Use the catalog pane, catalog view, and browse dialog box

When you create or open a project, one of the first panes you see is the Catalog pane. The catalog view is open and active if you create a project using the Catalog blank project template provided with ArcGIS Pro. The Catalog pane and the catalog view allow you to access all items associated with a specific project in one place, whether they are available from a local or network computer, ArcGIS Online, or an ArcGIS Enterprise portal.

In the Catalog pane and catalog view, you can do the following:

  • Discover GIS content on local networks or your organization's portal.
  • Browse and search for layers to add to a map or analyze with a tool.
  • Browse and search for portal groups.
  • Sort and filter search results.
  • Connect to databases and servers.
  • Add frequently used folder, database, and server connections to your favorites.
  • Create and import maps, scenes, layouts, tasks, and other items.
  • Preview an item's data and create a thumbnail.
  • Describe your project and its items.
  • Manage items in a project, geodatabase, toolbox, folder, or style.

As you build your project by adding maps, scenes, layouts, connections to folders, geodatabases, and so on, these items appear on the Project tab in the Catalog pane and in the Project collection in the catalog view, categorized by type.

The Catalog pane and the catalog view are designed for different tasks. Both the pane and the view can be open at the same time, but they operate independently. You can switch tasks without losing your place. For example, you can edit symbols in a custom style in the catalog view and pause in that work to add layers to a map using the Catalog pane.


The first time you browse to a location, the contents list accurately reflects the items present. If its contents are changed outside ArcGIS Pro or by someone else, you must refresh the location's content to see that change. For example, press F5 to update the list.

Catalog pane

The Catalog pane has tabs across the top that provide access to collections of items.

Use the Catalog pane to access items and drag data onto a map or tool parameter.

The Project tab provides access to the collection of items in your project; it's selected by default. The Portal tab provides access to collections of online content available from the active portal that you have permission to use. The Favorites tab allows you to collect frequently used folder, database, and server connections, and add them to your project.

In the Catalog pane, you can do the following:

  • List all items in many containers at once.
  • Refresh the contents list.
  • Search for items by typing keywords in the Search box and pressing Enter.
  • Hover over an item to see pop-up information that includes the item name, type, owner (for portal items), modification date, and location.
    • Click a local or network item location, when formatted as a link, to open a system file or folder.
    • Click a portal item location link to open the item page in a web browser. Click the owner link to open their profile.
  • Press Ctrl and click or press Shift and click many items to select them all, and add them all to a map at once, for example.
  • Copy an item's path using the Clipboard group on the ribbon.

The Catalog pane docks in the ArcGIS Pro application, providing access to items in your project and the active portal while you work. After browsing or searching for content, you can drag layers onto maps, datasets onto tools, tools onto models, and so on.

Reopen the Catalog pane

The Catalog pane is usually available when you create or open a project. Once closed, you can open it again by doing the following:

  1. Click the View tab on the ribbon.
  2. In the Windows group, click Catalog Pane Catalog Pane.

    To open the Catalog pane and the Contents pane, and to close all other panes, click the View tab on the ribbon. In the Windows group, click Reset Panes Reset Panes and click Reset Panes for Mapping (Default).

Hide and show the item pop-up

The Catalog pane shows an item pop-up by default when you hover over the item. For project, local, and network items, the default pop-up shows the item's name, type, modification date (if available), and path. For portal items, the default pop-up shows the item's name, type, owner, modification date, and path.

You can hide item pop-ups if you don't want to see them. Alternatively, you can show detailed pop-ups with additional information such as thumbnails and tags. Thumbnails and tags for portal items are accessed individually over the internet; for local and network items, they are retrieved from the index. If the data has not been indexed, the information is extracted instead from the item's metadata, if it exists. This may affect performance, especially with a slow network or internet connection, or with enterprise geodatabases.

Catalog pane and detailed item pop-up

  1. Click the Menu button Menu in the Catalog pane and click Show Pop-ups.
  2. Click the appropriate option:
    • Hide Pop-ups—A pop-up does not appear when you hover your pointer over an item in the Catalog pane.
    • Show Pop-ups—A pop-up shows general information when you hover over an item in the Catalog pane.
    • Show Detailed Pop-ups—A pop-up shows detailed information when you hover over an item in the Catalog pane. Browse performance will decrease.

Item pop-ups do not appear in the catalog view. However, you can change pop-up settings for the Catalog pane on the ribbon when a catalog view is active. On the View tab, in the Options group, click Item Pop-ups Show Pop-ups and click the option you want.

Catalog view

The Project, Portal, and Favorites item collections are available in the catalog view as well as the Catalog pane. When the catalog view is active, switch between the categories and collections of items in the Contents pane.

