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Use ArcGIS Pro with a keyboard

You can navigate the ArcGIS Pro user interface and execute commands from the keyboard using a combination of Mouse Keys and keyboard shortcuts. You can often complete tasks with either technique; however, some tasks require Mouse Keys.

The main parts of the user interface are the ribbon, panes, and views, shown in the image below. The ribbon and panes organize commands for working with views. Views are work areas, such as maps, tables, layouts, and charts. For a more detailed description of the user interface, see About ArcGIS Pro.

The ArcGIS Pro user interface with components numbered
You can use Mouse Keys and keyboard shortcuts to navigate the user interface.
  1. The ribbon
  2. A map view
  3. The Contents pane
  4. A table view
  5. The Symbology pane

Use Mouse Keys

To control the mouse pointer's movement and actions with the keyboard as you would control them with a mouse, you must turn on Mouse Keys in the Windows operating system. The steps below explain how to turn on Mouse Keys for Windows 10. For additional information, see the Microsoft Support topic Use Mouse Keys to move the mouse pointer.

  1. Sign in to Windows 10.
  2. Press the Tab key to access the Windows taskbar. Press the Tab key again to select the Search button. Press Enter.
  3. In the search box, type ease of access mouse settings and press Enter.
  4. In the Mouse settings, press the spacebar to switch the Mouse Keys settings from Off to On.

After you turn on Mouse Keys, you can use the numeric keypad to move the mouse pointer in any direction. You can also left-click, right-click, double-click, and hold and release the mouse. The diagram below shows the function of each key.

Keypad diagram for using the mouse pointer

ActionMouse key

Move the mouse pointer

Number keys

Left-click

/ (slash) key and then 5

Double-click

/ (slash) key and then + (plus) key

Right-click

- (minus) key and then 5

Middle-click (middle mouse button)

* (asterisk) key and then 5

Mouse keys

A mouse button remains enabled until you enable a different mouse button.

Note:

If your mouse is set up for left-handed use, the left and right mouse buttons are reversed on the numeric keypad.

Some tasks in ArcGIS Pro involve holding the left mouse button while moving the mouse, and then releasing the mouse button (clicking and dragging). Common examples of such tasks are selecting features on a map and drawing map frames on a layout. The following steps describe how to hold and release the mouse button with Mouse Keys:

  1. Press the / (slash) key to enable the left mouse button.
  2. Press the 0 key to hold down the mouse button.
  3. Use the number keys to move the mouse pointer to the location where you want to drop a selected item or to define an area of the screen with a box.
  4. Press the . (period) key to release the mouse button.

Use keyboard shortcuts

The following sections describe keyboard shortcuts for working with the ArcGIS Pro interface. For the best experience, you may want to use keyboard shortcuts in combination with Mouse Keys. For example, you may want to use keyboard shortcuts to execute ribbon commands and to navigate maps and scenes.

Use common keyboard shortcuts

The table below lists common keyboard shortcuts for navigating the user interface. Many of these shortcuts are mentioned again in the following sections of the topic.

ActionShortcut key

Enable access keys and show KeyTips on the ribbon.

Alt or F10

Move from one tab to another on the ribbon or in a pane.

Right Arrow or Left Arrow

Move from one command to the next on a ribbon tab. Move from one item to the next in a pane, view, dialog box, or page.

Tab or Shift+Tab

Move among elements within a list.

Up Arrow or Down Arrow

Open a drop-down menu or list.

Alt+Down Arrow

Close a drop-down menu or list.

Esc

Execute a command.

Enter or spacebar

Open a context menu (pop-up menu).

Ctrl+Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key

Note:

The Windows Menu key, also called the Application key, is located between the Windows logo key and the right Ctrl key on many Windows keyboards.

Move from the ribbon to an active view or pane and back to the ribbon.

F10

Change the active view or pane.

Ctrl+Tab or Alt+F7.

A window displays the active panes and views in the project. Use the arrow keys to move to the view or pane you want to make active. Press Enter.

Common keyboard shortcuts in ArcGIS Pro

Create or open a project with keyboard shortcuts

The ArcGIS Pro start page has several options to create and open projects. You can open a recent project from the Recent Projects list, or open another project from your computer or a portal. You can create a project from a blank template or start a project without a template. You can also create a project from a custom template in the Recent Templates list or from another project template.

ActionShortcut key

Move among the options to create and open projects

Tab or Shift+Tab

Move among options within a category

Arrow keys

Make a selection

Enter

Keyboard shortcuts for the start page

Example: Create a project from the Map template.

  1. On the ArcGIS Pro start page, press Tab as needed to move to the options for creating projects from blank templates.
  2. Press the Down Arrow key or Up Arrow key as needed to select Map.
    Note:

    If you have just opened ArcGIS Pro to the start page, the Map template should be selected after you press Tab once. You won't need to press an arrow key.

  3. Press Enter.
  4. On the Create a New Project dialog box, press Tab to move into the Name text box.
  5. Press the Delete key as needed to remove the default project name.
    Note:

    If Mouse Keys are turned on, the Delete key has been reprogrammed. Press the Right Arrow key to move to the end of the default project name and then press Backspace to remove it.

  6. Type a name for the project.
  7. Press Tab as needed to move to the OK button.
  8. Press Enter to create the project.

