Most of the functionality available in ArcMap is also available in ArcGIS Pro. The challenge is to find familiar commands and follow familiar workflows in a redesigned application. The drop-down menus, toolbars, and dialog boxes in ArcMap are replaced by the ribbon and panes in ArcGIS Pro. See About ArcGIS Pro for an overview of the application design and user interface.
The ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorials will familiarize you with how to complete common GIS workflows in ArcGIS Pro. You can find answers to questions often asked by ArcMap users in Frequently asked questions.
Two aspects of ArcGIS Pro that may take time for ArcMap users to adjust to are the user interface and data management operations. For an introduction to basic data management in ArcGIS Pro, see Catalog pane, catalog view, and browse dialog box.
The ribbon at the top of the user interface organizes commands on a series of tabs.
The blue Project tab on the ribbon provides access to common file operations, customization options, licensing information, and more.
Data is displayed in views such as this map view.
The Contents pane displays items related to the active view. When a map view is active, it displays the map's layers, similar to the table of contents in ArcMap.
In addition to maps and scenes, a project can contain views of tables, layouts, charts, and metadata.
The items in your project are managed in the Catalog pane. You can create items, connections, and favorites in this pane.
Add existing work
Import a map document
You can import an ArcMap map document on the Insert tab of the ribbon. Click Import Map and search or browse to your file on the Import dialog box.
When you import a map, the map document opens as a map view in your ArcGIS Pro project. If your map document has multiple data frames, each data frame becomes a separate map. The additional maps can be opened from the Catalog pane, under Maps.
The layout of your map document is also imported. If your map document doesn't have a layout, a default layout is created from the map data.
When you import a map, a blue dot appears on the Notifications button above the ribbon. Open the notification to see messages about the import process.
- Click the Notifications button .
- In the Notifications pane, hover over the message to display a View Results link.
- Click View Results.
A browser tab opens (referencing a local file) with import result messages.
Most of the time, your imported map will look exactly, or almost exactly, like the original map document. However, ArcGIS Pro has a different drawing engine than ArcMap and this may cause subtle visual differences in the imported map.
If ArcGIS Pro can't access a dataset in the imported map document, an indicator appears next to the layer name in the Contents pane. This means you need to repair the layer.
No link is maintained between the ArcGIS Pro map and the original ArcMap map document. Changes you make in ArcGIS Pro are not reflected in the map document.
Although you can import and use ArcMap documents with ArcGIS Pro, you cannot export ArcGIS Pro items as .lyr, .lpk, .mxd, .sxd, or .3dd files to ArcMap since not all functionality is compatible.
Try the Import an ArcMap document quick-start tutorial to see how the process works.
Add data, toolboxes, models, and scripts
You can add folder connections, databases, server connections, locators, toolboxes, styles, and other resources to your project from the Insert tab on the ribbon.
Click Add Item to add a resource that you want to be readily accessible in any project. It will appear on the Favorites tab in the Catalog pane.
Once a resource is added to a project, it's available from the Catalog pane or catalog view. See Supported data types and items for a list of items that can be added to an ArcGIS Pro project.
Tip:You can also add resources by right-clicking an item category, such as Folders, in the Catalog pane or catalog view.
Your ArcMap tools, models, and scripts can be used in ArcGIS Pro but may need to be modified. Run the Analyze Tools For Pro geoprocessing tool to check the compatibility of a script or toolbox.
ArcGIS Pro uses Python 3, so scripts that run in ArcMap need to be modified. For more information, see Python migration from 10.x to ArcGIS Pro and Migrating from arcpy.mapping to ArcGIS Pro. Application-level .NET add-ins written for ArcMap will not run in ArcGIS Pro.
ArcMap, ArcGlobe, and ArcScene styles (.style files) can't be used directly in ArcGIS Pro projects. However, many of these styles have been converted to ArcGIS Pro style format (.stylx) and can be added from ArcGIS Online. When you add a style from ArcGIS Online, it's copied to your computer and you can continue to use it offline.
You can also import a style from ArcMap, ArcGlobe, or ArcScene. Importing a style converts it from a .style file to a .stylx file.
Common map navigation tools are located on the Map tab of the ribbon in the Navigate group.
The Explore tool is active by default. When it's active, you can use the mouse buttons to navigate 2D maps and 3D scenes. For more information, see Navigation and Navigation in 3D. For a guided experience, try the Navigate maps and scenes quick-start tutorial.
In ArcMap, several tools are used for navigation and preliminary data exploration: Pan, Zoom, Identify, and HTML Pop-up. In ArcGIS Pro, the functionality of these tools is combined in the Explore tool. You can also use keyboard shortcuts for navigation.
Unlike ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro doesn't have an Identify tool. To identify a feature, make sure the Explore tool is active. Click the feature to open its pop-up. To identify several features, press the Ctrl key while dragging a box around them.
In ArcMap, you start an edit session to begin editing. In ArcGIS Pro, editing is always enabled. Editing tools are located on the Edit tab of the ribbon. For more information, see Editing in ArcGIS Pro.
Metadata in ArcGIS format can be viewed and edited in ArcGIS Pro. It isn't necessary to upgrade or import metadata in ArcGIS format.
ArcGIS Pro supports the same metadata styles as ArcMap. In ArcGIS Pro, the default metadata style is Item Description. The style can be changed on the Metadata tab of the Options dialog box as follows:
- On the ArcGIS Pro start page, click About ArcGIS Pro. Alternatively, in an open project, click the Project tab.
- In the list on the left, click Options.
- On the Options dialog box, under Application, click Metadata.
- Click the Metadata style drop-down arrow and choose a style.
Metadata for datasets and other items such as maps, layouts, and toolboxes is accessed from the catalog view . The catalog view is open by default in new projects. It can also be opened from the View tab on the ribbon.
When the catalog view is active, you can edit an item's metadata by clicking Edit on the Home tab of the ribbon.
Layer metadata is accessed from the layer properties. Right-click a layer in the Contents pane of your map and click Properties . In the Layer Properties dialog box, click Metadata.
ArcGIS Pro layer metadata exposes more fields than ArcMap layer metadata. Therefore, when you import a map document, some layer metadata fields will be empty in ArcGIS Pro. Optionally, you can copy metadata from the layer's data source to the layer using the Copy button .
For more information, see View and edit metadata.
In ArcGIS Pro, geoprocessing tools are accessed from the Analysis tab on the ribbon. Click the Tools button to open the Geoprocessing pane, where you can search for, open, and run geoprocessing tools.
You can also open many common tools directly from the Analysis gallery on the ribbon.
To open a layer attribute table in ArcGIS Pro, right-click a layer in the Contents pane and click Attribute Table .
When a layer attribute table is the active view in your project, a Data tab (under Feature Layer) and a View tab (under Table) appear on the ribbon. Both tabs have tools for working with the table. There are also tools on the table for common operations.
To change a table's field properties, such as field names and aliases, visibility, and number formatting, open a fields view of the table. The fields view is a tabular layout of the table's fields. Each field is represented by a row, and each field property is represented by a column. You edit the fields view to change the field properties of the table.
To learn to work with tables, field views, charts, and pop-ups in ArcGIS Pro, try the Explore your data quick-start tutorial.
To access portal items from ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, click the Portal tab in the Catalog pane and choose a repository—such as All Portal —to search or browse.
To share maps, layers, and projects from ArcGIS Pro to your portal, click the Share tab on the ribbon.
If you can connect to multiple portals—for example, if you belong to more than one ArcGIS organization—you may need to manage portal connections to make sure you share content to the correct portal.