Introduction to ArcGIS Pro

ArcGIS Pro 3.0: All patches and release dates are listed on the Technical Support site. For the best experience, update to the latest patch.

ArcGIS Pro is a full-featured 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 ArcGIS Online or your ArcGIS Enterprise portal. The sections below introduce the sign-in process, the start page, ArcGIS Pro projects, and the user interface.

Sign in

The first time you use ArcGIS Pro, you sign in with the credentials of your ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise organization. After that, you can sign in automatically.

ArcGIS Pro sign-in prompt

Once ArcGIS Pro starts, the sign-in menu is always available on the start page and at the top of the application window. If you have more than one account, you can sign out of one and in to another to access content from a different portal or share items to a different portal.

menu

Start page

By default, ArcGIS Pro opens to a start page. The start page has a Home tab Home, a Learn tab Learn, and a Settings tab Settings.

Home tab

On the Home tab, you start new projects and open existing projects.

The Home tab of the ArcGIS Pro start page


Start a new project from a default template.


Open a recent project. To open a project that's not in the list, click Open another project Open another project.


Start a new project from a custom template. To start a new project from a template that's not in the list, click Start with another template Select another project template.

ArcGIS Pro start page elements on the Home tab


On the Learn tab, you can find resources to help you develop skills, solve problems, and answer questions.

The Learn tab of the ArcGIS Pro start page


Quick-start tutorials introduce common ArcGIS Pro functionality and workflows.


You can access product documentation, learning materials, training, news, and the Esri Community site.


Discovery paths present learning materials related to an area of practice.


Resources are available to help ArcMap users learn ArcGIS Pro.

ArcGIS Pro start page elements on the Learn tab


On the Settings tab, you can configure and manage the application. The settings can also be accessed from the Project tab of an open project.

ArcGIS Pro settings



Create a project.


Open an existing project.


Save the current project.

Save As

Save a copy of the current project.


Manage portal connections and set the active portal.


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


Access project and application options to configure ArcGIS Pro.

Package Manager

Manage environments and packages for Python, R, and system libraries.

Add-In Manager

Install add-ins to customize the application.


Open the online or offline help system.


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


Close the application.

ArcGIS Pro Settings page


In ArcGIS Pro, a project is a body of related work that may include maps, scenes, layouts, and connections to resources such as system folders and databases. Project files have the extension .aprx. By default, a project is stored in its own folder along with an associated file geodatabase and toolbox.

An ArcGIS Pro project

ArcGIS Pro user interface

The main parts of the ArcGIS Pro interface are the ribbon, views, and panes. The Introducing ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorial helps you explore the user interface.


A horizontal ribbon at the top of the application window organizes functionality in a series of tabs. Some tabs (core tabs) are always present. Others (contextual tabs) appear when the application is in a particular state. For example, a contextual Feature Layer tab set appears when a feature layer is selected in the Contents pane of a map.

ArcGIS Pro ribbon


The Quick Access Toolbar has commonly used commands.


The name of the project appears at the top of the application.


Command search helps you find and run commands.


Contextual tabs and tab sets appear only when the application is in a state appropriate for their use.


Core tabs, such as the Map tab, organize functionality. When a tab is selected, its associated tools and buttons appear on the ribbon.


Buttons and tools run commands. For example, you use the Explore tool to navigate maps and scenes and to identify map features.


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


Groups organize related commands on a ribbon tab.

ArcGIS Pro ribbon elements


Views are windows for working with maps, scenes, layouts, tables, charts, the catalog, and other representations of your data. Several views can be open at the same time.

A map view
Click the tab at the top of a view to make the view active, drag it to another position, or close it.


A pane is a window that displays the contents of a view (the Contents pane), the items in your project or active portal (the Catalog pane), or commands and settings for an area of functionality (the Symbology pane, the Geoprocessing pane, and so on).

The Contents pane of a map and the Catalog pane

Panes provide functionality that may not be available on the ribbon. Panes may have rows of text tabs and graphical tabs to organize functionality. Some panes have multiple pages.

Symbology pane with marked pane controls


Some panes have multiple pages of functionality.


Text-based primary tabs, such as Gallery and Properties, partition 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 Menu has additional commands.


Handles allow you to resize areas of a pane by dragging.

The Contents and Catalog panes are usually open in a project. Other panes appear in response to commands or actions. For example, when you click Locate Locate on the Map tab on the ribbon, the Locate pane appears.

You can close panes or leave them open. If a pane is open when you close ArcGIS Pro, it will be open when you restart the application. You can manage some panes on the View tab on the ribbon. For example, you can click Reset Panes Reset Panes to choose a specific pane configuration.

Arrange the user interface

You can arrange the elements of the user interface in various ways:

  • Drag panes and views to docking targets.
  • Stack panes and views on top of one another.
  • Float panes and views above or away from the application window.
  • Divide view space into vertical or horizontal tab groups to display more views.

ArcGIS Pro user interface with customizations


Minimize the ribbon.

Press Ctrl+F1.


Auto hide a pane to minimize it when not in use.

Click Auto-Hide Auto-Hide in the pane's title bar. Alternatively, press Alt+Minus Sign for options.


Make a new tab group to divide view space.

Right-click a view tab or press Alt+Hyphen for options.


Float a view.

Drag a view by its tab and drop it away from docking targets. Alternatively, right-click the view tab or press Alt+Hyphen for options.


Dock a view.

Drag a view by its tab and drop it on one of the docking targets that appear. Alternatively, right-click the view tab or press Alt+Hyphen for options.

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