Items in a project collection, such as Databases Databases, or a portal collection, such as My Content My Content, are listed in the catalog view. The column display type is well suited for managing your items. Most types of project items display the item's name, type, and modification date, if available. Depending on the item type or your location in the catalog, you may also see an item's path or size. Styles display an item's name, category, and key. Portal items display an item's name, type, modification date, and owner.

The catalog view shows item properties in columns and previews data.
Item properties are listed in columns in the catalog view.

The tile display type in the catalog view provides a gallery experience for exploring items. This can be helpful if you aren't sure which item to use, especially if you're accessing the active portal for the first time or if you use ArcGIS Pro infrequently. You can immediately see an item's name, type, thumbnail, and date if this information is available.

The catalog view shows item properties and thumbnails on tiles and item metadata to help you explore unfamiliar items.
Item properties are listed on tiles. Buttons at the bottom of the view allow you to change the display type.

Additional information is available in the details panel. The Metadata tab displays metadata for most items. For spatial datasets and maps, the Geography tab allows you to visualize the data. For tabular datasets, the Table tab allows you to visualize the data. For a style, you can preview the symbols, scale bars, north arrows, and other style items it contains, and modify a style item's properties in the details panel.

In the catalog view, you can do the following:

  • Right-click in the white space around the contents list to access the context menu for the current location.
  • Click the Show/hide details panel button Show/hide details panel at the bottom of the view to hide or show the details panel.
  • Click the Columns button Display information in columns or the Tiles button Display information on tiles at the bottom of the view to switch the display type.

Manage your items in the catalog view. The buttons on the Catalog tab on the ribbon update dynamically to reflect what you can do in the current location or with the selected items. Some project item categories may also offer a contextual tab with additional options for managing items.

  • Create items in your project or in items referenced by your project. For example, create a folder on a local or network disk, or in My Content.
  • Add items created with ArcGIS Pro to your project. For example, add a layout that was saved to a file (*.pagx); maps associated with the layout are also added to the project.
  • Import items created with other applications to your project. For example, import a 3D map from an ArcGlobe document.
  • Refresh the contents list.
  • Copy or move project items.
  • Rename the selected item.
  • Upgrade a style and modify style items.
  • Create a thumbnail for an item with spatial data.
  • Edit the selected item's metadata.
  • Delete the selected items.
  • Repair project item connections that are invalid.

Expand the categories and collections of items in the Contents pane to list items that in turn contain other items. Click an item in the Contents pane or double-click an item in the catalog view's contents list to list its contents in the catalog view. The catalog view shows one level in a collection's hierarchy at a time. The following additional options are available in the catalog view to browse item collections:

  • The Location bar at the top shows your current location. Click the bar to copy the location's path.
  • Click a place in your current location's path on the Location bar to browse to that location.
  • Click a drop-down arrow on the Location bar and click a place in the menu that appears to browse to that location.
  • Paste or type a path to another location onto the Location bar and press Enter to browse to that location. A folder connection is added to the project if the location is not already available in your project.
  • Click Up Up to go up a level in the current collection's hierarchy.
  • Click Back Back to return to your last location.
  • Click Forward Forward to return to a previous location.

The Catalog pane does not directly interact with the catalog view. That is, browsing, searching, and selecting items in the Catalog pane has no effect on the location or the selected item in the catalog view. However, if you add or remove project items such as a folder connection in the Catalog pane, the contents list in the catalog view is updated accordingly.

Open a catalog view

From the ribbon, you can open several catalog views and use them to compare the contents of databases or folders, compare metadata for two items, copy style items from one style to another, and so on.

  1. Click the View tab on the ribbon.
  2. In the Windows group, click Catalog View Catalog View.

A new catalog view opens. Any existing catalog views and the Catalog pane remain open if they are present and continue to provide access to items in their current location.

Switch from the Catalog pane to the catalog view

When you switch to a task that requires or is more easily performed in the catalog view, you can close the Catalog pane.

  1. In the Catalog pane, click the Menu button Menu.
  2. Click Switch to View Expand.

The Catalog pane closes and the catalog view opens.


If you need more room in the catalog view, you can, for example, undock it and place it on another monitor. You can also use Auto Hide to temporarily hide the Catalog pane if you leave the catalog view docked in the ArcGIS Pro application. Or you can close the Catalog pane entirely.

Sort the contents list

The default sort order of items in top-level project collections—such as Toolboxes Toolbox folder, Databases Databases, and Folders Folder Connection—is alphabetical, except that project default items are listed first.

Within a folder, items appear in the following order: folders, databases, toolboxes, CAD datasets, GIS servers, spatial datasets and maps, tables, and other files. Items of each type are in alphabetical order.

