Find a geoprocessing tool

ArcGIS provides a comprehensive suite of geoprocessing tools that you can use to perform spatial analysis or to manage GIS data. Finding the right tool for a particular task is essential. The primary locations where you can find and open geoprocessing tools are the Analysis ribbon tab and the Geoprocessing pane. Geoprocessing is the engine for much of ArcGIS Pro, so geoprocessing tools are integrated in many locations throughout the application.

In ArcGIS Pro, you can find and open geoprocessing tools from the following places:

  • The Tools gallery on the Analysis ribbon tab
  • The search bar at the top of the Geoprocessing pane
  • The Favorites tab in the Geoprocessing pane
  • The Toolboxes tab in the Geoprocessing pane
  • Project toolboxes in the Catalog pane
  • Toolboxes in a folder connection or geodatabase in the Catalog pane
  • An ArcGIS Server connection in the Catalog pane
  • The Portal group on the Analysis ribbon tab or the Portal tab in the Geoprocessing pane
  • Multiple buttons on ribbon tabs, toolbars, context (right-click) menus, and UI commands
  • A custom ribbon tab or group
  • The Quick Access Toolbar

Analysis Tools gallery

The Tools gallery on the Analysis ribbon tab highlights many commonly-used spatial analysis tools in several categories. The Tools gallery shows a few tools by default, but you can expand it or scroll through it to see more. If the project was created from a template or previously configured and shared with you, the tools in the gallery may be customized specifically for that GIS project.

Analysis Tools gallery

Learn how to customize the Analysis Tools gallery


You can find geoprocessing tools by entering a search phrase in the search bar at the top of the Geoprocessing pane. You can search for a geoprocessing tool by name or by describing the type of operation you want to perform, for example, type proximity.

Semantic search

Geoprocessing tool search uses a semantic search engine. Semantic search is an AI-enhanced smart search technology that provides improved search results. Traditional search engines work by finding exact or partial matches between a search query and geoprocessing tool names, descriptions, and keywords. Semantic search supports natural or conversational language, understands the meaning in language and the connections between related words, and returns search results that provide the closest match to the meaning behind the search.

Semantic search for geoprocessing tools is not an AI chat assistant. Its purpose is to return search results of the best matching tools from all geoprocessing tools based on a search query. Semantic search does not provide instructions, guidance, or steps that can be used to complete a geoprocessing workflow.


Semantic search is enabled in the search bar of the Geoprocessing pane if you chose to install the AI Models > Semantic Search model during ArcGIS Pro installation.


Semantic search requires a processor supporting the AVX2 instruction set. If this hardware requirement is not met, even if the semantic search model file is installed, semantic search is disabled. You can search for geoprocessing tools using a traditional search engine, and get search results matching previous versions of ArcGIS Pro.


Semantic search supports search phrases using the language that matches the installed and activated ArcGIS Pro language pack. Some languages offer better results than others.

Search results

You can view geoprocessing search results as detailed tiles or as a list, with toggle buttons to switch between the two views at the bottom of the search results:

  • Display tools with descriptions and details Item Details
  • Display tools as list Display Type

When Display tools with descriptions and details Item Details is the active view, each item in the search results displays the tool description text and icons that indicate details about each tool, including the following:


The tool is an Esri built-in tool.


The tool is a model tool.


The tool is a script tool.

Locked tool

The tool is locked due to licensing.

Credit tools

The tool consumes credits.


The tool runs remotely in ArcGIS Server or in ArcGIS Online.

Parallel tools

The tool supports parallel or distributed processing.


The tool uses Spark to run analysis on big datasets.


The tool can use the processing power of the graphics card (GPU) to improve performance.

Data Store Collection

The tool supports big data file shares.


You can find geoprocessing tools on the customizable Favorites tab in the Geoprocessing pane. The Favorites tab lists the following tool favorites:

  • Suggestions—A list of tools that may help you get to the next step in your geoprocessing workflow. Suggestions are based on previous tools you ran in the current project.

