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ArcGIS Pro Python Reference

The ArcGIS Pro Python Reference contains detailed information about every ArcPy module, function, and class provided with ArcGIS Pro, working with Python, as well as how to work with, and create your own, geoprocessing tools in Python.


All geoprocessing tools can be accessed from Python using ArcPy. For a full reference, including Python samples, see ArcGIS Pro Tool Reference.

What's in the Python reference?

The ArcGIS Pro Python Reference is organized into Get Started, Geoprocessing and Python, ArcPy functions and classes, and ArcPy modules sections. These sections are both browsable and searchable.

Get started

Python is a free, cross-platform, open-source programming language that is both powerful and easy to learn. It is widely used and supported and is an integral part of ArcGIS.

Whether you've worked with Python in other ArcGIS products or not, this section covers several important topics for getting started with Python in ArcGIS Pro, including Python migration for ArcGIS Pro, Installing Python for ArcGIS Pro, and What is ArcPy? and What is the ArcGIS API for Python?


ArcPy and the ArcGIS API for Python are complimentary libraries; ArcPy allows you to use, automate and extend desktop GIS, and the ArcGIS API for Python supports the same for web GIS.

An example would be using ArcPy to manage local data, adding them as layers to a map and using geoprocessing tools to create outputs and service definition files. The ArcGIS API for Python could then be used to publish the definition files to the web GIS, compose a web map or share those layers with others.

Geoprocessing and Python

Python can be used to automate the execution of geoprocessing tools as well as provide the ability to create your own geoprocessing tools, either as a script tool or a Python toolbox tool. Click to expand the Accessing geoprocessing tools node and you'll find introductory topics for working and understanding with geoprocessing tools such as Using tools in Python. Click on the Creating geoprocessing tools node to find topics on creating your own tools, such as What is a script tool? and What is a Python toolbox?

ArcPy functions and classes

The ArcPy functions and ArcPy classes sections provide help topics for functions and classes. Functions and classes provide additional functionality to support Python-based workflows. For a listing of the functionality, see Alphabetical list of ArcPy functions and Alphabetical list of ArcPy classes. Additional functions and classes are found in several ArcPy modules.

ArcPy modules

In ArcPy, functionality is organized into modules.

Expand a specific module and you'll find

  • An overview that describes the module and summaries of its contents.
  • Nodes for classes, functions, and where applicable, operators.

Expand a classes, functions, or operators section and you'll see a reference page for each class, function, or operator.