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For ArcMap users

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. The project-based structure of ArcGIS Pro is also a new experience. See About ArcGIS Pro for an overview of the application design and user interface.

The ArcGIS Pro quick-start tutorials will orient you to common GIS workflows in ArcGIS Pro. You can find answers to questions often asked by ArcMap users in Frequently asked questions.

User interface

Two aspects of ArcGIS Pro that take time to adjust to are the user interface and data management operations. For an introduction to data management tools and workflows in ArcGIS Pro, see the Catalog pane, catalog view, and browse dialog box help topic and the Manage Data tutorial.

ArcGIS Pro user interface
The ArcGIS Pro user interface includes a ribbon, views, and panes.

ComponentDescription
1

The ribbon at the top of the user interface organizes commands on a series of tabs.

2

The blue Project tab on the ribbon provides access to application settings and other configurable properties.

3

Views, such as this map view, are the primary work areas of ArcGIS Pro.

4

The Contents pane displays items related to the active view. When a map view is active, the Contents pane displays map layers, such as the ArcMap table of contents.

5

A view of a layer attribute table. Projects can contain views of maps, scenes, tables, layouts, and charts. Many views can be open at once.

6

The items in your project can be managed in the Catalog pane. You can also manage files in the catalog view, a unique view type that is similar to ArcCatalog.

ArcGIS Pro user interface components

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.

Import Map

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.

Catalog pane with imported maps corresponding to multiple ArcMap data frames

The layout of your map document is also imported. If your map document doesn't have a layout, a default layout is created.

When you import a map, a blue dot appears on the Notifications button Notifications above the ribbon. Open the notification to see messages about the import process.

Notifications button with an available notification

  1. Click the Notifications button Notifications.
  2. In the Notifications pane, hover over the message to display a View Results link.
  3. Click View Results.

    A browser tab opens (referencing a local file) with import result messages.

Most of the time, imported maps look the same as the original map document. However, there may be subtle visual differences because ArcGIS Pro has a different drawing engine than ArcMap.

If ArcGIS Pro can't access a dataset in the imported map document, an indicator Click to repair layer's data source appears next to the layer name in the Contents pane. This means you need to repair the layer.

After import, no link is maintained between the ArcGIS Pro map and the original ArcMap map document. Subsequent changes you make to the map in ArcGIS Pro are not reflected in the original map document.

ArcMap cannot import ArcGIS Pro projects. ArcMap cannot open other items in ArcGIS Pro file formats, such as map packages (.mpkx), map files (.mapx), and so on.

To learn more about importing map documents, see the Import an ArcMap document tutorial.

Add data, toolboxes, models, and scripts

You can add connections to folders, databases, servers, locators, toolboxes, styles, and other items to your project from the Insert tab on the ribbon.

Insert tab on ribbon

In the Favorites group, click Add Item Add Favorite to add an item to the current project and to make it readily accessible in other projects. A favorite can be immediately added to any project from the Favorites tab in the Catalog pane or from the catalog view.

Tip:
You can also make an item a favorite by right-clicking the item in the Catalog pane or catalog view and choosing Add To Favorites Add To Favorites.

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.

Import styles

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 is 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 workflows

Navigation

Common map navigation tools are located on the Map tab of the ribbon in the Navigate group.

Navigate group

In ArcMap, tools such as Pan, Zoom, Identify, and HTML Pop-up, are used for navigation and data exploration. In ArcGIS Pro, the functionality of these tools is combined in the Explore tool Explore Tool. The Explore tool is active by default. When it's active, you can use the mouse buttons to navigate 2D maps and 3D scenes. Alternatively, you can use keyboard shortcuts for navigation.

For more information, see the Navigation and Navigation in 3D help topics. See also the Navigate maps and scenes tutorial.

Feature identification

Unlike ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro doesn't have an Identify tool. To identify a feature on a map, make sure the Explore tool 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.

Click the drop-down arrow on the Explore tool to identify features in different layers of interest.

Explore tool drop-down settings

Editing

In ArcMap, you start an edit session to begin editing. In ArcGIS Pro, editing is always enabled. Editing tools are on the Edit tab of the ribbon when a map view is active. For more information, see Editing in ArcGIS Pro.

Edit tab

CommandDescription
1

Undo or redo edits on the Quick Access Toolbar.

