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Connect to a toolbox

Several methods can be used to access custom toolboxes in a project. Choose the method that is most appropriate for each toolbox.

Custom toolboxes can be stored on the file system or in geodatabases and can be accessed from folder or database connections. However, you can also connect a project directly to a toolbox. Once connected, these toolboxes are available in the Toolboxes category. When a project is connected to a toolbox, you can quickly access its contents without having to know where it's stored and browse to that location. Toolboxes connected to the project are included in project packages.

Access a toolbox in a folder

You can see and work with a toolbox from a folder connection and any additional files stored in the same location. This may be important if the tools leverage data stored in the same location.

  1. Connect to a folder containing the toolbox you want to use.
  2. In the Catalog pane or the catalog view, browse to the folder that contains the toolbox.
  3. Browse into the toolbox and start using its tools.
Tip:

When you're browsing a folder in the Catalog pane or the catalog view, you can add a toolbox directly to the project by right-clicking it, and clicking Add To Project Add To Project.

Add a toolbox directly to the project

If you only want to see and work with a toolbox and not other items stored in the same location, add it directly to the project.

  1. On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click the Toolbox drop-down list Toolbox and click Add Toolbox Add toolbox.
  2. Browse to and click the toolbox on the local or network computer or in a file geodatabase.
  3. Click OK.

    The toolbox appears in the Catalog pane and catalog view under the Toolboxes heading Toolbox folder.

  4. Browse into the toolbox to start using its tools.
Tip:

You can drag a toolbox from Windows Explorer to the Catalog pane or the catalog view to add it to a project. You can also drag these items from folder connections in the project to the Toolboxes category to add them directly to the project. Drag the items within the Catalog pane, between the Catalog pane and catalog view, or between two catalog views.

Create a new toolbox

You can create a new toolbox or Python toolbox that can be used in the project.

Create a toolbox in your current location

  1. Browse into a folder on a local or network computer.
  2. Create a new toolbox.
    • In the Catalog pane, right-click a folder and click New > Toolbox New toolbox or New > Python Toolbox .
    • In the catalog view, right-click the whitespace around the contents list and click New > Toolbox New toolbox or New > Python Toolbox .

    A new toolbox Toolbox or Python toolbox Python toolbox is created in the current location with the name New Toolbox or New Python Toolbox, as appropriate. The new toolbox is not automatically added to the project. The toolbox is immediately renamed.

  3. Type a name for the toolbox.
  4. Press Enter.

    The toolbox is updated with the new name.

Create a new toolbox in another location

  1. Open the New Toolbox or New Python Toolbox dialog box.
    • On the Insert tab, in the Project group, click the Toolbox drop-down list Toolbox and click New Toolbox New toolbox or New Python Toolbox .
    • Right-click the Toolboxes category Toolbox folder in the Catalog pane or catalog view and click New Toolbox New toolbox or New Python Toolbox .
  2. Browse to a folder on the local or network computer where the new toolbox will be stored.
  3. Type a name for the new toolbox in the Name text box.
  4. Click Save.

A toolbox Toolbox or Python toolbox Python toolbox is created in the specified location with the provided name. It appears in the Toolboxes category Toolbox folder.

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