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A spatial bookmark identifies a specific geographic location you want to save and refer to later. This may be a particular study area you frequently work with. As you navigate around your view, you can easily return to the study area by accessing the bookmark. You can also use bookmarks to highlight areas in your view that you want others to see.

Bookmarks can be spatial (2D or 3D) or temporal. A time-enabled map means that spatial bookmarks can be created for a specific point in time. For example, if you have hurricane track data over the course of a week, you can create a bookmark showing the hurricane's location at midweek that you can return to at any time.

As you collect bookmarks, they are saved in a list and are available to all maps in the project. To help differentiate between your bookmarks, they are captured with a thumbnail snapshot. An optional description property can be added with additional information you need to display—for example, details about the location, moment in time, or a hyperlink.

Create a bookmark

To create a bookmark to store the current view extent so you can come back to that same location in the future, complete the following steps:

  1. Navigate to the location or perspective you want to bookmark.
  2. On the Map tab, in the Navigate group, click Bookmarks Create Bookmark and click New Bookmark New Bookmark.
    • If the Bookmarks pane is open, you can optionally use it to create bookmarks. Click Manage Bookmarks Manage Bookmarks to open the docked pane.
  3. In the window that appears, type a name for the bookmark, optionally provide a description, and click OK.

    To confirm that your bookmark was created, click the Bookmarks button Bookmarks again; a thumbnail and the name of the bookmark you just created should be listed. Clicking items in this list is how you navigate using bookmarks.


The optional description has a maximum of 500 characters. It allows for the standard formatting options: bold, italic, and underline. A hyperlink can also be included; however, it requires additional characters, which will decrease the number of characters available.

Navigate with bookmarks

When using a bookmark to navigate, only the active map view will update. To navigate multiple views together using bookmarks, ensure they are linked. You can access bookmarks in two ways for navigation:

  • Use the Bookmarks quick-access gallery on the Map tab.
  • Use the Bookmarks pane.

When using the quick-access gallery list on the Map tab, you only need to expand the list and click the desired bookmark. The view will update by zooming to the location.

The quick-access gallery lists all bookmarks in the project grouped by their associated map. If only the bookmarks from a single map are desired, click the drop-down arrow in the upper left corner of the gallery to select a single map. By default, only the title and a thumbnail preview are visible. Descriptions can be included in the gallery by enabling the Show Descriptions option.

In the Bookmarks pane, you have the option to zoom or pan to a bookmarked location. To access these commands, hover over the bookmark. Zoom To Zoom To centers and zooms in on the exact bookmark location. Pan To Pan To centers the view on the bookmark location without changing the scale.


If you're switching between 2D and 3D views, the extent may differ from the original view in which the bookmark was captured. For instance, bookmarks created in 3D but viewed in 2D will have a 2D extent derived from the original 3D view. If the bookmark was created in 2D but viewed in 3D, the scene view will display perpendicular.


To adjust the speed at which the navigation experience updates the view, set the Navigation Autopilot Speed to be instant or a slower, graceful transition. Open the Options dialog box from the Project tab and click the Navigation tab. Move the slider to adjust the zoom time. The higher the value in seconds, the longer it will take to get to your bookmark.

Temporal bookmarks

Bookmarks can contain both spatial and temporal components so you can return to a location in both space and time. Thumbnails are overlaid with a clock icon if they contain time. You can display your bookmarks in the Bookmarks pane using either the gallery style with a thumbnail or a list view with the name. Either way you choose, temporal bookmarks always contain the clock overlay. In the following images, the image on the left is displayed as a gallery image, and the image on the right is the outline, or list view.

Choose the display style for bookmarks using the Menu button Menu in the Bookmarks pane.

Gallery view temporal bookmark example
Outline view temporal bookmark example

Use bookmarks to automatically generate an animation

You can import the current map's bookmarks into an animation, and these bookmarks are converted directly to keyframes used to build an animation. On the View tab, click Add Add Animation to open the Animation tab and access the animation settings. In the Create group, click Import and choose Bookmarks to fly-through or Bookmarks to tour. These options use predefined settings for the path between the keyframes created from your bookmarks for that map.

To learn more about visualizing your GIS content as an animation, see Animation basics.


Bookmark files (.dat) from ArcGIS Desktop cannot be imported into ArcGIS Pro. Therefore, to create an animation in ArcGIS Pro from bookmarks in an ArcGIS Desktop document, the bookmarks must be part of the map, globe, or scene document and the document imported into your project. Click the Import tab, and click Import Map Import Map to browse to the document.

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