A project template is a customized starting state for a project. It can include maps, scenes, layouts, databases, folder connections, and other items. Any configuration of a project that you want to reuse can be saved as a project template.
One reason to create project templates is to standardize practices within a workgroup or organization. For example, you can ensure that maps, scenes, and layouts have a consistent appearance, use the same datasets, and apply the same symbology. Another reason is to tailor the user interface for specific user roles. For example, you can make sure that a new project contains toolboxes with tools needed for certain tasks or that certain databases or folder connections are included.
- Video length: 2:12.
- This video was created with ArcGIS Pro 2.3.
In this tutorial, you will create a project template, share it to a portal, and view it from the portal. You will also create a project from the template.
- Estimated time: 20 minutes
- Software requirements:
- ArcGIS Pro
- ArcGIS Online account with sharing privileges recommended
The tutorial steps in the online help reflect the look and capabilities of the current software release. If you have an earlier software version, use the offline help system to open the tutorial. To switch from the online to the offline help system, see Set the help source in the Access the help topic. If you don't have ArcGIS Pro, you can sign up for an ArcGIS Pro free trial.
Open the project
Project templates are based on existing projects. You'll open a project containing a map and scene zoomed to New Zealand and share this project as a project template.
- Start ArcGIS Pro and sign in if necessary.
- On the start page, under your recent projects, click Open another project.
If you already have a project open, click the Project tab on the ribbon. In the list of menu items on the left, click Open. On the Open page, click Portal and click Open another project at the bottom of the page.
- On the Open Project dialog box, under Portal , click ArcGIS Online .
- At the top of the dialog box, in the Search box, type Create a project template tutorial and press Enter.
- In the list of search results, click Create a project template to select the project package.
If there is more than one project package with this name, look at the Owner column. Select the item with the owner name ArcGISProTutorials. If you don't get any results, see No search results are returned.
- Click OK.
The project opens with a 2D map and a 3D scene. Both are zoomed to New Zealand.
By default, project packages are unpacked to your <User Documents>\ArcGIS\Packages folder. You can change the default location in the Share and download options.
- On the ribbon, click the View tab. In the Windows group, click Reset Panes and click Reset Panes for Mapping (Default).
This ensures that the Contents and Catalog panes are open and that other panes are closed.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks and confirm that your project has four bookmarks.
Saved properties and settings of your project—including the map, scene, and bookmarks—will be included in the project template.
- In the Catalog pane, make sure the Project tab is selected. Browse to Databases > create_a_project_template.gdb.
The project geodatabase contains three feature classes: Highways, Populated_Places, and Regions. These datasets will also be included in the project template.
Share the project as a project template
A project template can be shared to your active portal or saved locally. In this tutorial, you'll share the template to your portal to make it easily available. The steps assume your active portal is an ArcGIS Online portal, but the workflow is the same if your active portal is an ArcGIS Enterprise portal.
If you don't have internet access or sharing privileges to your portal, you can save the project template locally. You won't be able to complete the tutorial steps exactly as written, but you will be able to access the template to create a project.
- At the top of the ArcGIS Pro window, confirm that you are signed in to your ArcGIS Online portal.
- On the ribbon, click the Share tab. In the Save As group, click Project Template .
The Create Project Template pane appears. Under Start Creating, accept the default option to Upload template to Online account.
- Under Item Details, in the Name box, replace the default name with New_Zealand_template. Add your name or initials to the name.
This makes your template easy to recognize if other people in your organization create a project template with the same name.
- In the Summary box, type ArcGIS Pro project template for New Zealand projects.
- In the Tags box, type the following keywords: project template, New Zealand. (Make sure the two tags are separated by a comma.) Press Enter.
If spell-checking is enabled on the settings page (as it is by default), unrecognized words will be marked with wavy underlines. See Proofing options for more information.
- Optionally, under Location, click the Folder drop-down arrow and choose a folder for the project template in your portal account.
You will only see folders in the drop-down list if you have created them in your portal account.
- Under Share with, check the box next to the name of your ArcGIS Online organization.
If all the Share with options are unavailable, you don't have sharing privileges in your ArcGIS Online portal. To continue with the tutorial, at the top of the pane, under Start Creating, click Save template to file. For more information about sharing privileges, see User types, roles, and privileges in the ArcGIS Online help.
- At the bottom of the pane, click Analyze.
The Messages tab appears and informs you that there are no errors or warnings.
- Click Create. If you are prompted with a Save Project message, click Yes.
It takes a few moments for the project template to be packaged and uploaded to your portal. At the bottom of the Create Project Template pane, a message confirms that the project template was successfully created. The message includes a link to manage the package.
View the project template in your portal
The template has been shared to your ArcGIS Online portal. You'll open its item details page in your portal and add metadata to the template.
- In the message at the bottom of the Create Project Template pane, click the Manage the package link.
A web browser opens to the ArcGIS Sign In page.
- Sign in to your portal with your user name and password.
- To the right of Description, click Edit.
- In the Edit Description box, type or copy and paste the following text: ArcGIS Pro project template for use with New Zealand-based projects. Includes a topographic map and an imagery scene zoomed to New Zealand. The project geodatabase includes three datasets.
- Under the text box, click Save.
- Under the text box, click Save.
Create a project based on the template
Now you can use the template to create a project.
- In ArcGIS Pro, on the ribbon, click the Project tab. In the list of tabs on the left, click New.
Alternatively, you can start a second ArcGIS Pro session. If you do that, on the start page, under Recent Templates, click Select another project template to open the browse dialog box. Continue with step 4, below.
- On the New project page, under New, click Portal and expand My Content.
The New Zealand project template is listed under My Content. Although you can access the template from this location, other users need to browse to it because they do not own the item. You'll test the workflow as it would be for a different member of your organization.
If you saved the template locally, click Computer instead of Portal and expand Documents to access the project template.
- At the bottom of the page, click Select another project template.
- On the browse dialog box, on the left, click My Organization .
- In the search box at the top of the dialog box, type New Zealand template and press Enter.
The template appears in the search results.
- Click New_Zealand_template_yourname and click OK.
- On the Create a New Project dialog box, name the project New Zealand Test and click OK. (If you're prompted to save changes to the open project, click No.)
The New Zealand Test project, based on the template, opens. It has the same map and scene as the template.
- On the ribbon, click the Map tab. In the Navigate group, click Bookmarks .
The new project includes the four bookmarks from the template.
- In the Catalog pane, on the Project tab, expand the Databases folder.
The project has two geodatabases: the New Zealand Test project geodatabase, which is empty, and the create_a_project_template geodatabase, which contains the Highways, Populated_Places, and Regions feature classes. All new projects created from the template will look the same.
- On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Save to save the project.
A number of templates are included with ArcGIS Pro. The start page has templates to start a project with a map, the catalog view, a global scene, or a local scene. You can also start without a template, which allows you to work without saving a project.
The template you created in this tutorial will appear in your list of recent templates on the start page. It will also appear in the ArcGIS Pro settings, on the New page, on the Recent tab.
Additional templates can be found in the ArcGIS Pro settings, on the New page, on the Portal tab, under Esri Project Templates.