About ArcGIS Pro

Released version: ArcGIS Pro 2.7.7

ArcGIS Pro is the latest professional desktop GIS application from Esri. With ArcGIS Pro, you can explore, visualize, and analyze data; create 2D maps and 3D scenes; and share your work to your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise portal. The sections below introduce basic elements of the user interface. You will build on this knowledge as you use the application, read the help, and complete the tutorials.

Sign in

To start using ArcGIS Pro, you typically sign in with the credentials of your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise organization. Signing in is required if your software license is managed by your ArcGIS organization, which it is by default. Signing in also enables you to access web content, such as web maps, stored in your organization and other online repositories.


In ArcGIS Pro, a body of related work—consisting of maps, scenes, layouts, data, tables, tools, and connections to other resources—is typically organized in a project. By default, a project is stored in its own system folder. Project files have the extension .aprx. A project also has its own geodatabase (a file with the extension .gdb) and its own toolbox (a file with the extension .tbx).

When you start ArcGIS Pro, you can create a project from one of the four system templates. Each template creates a project file that starts the application in a different state. For example, a project created from the Map template starts with a map view containing a basemap layer. You can also start without a template. This allows you to work in ArcGIS Pro without saving a project file.

New projects can also be started from project templates made by you or shared with you by colleagues. A project template is a customized starting state for a project. Recently used templates appear on the start page. You can also browse to templates.

There are various ways to open your saved projects. Any project you have used recently is accessible from the start page. You can browse to other saved projects to open them. You can also pin a project to the start page to make sure it is always readily available.

The ArcGIS Pro start page
Projects are opened and created on the start page.


Sign in to ArcGIS Pro with your ArcGIS organization credentials.


Open a recent project. To open a project not on the list, click Open another project Open another project.


Create a project from a default ArcGIS Pro template.


Access learning resources, including tutorials, courses, community support, blogs, and documentation.


Create a project from a custom template. To create a project from a template not on the list, click Select another project template Select another project template.


Access project and application settings.

ArcGIS Pro start page elements

ArcGIS Pro user interface

The main parts of the ArcGIS Pro interface are the ribbon, views, and panes. For a hands-on introduction, try the Introducing ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorial.


ArcGIS Pro uses a horizontal ribbon at the top of the application window to display and organize functionality into a series of tabs. Some of these tabs (core tabs) are always present. Others (contextual tabs) appear when the application is in a particular state. For example, a set of contextual Feature Layer tabs appears when a feature layer is selected in the Contents pane.

ArcGIS Pro ribbon


The Quick Access Toolbar has commonly used commands.


The Explore tool is used to navigate maps and scenes and identify features through pop-ups.


Ribbon tabs, such as the Analysis tab, organize functionality. When a tab is selected, its associated tools display on the ribbon.


Dialog box launchers open panes or dialog boxes with more functionality.


Groups organize functionality on a ribbon tab.


Contextual tab sets and their associated tabs appear under specific conditions. Contextual tab sets are highlighted in a color such as orange or green.


Buttons and tools execute software actions.

ArcGIS Pro ribbon elements

You can customize the ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar.

The Quick Access Toolbar customized with the Create Features tool
You can right-click a tool on the ribbon to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.


Views are windows for working with maps, scenes, tables, layouts, charts, reports, and other presentations of data. A project may have many views, which can be opened and closed as needed. Several views can be open at the same time, but only one is active.

ArcGIS Pro application with an active map view


A map view is a window that displays a map.


Every view has a tab that can be used to close the view or drag it to a different position. The tab of the active view is blue. Clicking a view tab makes the view active.

An ArcGIS Pro map view


A pane is a dockable window that displays the contents of a view (the Contents pane), the contents of a project or portal (the Catalog pane), or commands and settings related to an area of functionality, such as the Symbology and Geoprocessing panes.

Contents and Catalog panes

Panes offer functionality that is more advanced or complete than ribbon commands. Panes may have rows of text tabs and graphical tabs that partition and organize functionality.

Symbology pane with marked pane controls


Some panes have more than one page. Use the Back button to switch pages.


Text-based primary tabs, such as Gallery and Properties, partition the pane's functionality.


Graphical secondary tabs partition the functionality of a primary tab.


Expanders are small arrows that you click to show or hide settings.


The Menu button contains additional commands.


Handles allow you to resize areas of a pane by dragging. Handles can be horizontally or vertically oriented.

The first time you open ArcGIS Pro, the Contents and Catalog panes are open, and all other panes are closed. If you've used ArcGIS Pro before, the same panes that were open during your last session remain open the next time you start the application.

You can manage panes on the View tab of the ribbon. In the Windows group, click Contents Contents or Catalog Pane Catalog Pane to open these panes if they are closed. Click Reset Panes Reset Panes to choose a specific pane configuration.

Settings page

On the Settings page, you can perform basic file operations and configure the application. The Settings page can be accessed in two ways:

  • From an open project, click the Project tab on the ribbon.
  • From the ArcGIS Pro start page, click Settings Settings in the lower left corner.

Click the tabs on the left side of the page to access the settings you want to change.

ArcGIS Pro Settings page



Create a project.


Open an existing project.


Save your current project.

Save As

Save a copy of your current project.


Manage portal connections and set your active portal.


View license information, authorize ArcGIS Pro to work offline, and change your license type.


Access general project and application options as well as options for specific functional areas such as editing, layout, and geoprocessing.


Configure Python environments and packages.

Add-In Manager

Install add-ins to customize ArcGIS Pro.


Open the online or installed help system.


View information about your ArcGIS Pro version and update to the latest version.


Exit the application.

ArcGIS Pro Settings page

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