Set display options

You can customize the drawing of maps and scenes in ArcGIS Pro. Display options control how maps are rendered and affect the quality and performance of drawing. You can modify these settings on the Display tab on the Options dialog box. Click the Project tab and click Options to open the Options dialog box.

Antialiasing mode

The Antialiasing mode option makes jagged edges in your maps and scenes look smooth. The amount of smoothing depends on the speed you set.

By default, Antialiasing mode is set to Fast. You can set antialiasing to Best, which will result in more smoothing in 2D rendering, but it may result in lower drawing performance. You can set antialiasing to Normal, which will lessen the amount of smoothing but increase performance compared to Fast or Best. You can disable antialiasing by choosing None.

Text antialiasing mode

The Text antialiasing mode option controls how text is smoothed or rendered. Fonts can have capabilities to improve appearance at small sizes without making the font overly blurry, and parameters that specify at which sizes these rendering improvements take effect.

By default, Text antialiasing mode is set to Force because the font's antialiasing instructions are meant for horizontal text only, and it is common for text to be rotated in a GIS application. You can set Text antialiasing mode to Normal, in which antialiasing is directed by the font file, or None, in which antialiasing is disabled.

Stereoscopic mode

The Stereoscopic mode option controls stereoscopic rendering, which provides the illusion of depth from your flat monitor by creating two separate images, one for each eye. By default, Stereoscopic mode is disabled.

You can set Stereoscopic mode to 3D shutter glasses, which requires a special high-refresh-rate monitor and shutter glasses to produce the 3D effect. This mode provides much better fidelity for color and focus of 3D content, but each viewer must have a set of shutter glasses. You can check with your graphics card and monitor manufacturers to determine whether your hardware can support native 3D rendering with shutter glasses. This mode also works with any hardware that supports native stereo rendering through DirectX or OpenGL APIs.

You can set Stereoscopic mode to 3D cyan/red glasses, which works with any monitor and uses colored glasses to produce the 3D effect. ArcGIS Pro rendering for this mode uses red/cyan 3D glasses. This mode and the glasses are also sometimes referred to as anaglyph stereo. This mode works for any number of viewers, but it can create color-casting and focus issues due to its use of simple color shift to provide both channels of content simultaneously. Using higher-quality, diopter-corrected lens red/cyan 3D glasses, rather than simple paper or plastic types, can help mitigate focus issues.

Rendering quality

The Rendering quality slider controls 3D rendering to optimize display for speed or quality. Depending on the capabilities of your computer and graphics card as well as the number and resolution of elevation sources and layer properties in your map, higher details may result in lower performance due to the volume of content being displayed.

By default, the slider is set to High rendering quality. If you experience problems with performance, you can move the slider toward Low to reduce the amount of data being displayed without having to modify the map and layer properties. This is useful when a high-quality 3D scene is displayed on a computer with suboptimal specifications or when you are running a resource-constrained virtual machine instance.

Rendering engine

The Rendering engine setting is the video or graphic adapter that controls how your maps and scenes appear. The engine drives your computer's graphics card from the application. You can set Rendering engine to DirectX or OpenGL.

By default, DirectX is the rendering engine for ArcGIS Pro. In most cases, it is the optimal setting. However, a particular model or driver of a graphics card may perform better on OpenGL rendering, and you can set OpenGL as your rendering engine.

Regardless of which option you choose, ArcGIS Pro attempts to determine whether your graphics card supports the required capabilities for any version of the DirectX or OpenGL rendering engine. It will automatically choose the appropriate version of DirectX or OpenGL for your graphics card, or switch to the slowest option (software rendering) if no graphics card is available to support the requested functionality.

Vertical synchronization

The Vertical synchronization option ties the output of the graphics engine to the vertical refresh rate of the monitor to prevent situations in which a portion of the screen isn't updated at the same time as another portion of the screen. This option is enabled by default and ensures that the screen only updates from top to bottom, which avoids creating a torn-edge effect between two regions of the screen.

Hardware antialiasing

The Hardware antialiasing option enables filtering directly on the graphics card hardware, rather than software-based filtering. Hardware antialiasing can greatly improve the rendering quality of 2D and 3D content, but this option is only supported in hardware on high-end graphics cards. This option is not enabled by default. It provides higher-quality rendering but may lower performance.

Local cache

The visualization cache improves rendering performance. The cache is stored at [install drive]:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\ESRI\Local Caches by default, but you can specify a different local path or UNC path to store the cache. As you work, the cache can get quite large, so choose a path that is always accessible and can accommodate a large amount of data. If the location is invalid or inaccessible, no cache will be created, and draw performance will likely suffer.

To troubleshoot rendering issues, or otherwise free up disk space, you can delete the entire cache by clicking Clear Cache Now. You will be asked to confirm your choice. The cache will be deleted once you click OK to close the Options dialog box, and the project will close and reopen. You can remove the visualization cache for a specific layer using the layer's cache properties; the existing cache for other layers will not be removed.

You can request a redraw of the view by pressing the F5 key. This will draw from the cache and not invalidate it. You can also request a full refresh of the drawing cache (invalidating it rather than deleting it) by pressing Ctrl+F5.

Check Clear Cache each time the application closes to automatically clear the display cache each time you close ArcGIS Pro.

Performance tips for virtual environments

ArcGIS Pro can be run on virtualization environments such as VMware or Citrix. No changes to display options are immediately necessary, but you may choose to lower rendering detail and antialiasing settings to optimize the performance of your virtual machine instance. ArcGIS Pro uses hardware acceleration if it is compatible and available on your virtualization platform. If hardware acceleration is not available, ArcGIS Pro falls back to software rendering—meaning it is using the CPU to simulate graphics card functions. In general, this will result in much lower performance than if hardware acceleration were available, especially in scenes.

Related topics