, you can make sure that a new project contains toolboxes with tools needed for certain tasks or that certain databases or folder connections are included.
ArcGIS Pro 2.0 is recommended. The tutorial project file will open in earlier versions of ArcGIS Pro; however, the tutorial steps in the online help reflect the current software release. If you have an earlier software version, use the offline help system to open the tutorial. To switch from the online to the offline help system, see About ArcGIS Pro Help.
If you don't have ArcGIS Pro or ArcGIS Online, you can sign up for an ArcGIS free trial .
Data for all quick-start tutorials is included in one download. To download the data, follow these steps:
Open the project
Project templates are based on existing projects. You will open a project containing a map and scene zoomed to New Zealand and share this project as a project template.
- Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
- On the start page, under your recent projects, click Open another project.
- On the Open page, under Open, click Computer and click Browse .
- On the Open Project dialog box, browse to Create_a_project_template.aprx and click OK.
The file will be in a tutorial data folder with the same name, such as C:\ArcGISProQuickstartData\Create_a_project_template.
The project opens with a 2D map and a 3D scene. Both are zoomed to New Zealand.
- On the ribbon, confirm that the Map tab is selected. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks and confirm that your project has four bookmarks.
Saved properties and settings of your project—including the map, the scene, and the bookmarks—will become part of the project template.
Share the project as a project template
A project template can be shared to your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS account or it can be saved locally. In this tutorial, you'll share the template to your online account to make it easily available to others.
If your ArcGIS Pro license is a Named User license with ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS, you are probably already connected to the correct portal for sharing. If your ArcGIS Pro license is a Single Use or Concurrent Use license, you may not be signed in to your online account because the license is not associated with your Named User account. To continue with the tutorial, sign in to your online account in the upper right corner of the ArcGIS Pro window. This will not change your license configuration.
If you do not have an ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS account, you can save the project template locally instead of sharing it to a portal. You won't be able to complete the tutorial steps as written, but you will be able to create the project template and access it later to make a new project. Learning how to create and use a project template is more important than the storage location of the file.
- On the ribbon, click the Share tab. In the Save As group, click Project Template .
The Create Project Template pane opens. Under Start Creating, accept the default option to Upload template to Online account.
- Under Name and Location, add an underscore and your name or initials to the default name.
If other people in your organization create the same project template, this will make it easy to tell yours apart from theirs.
- Under Item Description, for the Summary, type ArcGIS Pro project template for New Zealand projects.
- For the Tags, type New Zealand and press the Tab key (or the Enter key).
- Under Sharing Options, select the check box next to the name of your Portal or ArcGIS Online organization.
- At the bottom of the pane, click Analyze.
A message that no errors or warnings were found appears.
- At the bottom of the pane, click Package. If you are prompted with a Save Project message, click Yes.
It takes a few moments for the project template to be packaged and uploaded to your account. At the bottom of the Create Project Template pane, a message confirms that the template was successfully created.
- Close the Create Project Template pane.
Access the project template file online
The template has been shared to your ArcGIS Online or Portal for ArcGIS account. You'll add a description to its item details page so that people in your organization can identify it easily.
- In the upper right corner of the ArcGIS Pro window, click the Sign-in Status drop-down arrow and then click the link to go to your active portal.
A web browser opens to ArcGIS Online or to your Portal for ArcGIS site.
- If necessary, in the browser, sign in with your user name and password.
- Click Content at the top of the page.
The project template appears as an item on your My Content tab.
- Click the ellipsis to the right of the item's title and click View item details.
On the item details page, the Overview tab is selected above the thumbnail image.
- Under Description, click Add an in-depth description of the item.
- In the Edit Description box, type your own description or copy and paste this text: ArcGIS Pro project template for use with New Zealand-based projects. Includes a topographic map view and an imagery scene view zoomed to New Zealand.
- Under the Edit Description box, click Save.
On the right side of the item details page, under Tags, additional tags have been added to help you find the item in searches. Note the aptx tag. Project templates have the file extension .aptx. (Projects have the file extension .aprx.)
- Leave your browser open to the item details page.
Download and open the template
Anyone in your organization can now find and use the project template. You'll download and open the template to make sure it looks the way you expect.
- In ArcGIS Pro, on the ribbon, click the Project tab. In the left-hand column, click New.
- On the New project page, under New, click Portal and expand My Content.
This is the project template you just uploaded. Although you yourself can access the template from My Content, other members of your organization would need to browse to it. (It is not part of their My Content inventory.) You'll test the workflow as another member of your organization would follow it.
- Click Browse.
- On the Create New Project From Template dialog box, on the left, click All Portal.
- Under the search box, click the Search My Organization button .
This restricts the search to items in your organization, as opposed to all items shared publicly to ArcGIS Online.
- At the top of the dialog box, in the search box, type New Zealand template and press Enter.
The template appears in the search results.
- Click Create_a_project_template_yourname.aptx and click OK.
- On the Create a New Project dialog box, name the project New Zealand Test and click OK. If you are prompted to save changes to the open project, click No.
A new project based on the template opens. It has the same map, scene, and bookmarks as the template. Any new projects started from this template will look exactly the same.
- On the ribbon, click the Project tab. In the left-hand column, click Exit.
- Click No on the prompt to save changes to the open project.
At your convenience, you can delete the items you created in this tutorial.
- Use Windows Explorer to delete the folder New Zealand Test from your home folder, probably \Users\<profile>\Documents\ArcGIS\Projects.
- Use Windows Explorer to delete the project template Create_a_project_template_yourname.aptx from the folder \Users\<profile>\Documents\ArcGIS\OnlineProjects.
- Delete the project template Create_a_project_template_yourname from its item details page in your web browser. To delete the item, click the Settings tab on the item details page and click Delete Item. At the prompt to confirm the deletion, click Delete.
Some project templates are included with ArcGIS Pro. On the start page, under Create a new project, there are templates to start a project with a global scene, a local scene, or a map. If you click Select another project template and click Portal, you'll find more templates under Esri Project Templates.