Skip To Content

Use ArcGIS Pro with a keyboard

You can navigate the ArcGIS Pro user interface and execute commands using keyboard shortcuts exclusively. The main parts of the user interface are the ribbon, panes, and views, shown in the image below. The ribbon and panes organize commands for working with views. Views are work areas, such as maps, tables, layouts, and charts. For a more detailed description of the user interface, see About ArcGIS Pro.

The ArcGIS Pro user interface with different components numbered
You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate the different parts of the user interface.
  1. The ribbon
  2. A map view
  3. The Contents pane
  4. A table view
  5. The Symbology pane

Common keyboard shortcuts

The table below lists common keyboard shortcuts for navigating the user interface. Many of these shortcuts are mentioned again in the following sections of the topic.

ActionShortcut key

Enable access keys and show KeyTips on the ribbon.

Alt or F10

Move from one tab to another on the ribbon or in a pane.

Right Arrow or Left Arrow

Move from one command to the next on a ribbon tab. Move from one item to the next in a pane, view, dialog box, or page.

Tab or Shift+Tab

Move among elements within a list.

Up Arrow or Down Arrow

Open a drop-down menu or list.

Alt+Down Arrow

Close a drop-down menu or list.

Esc

Execute a command

Enter or Spacebar

Open a context menu (pop-up menu)

Ctrl+Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key

Note:
The Windows Menu key, also called the Application key, is located between the Windows logo key and the right Ctrl key on many Windows keyboards.

Move from the ribbon to an active view or pane and back to the ribbon.

F10

Change the active view or pane.

Hold Ctrl and press Tab.

A window displays the active panes and views in the project. Use the arrow keys to move to the view or pane you want to make active. Press Enter.

Common keyboard shortcuts in ArcGIS Pro

Create or open a project with keyboard shortcuts

When ArcGIS Pro starts, there are several options to create new projects or open existing projects. You can open a recent project, open another project from your computer or a portal, create a new project from a default project template, or create a new project from another project template.

ActionShortcut key

Move among the options to create and open projects.

Tab or Shift+Tab

Move among items within an option.

Arrow keys

Select an item.

Enter

Keyboard shortcuts for the start page

Example: Create a new project from the default Map.aptx template.

  1. On the ArcGIS Pro start page, press Tab as needed to move to the option for creating new projects from a default template.
  2. Press the Down Arrow key as needed to select Map.aptx.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. On the Create a New Project dialog box, press Tab to move into the Name text box.
  5. Press Delete as needed to remove the default project name.
  6. Type a name for the project.
  7. Press Tab as needed to move to the OK button.
  8. Press Enter to create the project.

Use keyboard shortcuts on the ribbon

The ribbon is a set of tabs and commands arranged horizontally at the top of the user interface. Each tab on the ribbon represents a different area of functionality and has its own commands. Core tabs are always displayed on the user interface. Contextual tabs appear only when the application is in a particular state.

Above the ribbon are the Quick Access Toolbar, the Sign-in Status menu Sign-in Status, and the Notifications button Notifications. For keyboard navigation, these are treated as part of the ribbon.

You can select ribbon tabs and commands with access keys. Press Alt to enable access keys. KeyTips appear on the ribbon, showing which access key to press to select a tab or command. When you press a key to select a tab, additional KeyTips appear for the commands on that tab.

The ArcGIS Pro ribbon with KeyTips displayed

ActionShortcut key

Move from an active view or pane to the ribbon (also displays KeyTips for ribbon tabs).

Alt or F10

Select a tab or select a command on a tab.

Press the key or keys indicated by the KeyTip.

Move from one ribbon tab to another.

Left Arrow or Right Arrow keys

Move from a ribbon tab into the commands for that tab.

Down Arrow key

Move among the commands on a ribbon tab.

Tab or Shift+Tab

Execute a command.

Enter or Spacebar

Move from the ribbon to an active view or pane.

Alt or F10

Keyboard shortcuts for the ribbon

Example: Use the Basemap command on the Map tab to change the basemap in a map view.

  1. In an open project with an open map view, press Alt to enable access keys.
  2. Press M to make the Map tab active.
  3. Press B and then press M to open the Basemap drop-down list.
  4. Press the Down Arrow key to move into the list of basemaps. Press the arrow keys as needed to select a basemap.
  5. Press Enter to apply the new basemap.

