Connect to items

GIS items exist in various places—on your local computer, on the organization's network, in databases, in portals, and in ArcGIS Online. In addition to maps and layouts, an ArcGIS project includes connections to all necessary items to complete the project. You can connect to items such as the following:

Once created, these connections are available in the Catalog pane and the catalog view. Establishing a set of connections provides the following advantages:

  • You can quickly browse to items you frequently use.
  • When you connect to folders, toolboxes, and databases, ArcGIS Pro begins indexing their contents immediately. Once indexed, their contents can be found by a search.
  • Most organizations have a lot of data, and people often don't know where it all is. When you save and share your ArcGIS project or project template, the connections included are immediately available; others don't have to know where the information is stored.
  • Your project can be archived effectively.

If you add the same item to many projects, you can simplify the process using project favorites. Favorite items can be added automatically each time you create a project.

The Catalog pane and the catalog view also allow you to access and use items available from your organization's portal or ArcGIS Online once you sign in.


You can drag items that can be added to a project from Windows Explorer to the Catalog pane or the catalog view to add them to a project. You can also drag items from folder connections in the project to project categories to add them directly to a project. You can drag items within the Catalog pane, between the Catalog pane and catalog view, or between two catalog views.

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