If you're a longtime ArcMap user, you naturally want to know whether you can bring your work into ArcGIS Pro, the latest evolution of ArcGIS Desktop software. The short answer is yes! In this tutorial, you’ll create a new ArcGIS Pro project, import a map document from ArcMap, and evaluate the results.
Even if you are not an ArcMap user, you may still learn some useful things about ArcGIS Pro. You don't need ArcMap software to do the tutorial.
If you don't have ArcGIS Pro, 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:
If you do have ArcMap software, you can open the tutorial map document in ArcMap and compare it directly to the imported map in ArcGIS Pro. To open the map document, you need ArcGIS Desktop 10.5. If you have an earlier version of ArcMap, you can download a map package compatible with your version from the Import Maps group on ArcGIS Online. (Be sure to check the Show ArcGIS Desktop Content box.) When you do the tutorial steps, import the map document in the tutorial data folder, even if you are viewing an earlier version.
Create a project
- Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
- On the start page, click Blank to create a new blank project.
- On the Create a New Project dialog box, in the Name box, type ImportMapDocument.
- Optionally, click the Browse button to choose a different location for the project. Click OK.
The new project opens. A project view shows the categories of items in your project. These categories contain default items, such as a project toolbox, a project geodatabase, and so on.
Import a map document
The map document you'll import shows how the Kelburn suburb of Wellington, New Zealand, is zoned for development. The map document includes two data frames and a layout. One data frame displays zoning types in the suburb. The other data frame shows the suburb in relation to the rest of the city.
Both data frames appear on the layout, which also contains a legend, a picture, and other map elements.
- On the ribbon, click the Insert tab if necessary. In the Project group, click Import Map .
- On the Import dialog box, browse to the location of your tutorial data. (For example, C:\ArcGISProQuickstartData.)
- Double-click the Kelburn folder to open it. Click KelburnMap.mxd and click OK.
A map view named Kelburn opens. This map corresponds to one of the data frames in the ArcMap map document. Layers representing the suburb boundary, walking paths, roads, and zoning are displayed on a dark gray basemap. You'll use the Project pane to see other items that were imported with the map document.
- In the Project pane, on the Project tab, expand Maps.
The project contains two maps: the open Kelburn map and a map named Wellington. The Wellington map corresponds to the second data frame in the ArcMap document. Each data frame in an ArcMap document becomes a separate map in ArcGIS Pro.
The following image shows the two data frames as they appear in the ArcMap table of contents.
- In the Project pane, under Maps, right-click Wellington and click Open .
- In the Project pane, expand Layouts.
The layout in an ArcMap document becomes a separate item in ArcGIS Pro.
- Under Layouts, right-click KelburnMap and click Open .
The layout looks like the image of the ArcMap layout at the beginning of this section.
The name of the layout matches the name of the ArcMap document. In this case, it's confusing to have a map named Kelburn and a layout named KelburnMap. You'll rename the layout.
- In the Project pane, under Layouts, right-click KelburnMap and click Rename .
- Rename the layout Kelburn Layout and press Enter.
The new name is displayed in the Project pane and on the layout's view tab. The project has four open views: the project view, two map views, and the layout view. The layout view is active.
You won't use the project view in this tutorial, so you'll close it.
- Close the project view by clicking the Close button on its view tab.
Closing a view does not remove it from the project. You can reopen the project view at any time from the View tab on the ribbon. If you close a map or layout view, you can reopen it from the Project pane.
In the Project pane, the Notifications tab has an asterisk. This means there are notifications you haven't looked at.
- In the Project pane, click the Notifications tab. Click See the result.
A browser tab opens with import results for the map document. There are six warnings. The warning Basemap layers cannot be published directly to a service appears three times. This is because the Wellington map has a basemap and the Kelburn map has both a basemap and a basemap reference layer. These warnings are not of concern in this tutorial.
The other three warnings describe possible problems with the imported layout. These are generic warnings. They don't imply that anything is wrong with the layout in this project.
- Close the browser tab with the import results.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.
Explore the maps
The Kelburn map shows how the suburb is zoned. More than 50 percent of the suburb is zoned for residential use. About 35 percent is zoned for open space. Most of the open space is used by the Wellington Botanic Garden in the northwest part of the suburb. About 12 percent of the suburb is zoned for institutional use. This land is occupied by the Victoria University of Wellington in the southeast. Less than one percent of the land is zoned for commercial use.