Use keyboard shortcuts in panes

A pane is a dockable window that provides access to more functionality than is available on the ribbon. The Contents pane is used to manage layers in a map, or layout elements in a layout. The Catalog pane is used to manage data and other project and portal items. Other panes, such as the Symbology pane or the Create Features pane, have commands and settings for specific areas of the software.

Some panes have a row of text tabs at the top and may also have a secondary row of graphical tabs. The functionality available on the pane changes according to which tabs are chosen. Tabs in a pane do not have access keys.

Text and graphical tabs on the Catalog pane
The Catalog pane has four text tabs. When the Portal tab is selected, a row of four graphical tabs appears below it.

The Contents and Catalog panes are usually open in a project. They can be opened with commands on the View tab on the ribbon. Other panes open as needed in response to commands. For example, the Create Features pane opens when the Create button is clicked on the Edit tab on the ribbon.

ActionShortcut key

Move from one item to another in a pane.

Tab or Shift+Tab

Move from one pane to another in the same row.

Left Arrow or Right Arrow keys

Open the context menu for a selected item, if available.

Ctrl+Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key

Execute a command.

Enter or Spacebar

Keyboard shortcuts for panes

Example: Zoom to the extent of a layer in the Contents pane.

  1. In an open project with an open map that contains layers, press Alt to enable access keys.
  2. Press V to make the View tab active.
  3. Press C and then press T to make the Contents pane active (or to open the pane if it's closed).
  4. In the Contents pane, press Tab as needed until the focus is on the map and its layers under the Drawing Order heading.
  5. Press the Down Arrow key as needed to select the layer you want to zoom to.
  6. Press Ctrl+Shift+F10 to open the context menu for the layer.
  7. Press the arrow keys as needed to select Zoom To Layer Zoom To Layer.
  8. Press Enter to zoom the map to the extent of the layer.

Use keyboard shortcuts in views

A view is a window that contains a visual or tabular representation of geographic data. Maps, scenes, tables, charts, and layouts are all views.

Map view of bus routes in Christchurch, New Zealand
A map view

Most of the work that you do in views, especially in map and layout views, requires mouse pointer movements and actions such as clicking and double-clicking. On a map, you may navigate to different locations, select features interactively, measure distances, and digitize new features. In a layout, you may move and resize layout elements. To control mouse pointer movement and actions with the keyboard, you must turn on Mouse Keys in the Windows operating system. For information on how to turn on and use Mouse Keys, see the Microsoft Support topic Use Mouse Keys to move the mouse pointer.

This section describes how to navigate items in a view—the commands found at the top or bottom of the view window—but not how to use Mouse Keys to work with the contents of a view.

ActionShortcut key

Move from one item to another in an active view.

Tab or Shift+Tab

Execute a command.

Enter or Spacebar

Close a view.

Ctrl+F4

Keyboard shortcuts for views

Example: Change the scale of a map.

  1. In an open project with an active map view, press Tab as needed to select the map scale box.

    Map scale box

  2. Press Alt+Down Arrow to open the list of map scales.
  3. Press the Down Arrow key as needed to select the map scale you want.
  4. Press Enter.
Note:

Accessing view functionality from a keyboard is not always straightforward. For example, some commands on a map view, such as the Snapping button Snapping, have hover menus with additional settings. These menus appear only when the mouse pointer is positioned over the button; therefore, they can only be opened and used with Mouse Keys.

Table views have rows of commands both above and below the table rows. However, to access the commands at the bottom of the table view, you must first tab through all the cells of the table. Therefore, you need to know some useful ArcGIS Pro shortcut keys for tables. For example, Ctrl+End is the shortcut for moving to the last cell in the last row of a table.

Switch among panes and views

In a project, you may have several panes and views open at the same time. Press Ctrl+Tab to open a window that allows you to choose which pane or view to make active.

Window listing open panes and views in the project

Example: Change the active pane or view.

  1. In an open project with at least one open pane and one open view, press and hold Ctrl. Press Tab to open a window showing the open panes and views in the project.
  2. Press the arrow keys as needed to select the pane or view you want to make active.

    Its name will display in the upper left corner of the window.

  3. Press Enter.

Additional keyboard shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts are available for specific tasks. They are designed for productivity but may also aid accessibility.

You can also use custom keyboard accelerators to define your own shortcut keys for any command on the ribbon.

Related topics