Use keyboard shortcuts on the ribbon

The ribbon is a set of tabs and commands arranged horizontally at the top of the application. Above the ribbon are the Quick Access Toolbar, the Sign-in Status menu Sign-in Status, and the Notifications button Notifications. For keyboard navigation, these are treated as part of the ribbon.

You can select ribbon tabs and execute commands with access keys. Press the Alt key to enable access keys. KeyTips appear on the ribbon, showing which access key or keys to press. When you press a key to select a tab, additional KeyTips appear for the commands on that tab.

The ArcGIS Pro ribbon with KeyTips displayed

ActionShortcut key

Move from an active view or pane to the ribbon (also displays KeyTips for ribbon tabs)

Alt or F10

Select a tab or select a command on a tab

Press the key or keys indicated by the KeyTip

Move from one ribbon tab to another

Left Arrow or Right Arrow keys

Move from a ribbon tab into the commands for that tab

Down Arrow key

Move among the commands on a ribbon tab

Tab or Shift+Tab

Execute a command

Enter or spacebar

Move from the ribbon to an active view or pane

Alt or F10

Keyboard shortcuts for the ribbon

Example: Use the Basemap command on the Map tab to change the basemap in a map view.

  1. In an open project with an open map view, press the Alt key to enable access keys.
  2. Press the M key to select the Map tab.
  3. Press the B key and then press the M key to open the Basemap drop-down list.
  4. Press the Down Arrow key to move into the list of basemaps. Press the arrow keys as needed to select a basemap.
  5. Press Enter to apply the new basemap.

Use keyboard shortcuts in panes

A pane is a dockable window that provides access to more functionality than is available on the ribbon. Some panes have a row of text tabs at the top and may have a secondary row of graphical tabs. The functionality in the pane changes according to which tabs are chosen. Tabs in a pane do not have access keys.

Text and graphical tabs in the Catalog pane
The Catalog pane has four text tabs. When the Portal tab is selected, a row of four graphical tabs appears below it.

The Contents and Catalog panes can be opened with commands on the View tab on the ribbon. Other panes open in response to commands. For example, the Create Features pane opens when the Create button is clicked on the Edit tab on the ribbon.

ActionShortcut key

Move from one item to another in a pane

Tab or Shift+Tab

Move from one tab to another in the same row

Left Arrow or Right Arrow keys

Open the context menu for a selected item, if available

Ctrl+Shift+F10 or the Windows Menu key

Execute a command

Enter or spacebar

Keyboard shortcuts for panes

Example: Zoom to the extent of a layer in the Contents pane.

  1. In an open project with an open map that contains layers, press the Alt key to enable access keys.
  2. Press the V key to make the View tab active.
  3. Press the C key and then press the T key to make the Contents pane active (or to open the pane if it's closed).
  4. In the Contents pane, press Tab as needed to select the map and its layers under the Drawing Order heading.
  5. Press the Down Arrow key as needed to select the layer you want to zoom to.
  6. Press Ctrl+Shift+F10 to open the context menu for the layer.
  7. Press the arrow keys as needed to select Zoom To Layer Zoom To Layer.
  8. Press Enter to zoom the map to the extent of the layer.

Use keyboard shortcuts in views

A view is a window that contains a representation of geographic data. Maps, scenes, tables, charts, and layouts are all views.

Map view of bus routes in Christchurch, New Zealand
A map view

This section describes how to navigate the commands found at the top or bottom of the view window. To navigate a map or scene view—to zoom, pan, tilt, rotate, and so on—use keyboard shortcuts for navigation.

ActionShortcut key

Move from one item to another in an active view

Tab or Shift+Tab

Execute a command

Enter or spacebar

Change the active view

Ctrl+F6

Close a view

Ctrl+F4

Keyboard shortcuts for views

Example: Change the scale of a map.

  1. In an open project with an active map view, press Tab as needed to select the map scale box.

    Map scale box

  2. Press Alt+Down Arrow to open the list of map scales.
  3. Press the Down Arrow key as needed to select the map scale you want.
  4. Press Enter.
Note:

Some commands on a view, such as the Snapping button Snapping on a map or layout view, have pop-up menus with additional settings. These menus typically appear when the mouse pointer hovers over the command. To access these menus from the keyboard, press Tab as needed to select the command and press the spacebar to open the pop-up menu. When the menu is open, press Tab to navigate the menu settings, press Enter to make a selection, and press the Esc key to close the menu.

Table views have rows of commands both above and below the table rows. However, to access the commands at the bottom of the table view, you must first tab through all the cells of the table. Therefore, you need to know some ArcGIS Pro shortcut keys for tables. For example, Ctrl+End is the shortcut for moving to the last cell in the last row of a table.

Switch among panes and views

In a project, you may have several panes and views open at the same time. Press Ctrl+Tab or Alt+F7 to open a window that allows you to change the active pane or view. Use the arrow keys to move among views and panes.

Window listing open panes and views in the project

Note:

The proximity of the right Alt key to the arrow keys makes Alt+F7 the best choice for one-handed operation.

Example: Change the active view or pane.

  1. In an open project with at least one open view and one open pane, press and hold the Ctrl key. Press Tab to open a window showing the open views and panes in the project.
  2. Press the arrow keys as needed to select the view or pane you want to make active.

    Its name displays in the upper left corner of the window.

  3. Press Enter.

Additional keyboard shortcuts

The following keyboard shortcuts are available for specific tasks. They are designed for productivity but may also aid accessibility.

You can also use custom keyboard accelerators to define your own shortcut keys for any command on the ribbon.

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