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Start your work

Work in ArcGIS Pro is centered around projects. A project is where you store maps, layouts, connections to databases and GIS servers, and so on. There are several ways to get started.

If you have used ArcGIS Pro before, do any of the following:

  • Projects you have used before are listed on the start page. Click a project to open it.
  • If you received a project package in an email and saved it to your local computer, double-click the project in Windows Explorer to open it.
  • If a project package is available in ArcGIS Online or an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, or on a local or network disk, click Open another project on the start page to locate and open the project.

If there are a few projects you use frequently, you can pin these projects to the start page. If there is one project you always use, you can configure ArcGIS Pro to automatically open that project each time you start the application.

Learn more about opening projects

If you are new to ArcGIS Pro or you are switching your focus to a new assignment, create a project from a project template. Blank templates are provided to start right away with a 2D map or a 3D scene, or to manage your data. Custom templates can deliver standard organizational maps, layouts, tasks, and connections to folders, databases, and servers on the network where data is available.

  • Blank templates are listed on the start page. Click one to create a project.
  • Custom project templates you have used before are listed on the start page. Click a template to create a project with it.
  • If a custom project template is available in ArcGIS Online, in an ArcGIS Enterprise portal, or on a local or network disk, click Select another template on the start page. Locate and use the template to create a project.
  • To complete a discrete task or start work without creating a project first, click Start without a template on the start page. You can save a project later if you want to keep your results.

If there are a few custom project templates you use frequently, you can pin them to the start page. You can configure ArcGIS Pro to automatically open without a project template each time you start the application.

Learn more about creating new projects

Once you identify the folders, databases, and servers you frequently use, add them to your favorites. Favorite items can be added automatically to new projects in addition to any organizational resources added by a project template.

Learn more about project favorites

Always open the same project

After creating a project with all the maps, folders, and databases you need, you might find yourself using the same project all the time to edit or manage your data. You can set ArcGIS Pro to open the same project automatically each time.

  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 and click Settings at the bottom of the start page.

    The Options dialog box appears.

  2. Under the Application heading, click the General tab.
  3. Click the Start ArcGIS Pro heading.
  4. Click the With a default project option.
  5. Browse to or type the location of the existing project that should be opened each time you start ArcGIS Pro.
  6. Click OK.

The next time you start ArcGIS Pro, the specified project opens immediately. The start page will not appear.

Always start without a project template

If each time you start ArcGIS Pro you find yourself creating a new project and either deleting the project afterward or never using it again, consider setting ArcGIS Pro to always start without a project 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.

  2. Under the Application heading, click the General tab.
  3. Click the Start ArcGIS Pro heading.
  4. Click the Without a project template option.
  5. Click OK.
Tip:

If you later decide you prefer to see the start page when you start ArcGIS Pro, choose the option Show the start page instead.

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