    Learn more about geoprocessing tool suggestions

  • My Favorites—Tools that are saved in your user profile and will be listed regardless of the open project.
  • Project Favorites—Tools that are specific to the open project. When you create a project, several commonly used tools are included by default.
  • Recent—A chronological list of tools that you ran recently.

Learn how to customize geoprocessing favorites


You can find all geoprocessing system tools that are included with ArcGIS, including extension and industry-specific toolboxes, on the Toolboxes tab of the Geoprocessing pane under the System heading. These tools are organized and grouped into toolboxes and toolsets. Custom toolboxes in the project are listed under the Project heading.

Project toolboxes

Every project has a default toolbox. You can also add any toolbox from a folder connection or geodatabase to a project, which stores a link to the toolbox with the project (but does not move the physical toolbox file). Project toolboxes appear on the Project tab of the Catalog pane under the Toolboxes node. Additionally, project toolboxes are listed on the Toolboxes tab of the Geoprocessing pane under the Project heading.

Learn how to add a toolbox to a project

Folders and geodatabases

Toolboxes that are in a folder or geodatabase display when viewing the container on the Project tab of the Catalog pane under the Folder Connections or Databases nodes.

Geoprocessing services in an ArcGIS Server connection

You can find and use geoprocessing service tools in an ArcGIS Server connection. You can use these tools as you do other geoprocessing tools. The only difference is the tool is run on ArcGIS Server. To use geoprocessing service tools, add an ArcGIS Server connection, expand the server connection under the Servers node of the Catalog pane, and double-click a tool to open it in the Geoprocessing pane.

Portal tools

You can find and run analysis tools from ArcGIS Enterprise through your active portal. Tools from your portal represent services running on an ArcGIS Server site federated with your portal. The Portal group on the Analysis ribbon tab and the Portal tab in the Geoprocessing pane show which tools are available through your active portal. You can use these tools as you do other geoprocessing tools. The only difference is the tools run on servers federated with your portal instead of on your local desktop machine. These tools also create output layers in your portal instead of new data in a local folder or geodatabase.

Learn more about portal tools

Ready To Use tools

Ready To Use tools are geoprocessing services that use ArcGIS Online hosted data and analysis capabilities. They are called ready to use because you only need to provide a few basic input features; all the other data necessary for the analysis and the computation is hosted in ArcGIS Online.

You can use the Ready To Use tools to solve diverse spatial analysis problems, including the following:

  • Profile and viewshed (Elevation)
  • Watershed and stream tracing (Hydrology)

Find the Ready To Use tools in the Ready To Use Tools gallery on the Analysis ribbon tab. Click one of the tools and specify the input parameters. When running these tools, the output is automatically assigned a name based on the service name, copied to the project geodatabase, and added to an open map.

Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar

You can add geoprocessing tools to any location on the ribbon and to the Quick Access Toolbar. This includes system tools as well as custom model and script tools that have been added to the project. This customization is stored in your user directory and applies to any project you open.

Learn more about customizing the ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar with geoprocessing tools

Other ribbon buttons and UI commands

Buttons that open or run geoprocessing tools are located on many of the ribbon tabs, panes, toolbars, context (right-click) menus, and views in ArcGIS Pro. These buttons or commands may immediately run a geoprocessing tool with predefined parameters or may open a tool for you to specify the parameter options before running. For buttons or commands that open a tool, the tool may open in the Geoprocessing pane or in a floating window as described below:

  • When you open tools in the Geoprocessing pane, you will use the standard approach for specifying parameters and environments and running or scheduling the tool to run at a future time.
  • Some tools that require shorter, focused interaction within a simplified user interface open in a floating window where you can specify parameter values and click OK or Apply to run the tool. These are the same geoprocessing tools that run in the Geoprocessing pane, but they are included in a simplified and dedicated window that is closed after the tool is run. While the tool is running, a progress dialog box displays messages and progress information, with the Close upon completion option checked by default. Many of the tools accessed this way run in the main application thread, not in the background geoprocessing thread, for immediate processing, even if longer-running processes are running concurrently in the background geoprocessing thread.