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Create a project template

Tutorial summary

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  • Video length: 1:10
  • This video was created with ArcGIS Pro 2.0.1.

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.

  • Estimated time: 20 minutes
  • Software requirements:
    • ArcGIS Pro
    • ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account with sharing privileges recommended
Note:

The tutorial steps in the online help reflect the look and capabilities of 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 .

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.

  1. Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
  2. On the start page, under your recent projects, click Open another project.
    Note:

    If you already have a project open, click the Project tab on the ribbon. In the list of tabs on the left, click Open.

  3. On the Open project page, click Portal and click Browse Browse.
  4. On the Open Project dialog box, under Portal Portal, click All Portal All Portal.
  5. At the top of the dialog box, in the Search box, type Create a project template tutorial and press Enter.
  6. In the list of search results, click Create a project template to select the project package.
    Note:

    If there is more than one project package with this name, make sure to select the correct one. In the upper right corner of the Open Project dialog box, click the Show/hide details panel button Show/hide details panel. The owner should be ArcGISProTutorials.

  7. Click OK.

    The project opens with a 2D map and a 3D scene. Both are zoomed to New Zealand.

    A map and a 3D scene centered on New Zealand

    The project is stored in your <user documents>\ArcGIS\Packages folder.

  8. On the ribbon, click the Map tab if necessary. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks 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 be included in the project template.

  9. In the Catalog pane, on the Project tab, browse to Databases > create_a_project_template.gdb.
    Contents of project geodatabase in Catalog pane

    The project geodatabase contains three feature classes: Highways, Populated_Places, and Regions. These datasets will also be included in the project template.

    Tip:
    If the Catalog pane isn't open, click the View tab on the ribbon. In the Windows group, click Catalog Pane Catalog Pane.

Share the project as a project template

A project template can be shared to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal or it can be saved locally. In this tutorial, you'll share the template to your portal to make it easily available to others.

If you don't have sharing privileges to your portal (for example, if you have the role of Viewer), or if you don't have Internet access, you can save the project template locally. You won't be able to complete the tutorial steps exactly as written, but you will be able to create the project template and access it later to make a new project.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the ArcGIS Pro window, confirm that you are signed in to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal.
  2. On the ribbon, click the Share tab. In the Save As group, click Project Template Project Template.

    The Create Project Template pane opens. Under Start Creating, accept the default option to Upload template to Online account.

  3. Under Name and Location, replace the default name with New_Zealand_template. Add your name or initials to the name.
    Project template name

    If other people in your organization create the same project template, this will make it easy to tell yours apart from theirs.

  4. Under Item Description, for the Summary, type ArcGIS Pro project template for New Zealand projects.
  5. For the Tags, type New Zealand and press the Tab key (or the Enter key).
    Summary information and tags
    Note:

    Additional tags are added automatically when you create the project template.

  6. Under Sharing Options, select the check box next to the name of your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal.
    Sharing options
    You will see the name of your portal, not the literal text Portal Name shown in the image.
    Note:

    If all the Sharing Options are dimmed, this means that you don't have sharing privileges in your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise account. To continue with the tutorial, at the top of the pane, under Start Creating, click Save template to file. For more information about sharing privileges, see Levels, roles, and privileges in the ArcGIS Online help.

  7. At the bottom of the pane, click Analyze.

    A message that no errors or warnings were found appears.

  8. At the bottom of the pane, click Create. 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. The message includes a link to manage the project template in your portal.

View the project template in your portal

The template has been shared to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal. You'll open its item details page in your portal and add some metadata to the template.

Note:

The instructions and images in this section apply to an ArcGIS Online portal. If you have an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, your user interface may be slightly different. If you have trouble adapting the instructions, you can skip to the next section.

  1. In the message at the bottom of the Create Project Template pane, click the Manage the package link.
    Success message with link to manage the package

    A web browser page to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal.

  2. If necessary, sign in to the portal with your user name and password.
    Thumbnail image and summary information for project template

    The item details page for the project template opens. It includes a thumbnail image and summary information. The Description and Terms of Use sections need to be filled in.

  3. To the right of Description, click Edit.
  4. In the Edit Description box, type or copy and paste the following text: ArcGIS Pro project template for use with New Zealand-based projects. Includes a topographic map and an imagery scene zoomed to New Zealand. The project geodatabase includes three datasets.
  5. Under the text box, click Save.
  6. To the right of Terms of Use, click Edit.
  7. In the Edit Terms of Use box, type or copy and paste the following text: There are no access or use constraints on the project template. For access and use constraints on the datasets included with the template, view the metadata for those datasets in ArcGIS Pro.
  8. Under the text 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.)

    Item tags

Start a new project based on the template

Now you can use the template to create a new project.

  1. In ArcGIS Pro, on the ribbon, click the Project tab. In the list of tabs on the left, click New.
    Tip:

    Beginning with ArcGIS Pro 2.0, you can have multiple ArcGIS Pro sessions running on the same machine at the same time. Another way to start a new project based on the template is to start a new ArcGIS Pro session. On the start page, under Create a new project, click Select another project template to access the New project page.

  2. On the New project page, under New, click Portal and expand My Content.
    New project page with project template listed under My Content

    The New Zealand project template is listed under My Content. Although you can access the template from this location, other users need to browse to it because they do not own the item. You'll test the workflow as it would be for a different member of your organization.

    Tip:

    If you saved the template locally, click Computer instead of Portal and expand Documents to access the project template.

  3. Click Browse.
  4. On the Create New Project From Template dialog box, on the left, click All Portal.
  5. Under the search box, click the Search My Organization button Search My Organization.

    This restricts the search to items in your organization, as opposed to all items shared publicly to ArcGIS Online.

  6. 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.

  7. Click New_Zealand_template_yourname and click OK.
  8. On the Create a New Project dialog box, name the project New Zealand Test and click OK.
  9. If you are prompted to save changes to the open project (Create_a_project_template), click No.

    The New Zealand Test project, based on the template, opens. It has the same map and scene views of New Zealand as the template.

  10. On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks Bookmarks.

    The new project includes the bookmarks from the template.

  11. In the Catalog pane, on the Project tab, expand the Databases folder.

    The project has two geodatabases: the New Zealand Test project geodatabase, which is empty, and the create_a_project_template geodatabase, which contains the Highways, Populated_Places, and Regions feature classes. Any new projects started from the template will look the same as this one.

  12. On the ribbon, click the Project tab. In the list of tabs on the left, click Exit.
  13. On the ArcGIS Project prompt, click No.

    You don't need to save this 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 <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Projects.
  • Use Windows Explorer to delete the project template New_Zealand_template_yourname.aptx from the folder <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Packages.
  • Delete the project template file New_Zealand_template_yourname from your portal.
Tip:

If the item details page is still open in your browser, click the Settings tab above the thumbnail image and click Delete Item. Otherwise, browse to the Content page of your portal. On the My Content tab, select the check box next to New_Zealand_template_yourname and 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.

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