Map and scene options

You can set the basemap, spatial reference, and label engine that each new map or scene uses by default. When you create a new map or scene, it automatically uses the settings you specified. On the Options dialog box, on the Maps and Scenes tab, you can set the options described in this topic.


For basemaps, you can choose the default basemap from your ArcGIS Online organization account or a different basemap from the gallery or your organization. Or you can specify that maps and scenes be created without a basemap.

The default extent of new maps and scenes is the Default basemap of your organization option. This option is defined by settings of the ArcGIS Online organization account. For example, your organization has set the extent to your local area. If you are signed in to ArcGIS Online while using ArcGIS Pro, any new map or scene uses the extent defined for your organization. If you are not signed in, the first layer added to the map or scene defines the extent for local scenes and maps. Global scenes always show the whole earth.

Add layer

The Make newly added layers visible by default option controls layer visibility when you add a new layer to your map. This option is enabled by default. In some cases, it can be useful to turn off this option, such as when the layer you want to add contains many features or may take a long time to display. Zoom to your area of interest before turning on the visibility of the layer in the Contents pane.

Spatial reference

You can set the coordinate system that maps and local scenes use by default. By default, the Use spatial reference of the first operational layer option is enabled. This means the first layer that is not a basemap sets the coordinate system for maps and local scenes.

You can use the Choose spatial reference option to specify a different default coordinate system. Note that the coordinate system setting does not apply to global scenes, because they always use WGS84.

You can also choose to enable the Warn if transformation between geographic coordinate system is required to align data sources correctly option, which displays a warning if your data will be transformed to fit your specified default coordinate system.

Label Engine

You can set the label engine that maps and scenes use by default. By default, the label engine is set to Maplex Label Engine.

The default font name and font style can be set on the Text and Graphics tab.


When new annotation feature classes are created, they will also use the default label engine set here.

Ground elevation surface

You can set the elevation source that new global and local scenes use by default. By default, the Default elevation service of your organization option is enabled. This means the default service of the active portal is used. The default Esri elevation source for this surface is a cached elevation image service, WorldElevation3D/Terrain3D.

You can use the Use custom elevation source option to specify a local elevation source such as a raster dataset or TIN dataset or specify a web elevation layer from the active portal.

You can also choose the No Elevation Source option, which removes the elevation source from any new scene and sets the elevation at 0. While no elevation source is in the scene, the ground surface is still available to adjust the Surface Color.


These settings do not apply to the system templates Global Scene and Local Scene when ArcGIS Pro is first opened. Use Start without a template to see the updated default settings.

Feature Cache

Check the Manage feature cache from the Map tab option to manage the feature cache manually for each map in a project. This exposes controls in the Feature Cache group on the Map tab where you can fill or empty the cache or cancel a cache fill that is in progress.

When this option is turned off (which is the default), the cache is managed by the application instead.