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Create a new project

Project templates can help you quickly create a new project to support a specific theme, task, or app. They can provide maps, layouts, connections to enterprise databases, and network shares that provide access to items that are used by many different projects.

When you create a new project, a new file geodatabase and toolbox are created in the new project's home folder, and the new project is set to use these as the default geodatabase and default toolbox, respectively. New maps, layouts, and other project items such as folder and database connections are also created in the new project as specified by the project template.

ArcGIS Pro provides a few blank project templates to help you get started.

  • To build a 2D map, select the Map template.
  • To create a 3D global scene, select the Global Scene template.
  • To start with a 3D local scene, select the Local Scene template.
  • To start with the catalog view, select the Catalog template. If data management is your primary focus, consider pinning this project to the start page or opening it automatically when you start ArcGIS Pro.

You can use custom project templates stored on a local or network computer instead. After signing in, you can use templates available from My Content in the active portal, and templates provided by your organization or other communities through ArcGIS Online or the organization's portal. You can also create a new project from an existing project.

Learn about creating your own project template

To start your work without creating a project first, select Start without a template. You can save a project later if you want to keep your work.

Note:

Projects templates (.aptx files) saved with any version of ArcGIS Pro 1.x can be used by any version of ArcGIS Pro. However, project templates saved with ArcGIS Pro 2.x cannot be used by ArcGIS Pro 1.x. You cannot save a copy of an ArcGIS Pro 2.x project template that can be used with any 1.x version of ArcGIS Pro. If a project template is saved with a recent version of ArcGIS Pro such as 2.3, it can be used with previous versions of ArcGIS Pro 2.x such as 2.0, but the project that is created will use information in the template that is downgraded in a manner appropriate for the previous version.

Create a project from a recent template

When you start ArcGIS Pro, you see a list of the project templates you have used recently to create projects. You can pin frequently used templates to the Recent Templates list. If a template's name or location isn't completely visible, hover over a template: a pop-up provides the template's full name, date, and location to help you decide which template to use.

The blank templates provided with ArcGIS Pro and the Recent Templates list are also available from the Settings page.

  1. Go to the Recent Templates list.
    • Start the ArcGIS Pro application. The start page appears.
    • From an open project, click the Project tab on the ribbon, and click New.

    The blank project templates provided with ArcGIS Pro, templates that you have pinned to the Recent Templates list, and up to 50 of the most recent templates you've used are listed.

  2. Click the project template you want to use.

    The Create a New Project dialog box appears.

  3. Type a name for the new project into the Name text box.

    When a new project is created on a local or network computer, this name is used for the new project, the new default geodatabase, and the default toolbox created for the project. By default, the name is also used to create a new folder in which the project, geodatabase, and toolbox are stored. The folder in which the new project is stored is set as its home folder.

  4. If you want to change where the project is created, provide another existing location where you have write access in the Location text box.
  5. If you do not want to create a new folder in the specified location for the project and its items, uncheck the Create a new folder for this project check box.
  6. Click OK.

The new project is created and opened in ArcGIS Pro. You can change the project's properties on the Options dialog box.

Tip:

If a template in the Recent Templates list no longer exists, right-click it and click Remove Project Template From List.

Create a project from another template

If the project template you want to use is not listed when you start ArcGIS Pro, you can use a different project template that is available from the active portal or from a local or network computer.

When you upload a project template to the active portal, it can be used from any computer. You can also use project templates shared to the active portal by others. If you have access to ArcGIS Online, you can also use templates provided by Esri teams. Online project templates are downloaded to the Documents\ArcGIS\OnlineProjects folder before they are used to create a new project.

Select a template from the start page

  1. On the the ArcGIS Pro start page, click Select another project template.

    The Create New Project From Template dialog box appears.

  2. Browse to or search for the appropriate project template.
  3. Click a project template in the list.
  4. Click OK.

    The Create a New Project dialog box appears.

  5. Type a name for the new project in the Name text box.
  6. If you want to change where the project is created, provide another existing location where you have write access in the Location text box.
  7. If you do not want to create a new folder in the specified location for the project and its items, uncheck the Create a new folder for this project check box.
  8. Click OK.

The project is opened, then added to the Recent Projects list. You can change the project's properties on the Options dialog box.

Select a template from the Settings page

  1. Go to the Settings page.
    • From the start page, click Settings.
    • From the ArcGIS Pro application, click the Project tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click New.
  3. Click the Computer or Portal option, as appropriate.
  4. Click the appropriate option.
    • With the Computer option, headings are listed that represent well-known locations in which personal project templates are stored. Documents lists templates stored in the Documents\ArcGIS\ProjectTemplates folder. Desktop lists templates stored directly on your computer's desktop; templates stored in a folder accessible from your desktop aren't listed.
    • With the Portal option, headings representing My Content, the groups in which you participate, and Esri Project Templates are listed.
  5. Click the appropriate project template.
    • Double-click a heading to list the project templates available from that folder, collection, or group. Click a project template in a list under one of the headings.
    • Click Select another project template. The Create New Project From Template dialog box appears. Browse to or search for the appropriate project template, click it, and click OK.

    The Create a New Project dialog box appears.

  6. Type a name for the new project in the Name text box.
  7. If you want to change where the project is created, provide another existing location where you have write access in the Location text box.
  8. If you do not want to create a new folder in the specified location for the project and its items, uncheck the Create a new folder for this project check box.
  9. Click OK.
  10. If you were working on another project, click Yes to save any changes.

    The project you were working on closes.

The project template is accessed from the local or network folder or downloaded from the active portal, and used to create the new project. The new project is opened and added to the Recent Projects list. You can change the project's properties on the Options dialog box.

Start without a project template

If you must complete a focused task in ArcGIS Pro that is not associated with a larger project, you can do this by starting your work without a project template. This lets you start immediately without creating a project first. You can choose to save your work later if you think you will use the project again.

  1. List the blank project templates provided with ArcGIS Pro.
    • Start the ArcGIS Pro application. The start page appears.
    • From an open project, click the Project tab on the ribbon, and click New.

    The blank project templates provided with ArcGIS Pro are listed.

  2. Click Start without a template in the Blank Templates list.

A new, empty project is opened.

You can save your work at any time. If you close ArcGIS Pro without saving, any maps, layouts, reports, and tasks you created in the project will be deleted. Any data you created in the default geodatabase will be deleted. Any models or scripts you created in the default toolbox will be deleted. Any item created or saved to the project's home folder will be deleted. Save any items and data you want to keep to a local or network disk or the active portal.

Always start without a project template

If you regularly perform ad-hoc work, you can choose to always start ArcGIS Pro without a template.

  1. Open the Options dialog box.
    • If a project is currently open, click the Project tab on the ribbon and click Options.
    • Start ArcGIS Pro, click Settings at the bottom of the start page and click Options.

    The Options dialog box appears.

Create a project from another project

If you've already created a project, you can use it as the basis for a new project. If you rarely create new projects, you can do this by saving a copy of the existing project with a new name. However, if you do this often or if you want to share your work with others, you can do this by creating your own project template.

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