2

Save or discard edits.

3

Enable map topology.

4

Set editing options.

5

Enable snapping.

6

Create, modify, or delete features.

7

Select features for editing.

8

Inspect and edit feature attributes.

ArcGIS Pro Edit tab commands

Metadata

Metadata in ArcGIS format can be viewed and edited in ArcGIS Pro. There is no need to upgrade or import metadata that is 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 in the ArcGIS Pro Settings:

  1. On the ArcGIS Pro start page, click Settings. (Alternatively, in an open project, click the Project tab.)
  2. In the list on the left, click Options.
  3. On the Options dialog box, under Application, click Metadata.
  4. Click the Metadata style drop-down arrow and choose a style.

Metadata for datasets and other items such as maps, layouts, and toolboxes is viewed in the details panel of the catalog view. The catalog view is open by default in projects created from the Catalog template. It can be opened in any project by clicking the View tab on the ribbon and clicking Catalog View Catalog View in the Windows group.

In the catalog view, browse to an item and select it. Its metadata is displayed in the adjacent details panel. If necessary, click the Show/Hide Details Panel button Show/hide details panel.

Catalog view
Item description for a feature class in the catalog view.

Tip:

You can also right-click an item in the Catalog pane and click View Metadata View Metadata. This opens the catalog view and displays the details panel.

To edit metadata, browse to an item in the catalog view and select it. On the ribbon, on the Catalog tab, in the Metadata group, click Edit Edit Metadata. A metadata view of the item opens and allows you to edit the metadata.

Tip:

You can also right-click an item in the Catalog pane and click Edit Metadata Edit Metadata to open an editable metadata view.

Metadata for a map layer is accessed from its layer properties. With a map view active, right-click a layer in the Contents pane and click Properties Properties. On the Layer Properties dialog box, click Metadata.

Layer Properties dialog box showing metadata

By default, layer metadata reflects the metadata of the layer's data source and is read-only. You can change Show metadata from data source (read-only) to Layer has its own metadata. This removes the metadata from the data source and allows you to edit the layer metadata as you like. To restore the data source metadata, click the Copy data source's metadata to this layer button Copy.

For more information, see View and edit metadata.

Geoprocessing

Geoprocessing tools are accessed from the Analysis tab on the ribbon.

Analysis tab

Click the Tools button Tools to open the Geoprocessing pane, where you find, open, and run geoprocessing tools.

Geoprocessing pane
Tools are run from the Geoprocessing pane. Use the search box to find a tool. Click the Toolboxes tab in the pane to browse system toolboxes.

You can open many common tools directly from the Analysis gallery on the Analysis tab on the ribbon.

Analysis gallery

For more information, see the Geoprocessing quick tour, Geoprocessing options, and ArcGIS Pro tool reference help topics. See also the Use geoprocessing tools tutorial.

Tables

To open a layer attribute table, right-click a map layer in the Contents pane and click Attribute Table Open Table.

When a table opens, it becomes the active view in your project. On the ribbon, a Table group tab appears with a View tab under it. This tab has several tools for working with tables.

The contextual View tab on the ribbon

More table functionality is found on the Data tab under the Feature Layer group tab. (For a stand-alone table, the Data tab appears under a Standalone Table group tab.)

Several common tools are also found above the table.

Table view

You can edit a table's attribute values by typing directly in table cells. You don't need to start an edit session. You can also delete selected table rows without starting an edit session. After making edits, save or discard your edits on the Edit tab on the ribbon.

To change field properties, such as field names, field aliases, field visibility, and numeric field formatting, edit the 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.

Fields view
The fields view of the Regions table.

You can add and delete fields either from the table or from the fields view of the table.

To work with tables, field views, charts, and pop-ups in ArcGIS Pro, see the Explore your data tutorial.

Sharing

To access portal items from ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise, click the Portal tab in the Catalog pane and choose a repository to search or browse. For example, you can choose All Portal All Portal.

The Catalog pane with the Portal tab selected
A search for tortoises in All Portal returns public items in ArcGIS Online that can be added to a map or project.

To share maps, layers, and projects from ArcGIS Pro to your portal, click the Share tab on the ribbon.

To share content in ArcGIS Pro, see the Share a web map tutorial.

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