The default sort order of content can be changed in a catalog view. You can sort content in ascending or descending order on any available property column. You can also return to the default sort order. Sorting can be done in three ways:

  • By clicking the Sort button Sort in the catalog view as described below
  • By clicking the Sort button Sort on the ribbon (on the Catalog tab, in the Organize group)
  • By clicking a column heading in the catalog view

Items can only be sorted in the catalog view. Sorting items in the catalog view does not change the item order in the Catalog pane or the Contents pane of the catalog view. The default sort order for portal items is slightly different from project items.

  1. Make a catalog view active and browse into a content collection.
  2. In the catalog view, next to the search box, click Sort Sort and click an available property on the drop-down list.
  3. Optionally, click Sort Sort again and make one of the following choices:
    • Reverse the current sort order
    • Sort on a different property
    • Return to the default sort order.

    Drop-down list of sort options


If you sort by clicking a column heading in the catalog view, you can reverse the sort order by clicking the heading again.

Change the display type

The catalog view uses the columns display type by default to allow you to find and manage familiar items. If you're working with unfamiliar data, or if you're managing the contents of a style, change the catalog view to use the Tiles display type instead.

  1. On the View tab, in the Options group, click Display Type.
    • Click Tiles Display information on tiles to display item properties as tiles.
    • Click Columns Display information in columns to display item properties in columns.

    The Tiles and Columns buttons are also available at the bottom of the catalog view.

Hide and show the details panel

The details panel is open by default in the catalog view. Hide the details panel to show more tiles or make columns wider. Show the details panel to learn more about a specific item and preview its data.

  1. On the View tab, in the Options group, uncheck Show Details to hide the details panel.
  2. In the catalog view, click the Show/hide details panel button Show/hide details panel to the right of the search text box to show the details panel.

Browse dialog box

The browse dialog box allows you to select an item in your project, a portal item, or an item outside your project to use for a specific task. When you click the Add Data button on the Map tab on the ribbon, the browse dialog box appears with the title Add Data.

The browse dialog box allows you to explore items in a manner similar to the catalog view. Quick links provide access to the available item categories and collections but do not expand to list their contents. Item properties are displayed in columns that can be used to sort the contents list. A brief portion of the selected item's metadata is available in the details panel along with the item's location and owner if the selected item is accessed from the active portal.

The browse dialog box shows information for a selected item in the details panel.

Some items show more information than others in the details panel. All items can show their title, type, and location. Many items can also show a modification date. Portal items can additionally show the identifier of the user who owns the item and tags, and a thumbnail and summary if they have been provided for the item. Local items can show a thumbnail, summary, and tags, if they have been provided in the item's metadata.


For portal items, the user identifier (Owner) links to a profile and the location (Path) links to an item page. For ArcGIS Server services, the location links to the service's REST endpoint in a browser. For file-based local and network items, the link opens the folder containing the item in File Explorer. For geodatabase items such as feature classes, toolbox items such as models, and for broken items, the path is displayed but does not link to the location.

While the Project and Portal item collections continue to be available on the browse dialog box, the Favorites collection is not available. Add the favorite items you need to the project. You can search the active portal and locations included in the current project, except folder connections that access the root of a disk.

The browse dialog box also includes a Computer collection that allows you to browse to and select items from locations on the local computer or the network that are not currently included in your project. This capability allows you to add an existing file geodatabase to your project or import the contents of an ArcMap document, for example. Search is not available when you're browsing the computer.

You browse on the dialog box in the same manner as the catalog view, by clicking quick links, double-clicking containers, and using the Location bar at the top. However, you can also do the following:

  • Click the Location bar or click in the Name text box to paste or type the path to a new location and press Enter. The dialog box browses to that location. If the location is not accessible from the computer's local or mapped network drives, the network location is accessed and the items it contains are listed; the location is not added to the project as a folder connection.
  • Paste a full path to an item, including the item's name, into the Name text box to immediately select that item. For example, paste a full path including a table's name to add it to the current map.

When items are listed on the browse dialog box, they are filtered according to the specific items that can be used to perform the current task. For example, when you add data to a map, only items that can be added to a map appear. When you import items to a project, only items that can be imported appear. Only the item categories and collections that are appropriate to the current operation are available.

In certain circumstances, the browse dialog box allows you to further refine the contents list by choosing a more specific filter. For example, if you want to add a specific type of item to a map, you can select a filter that lists only that type of item.

Browse dialog box showing items filtered by type

The contents of a folder filtered to show layer files and packages.

Sometimes the browse dialog box is used to provide access to a specific type of file that is otherwise not available in ArcGIS Pro. For example, many geoprocessing tools import data from or export data to external data formats. These tools may accept any type of file as input to a parameter, for example, by allowing files of type *.*. In this case, the browse dialog box may list all available item categories and collections and show all types of items and files even though the title of the dialog box and the filter indicate you should select a specific type of file. In this way, you can select any file with any extension that contains data in the specified format.

The following capabilities are available for managing your items on the browse dialog box:

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