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Indexing project items

By default, ArcGIS Pro automatically creates and dynamically updates a searchable index as you build and work with projects. Items are indexed when they are added to a project. New and imported maps and layouts are automatically added to the index. When connections to folders, databases, and toolboxes are added, the connection and the GIS items it contains are automatically indexed.

The first time a folder or database is indexed, indexing may take a while if it contains a large number of items. While the index is being created, information can't be retrieved from it—searches won't return any results.

What items are indexed

The following items are indexed:

  • Maps and layouts
  • Items stored in a folder that was added to the project as a folder connection
  • Toolboxes added to a project and accessed from a folder connection
  • Databases added to a project, as well as file geodatabases, SQLite databases, and geopackages accessed from a folder connection

When indexing the contents of a folder or database, only items that can be used in ArcGIS Pro are indexed. If a database or toolbox has been added to a project and it is also available from a folder connection in the project, its contents are only indexed once. If the same folder, database, or toolbox is used by many projects, it is only indexed once.

Note:

Items available from a server connection are not indexed.

Indexing the contents of an enterprise database

Database connection (.sde) files that are accessed from a folder are indexed. By default, the contents of the database that the file provides access to are not indexed unless the ArcGIS Pro indexing options are modified, and the database is added to the project.

  1. Open the Options dialog box.
    • If a project is currently open, click the Project tab, and click Options.
    • Start ArcGIS Pro and click About ArcGIS Pro at the bottom of the start page.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Indexing tab.
  3. Uncheck Skip enterprise database connections.
  4. Click OK.

The next time the project index is updated, the contents of any enterprise databases added to the project will be indexed.

Create a new index for an existing project

If you receive a project from someone else, if you use Save As to create a new project, or if you deleted the project's index, a new index will be created for items in the project the first time one of the following events occurs:

  • You add a folder connection, database connection, or toolbox to the project.
  • An incremental index update occurs. By default, incremental index updates are scheduled to occur every hour.
  • You search in the Catalog pane, catalog view, or browse dialog box while browsing the collection of project items. It may take some time to get the first set of search results.
  • You refresh a folder, database, or toolbox to reflect a change in its contents list.

Browse items in your project

After adding a connection to your project, you can browse the items it contains. By default, when you browse items in a folder, ArcGIS Pro communicates with the disk or network share to discover what items it has. Only items that can be used in ArcGIS Pro will appear. Similarly, ArcGIS Pro communicates with toolboxes and databases connected to the project to discover what items they have that can be used in ArcGIS Pro.

If a folder or database contains a very large number of items, it could take a while to show the entire list. However, if the folder or database has already been indexed for searching, the index can also be used for browsing. This can be faster than browsing the folder or database directly.

  1. Open the Options dialog box.
    • If a project is currently open, click the Project tab, and click Options.
    • Start ArcGIS Pro and click About ArcGIS Pro at the bottom of the start page.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Indexing tab.
  3. Under Configure if the index is created and how it is used, click Use index for searching and browsing.
  4. Click OK.

Browsing using the index will only be successful if the index accurately reflects the items that exist. Ensure the index remains up-to-date.

What content is included in the index

When an item is indexed, information is derived from the item and stored in the ArcGIS Pro search index. Different content is indexed for different items. The indexed content may include the following information:

  • Tags, description, summary, credits, and use limitations—Content is derived from ArcGIS metadata content associated with the item, if it exists. If an item has metadata content formatted according to the FGDC Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata, it will not be included in the ArcGIS Pro search index; upgrade it to the ArcGIS metadata format using ArcMap or ArcCatalog so the item's metadata will be indexed.
  • Title, extent, spatial reference, maximum scale, thumbnail—Content is derived from ArcGIS metadata content associated with the item, if it exists. If it doesn't exist, the item's data will be used to determine the appropriate value. For example, the name of the item will be used as the title. When an item is indexed, a thumbnail will be generated if one doesn't exist by drawing the entire dataset.
  • Last modified date, raster format and band names, imagery sensory type, acquisition date, sun azimuth and elevation angles, product information, and so on—Properties of the item are used to determine the appropriate value.

All information is not recorded for all items. When a project's items are reindexed, thumbnails that illustrate the data an item contains are re-created.

Where is the index stored

There are two places where content for the search index is stored. For project items stored in the project such as maps and layouts, the indexed content is stored in the project's home folder; the Index folder does not appear in the Catalog pane or catalog view. If many projects are stored in the same home folder, the Index folder will contain many indexes, one for each project.

For project items that are referenced by a project, such as folders, databases, and toolboxes, the indexed content is stored on the local computer in your user profile directory at <user profile>\AppData\Local\ESRI\Index.

When you search the project items collection, both of these indexes are used to evaluate and produce a combined set of search results.

Note:

The search index used by ArcGIS Pro is different than the search index used by ArcMap and ArcCatalog. It is stored in a different location, includes different content, and supports different items.

Delete the existing search index

If the projects you are working on change, or the data you use has changed considerably, you may want to delete the existing search index.

  1. Open the Options dialog box.
    • If a project is currently open, click the Project tab, and click Options.
    • Start ArcGIS Pro and click About ArcGIS Pro at the bottom of the start page.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Indexing tab.

    The current size of the ArcGIS Pro index is provided.

  3. Click Delete Index.

    All content in the ArcGIS Pro index is immediately deleted. The size of the index updates accordingly.

  4. Click OK.

As you continue working with ArcGIS Pro, items in the projects you work on will be added to and updated in the index as specified in the Options dialog box. If ArcGIS Pro is not configured to automatically create and update indexes, searching for items will not work.

Turn off indexing

If you know where your data is and you rarely search, or you do not want to search for items on your local or network computers, you can turn indexing off in ArcGIS Pro.

  1. Open the Options dialog box.
    • If a project is currently open, click the Project tab, and click Options.
    • Start ArcGIS Pro and click About ArcGIS Pro at the bottom of the start page.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Click the Indexing tab.
  3. Under Configure if the index is created and how it is used, click Don't create an index.
  4. Click OK.

When new items are added to the project, they will not be indexed. If an index exists, it can still be used, but it will not be updated; you may want to delete the index, since it will not provide accurate results. A new index will not be created.

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