In contrast to the Kelburn map, which is the map of primary interest, the Wellington map is an overview map. Its purpose is to show the location of Kelburn in relation to the rest of Wellington.
You'll look at both maps in more detail to confirm that layer properties set in ArcMap have been maintained in ArcGIS Pro.
- Click the Kelburn view tab to display the map.
- In the Contents pane, click the Zoning layer to select it.
- On the ribbon, under Feature Layer, click the Appearance tab. In the Drawing group, click Symbology .
The Symbology pane opens. The Zoning layer is symbolized by unique values on the Zone field of the layer's attribute table, just as it is in ArcMap.
ArcGIS Pro and ArcMap use different methods to construct symbols, but the appearance of imported symbols is identical in most cases. For more information about how symbols are modeled in ArcGIS Pro, see Symbols.
You have confirmed, at least for one layer, that symbology properties are maintained in the imported map. Next, you'll confirm that the field properties of layer attribute tables are also maintained.
- In the Contents pane, right-click the Roads layer and click Design > Fields .
The Fields view of the Roads layer attribute table opens. In ArcGIS Pro, the Fields view is used to display and edit field properties. The following image shows that field names, aliases, data types, and other properties have been imported with no changes.
- Close the Fields: Roads (Kelburn) view.
- Make the Wellington map view active.
- On the ribbon, on the Map tab, click Bookmarks . Under Wellington Bookmarks, click Suburbs.
The map zooms in. The names and boundaries of Wellington suburbs are now displayed.
- In the Contents pane, click the Suburb Boundaries layer to select it.
- On the ribbon, under Feature Layer, click the Appearance tab, if necessary.
In the Visibility Range group, note that the Out Beyond setting is 1:100,000. This matches the layer's Scale Range setting in ArcMap.
- On the ribbon, under Feature Layer, click the Labeling tab.
In the Layer group, the Label button is selected. This confirms that labeling is turned on for the layer. (Clicking the button turns the labels on and off.)
The Text Symbol group shows the label symbol properties. The font is Arial 8 point Regular and the color is Lichen Green. These settings match the ArcMap layer property settings.
Explore the layout
A quick visual comparison of the ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro layouts shows that they are nearly identical. In this section, you'll inspect some of the layout elements.
- Make the Kelburn Layout view active.
In the last section, recall that you zoomed in on the Wellington map to see the suburb names and boundaries. Notice that the Wellington map frame in the layout remains zoomed out to the entire city. In ArcGIS Pro, you can compose a layout while continuing to navigate freely in the map view—something you can't do in ArcMap.
- Make the Contents pane active.
The Contents pane lists all the elements in the layout. To work with an element, you can select it on the layout view or in the Contents pane.
- In the Contents pane, click Alternating Scale Bar.
The item is selected in the Contents pane and on the layout. The scale bar is in the lower left corner of the Kelburn map frame. (It's hard to see that it's selected because the selection box is black.)
- On the ribbon, under Selection, click the Design tab.
Scale and unit settings such as the division value, number of divisions, and units have been imported correctly from ArcMap.
Other layout element settings have also been imported correctly. For example, text elements have the same font properties. The scales of the Kelburn and Wellington map frames are also the same as in the ArcMap layout.
One minor difference can be seen in the legend. In the ArcGIS Pro legend (left), under Roads, the Cable Car legend item appears above Streets. In the ArcMap legend (right), Streets is on top.
This difference is not an error in the imported legend. You'll confirm that the legend matches the layer symbology.
- In the Contents pane, expand Kelburn Map Frame.
In the list of layers, under Roads, notice that Cable Car appears above Streets. The legend matches the layer symbology. As explained in the following note, it was the layer symbology—not the legend—that changed slightly in the import process.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save .
ArcGIS Pro imports most data frame and layer property settings exactly from ArcMap. However, the two applications have different drawing engines, so differences may occur in the way symbols, colors, and fonts are handled. ArcGIS Pro does not import elements from ArcMap if the underlying functionality is not supported. For example, map annotation is not imported.
In addition to ArcMap documents, you can import 3D documents from ArcScene and ArcGlobe. You can also convert 2D maps to 3D scenes in ArcGIS Pro. To convert a map to a scene, click the View tab on the ribbon. In the View group, click . To learn more about layouts in ArcGIS Pro, try the Make a layout quick-start tutorial.
For information about importing models and scripts from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro, see the help topics below.