Create a geoprocessing package

A package is a compressed file containing GIS data. You share a package in the same way as any other fileā€”via email, FTP, the cloud, thumb drives, and so on. You share it between colleagues in a workgroup, between departments in an organization, or with other users via ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Enterprise. The recipient of your package unpacks it and can immediately begin using its contents. You can also use packages to archive your work.

Before you begin packaging

When you create a package, ArcGIS analyzes the result for problems. Based on this analysis, you may have to provide additional information or tool documentation and, in some cases, rerun the tool to create output data.

Document the tool

When packaging a custom model or script tool, your tool must be documented (system tools are already documented; only custom tools need further documentation). When packaging, ArcGIS analyzes the tool for a minimal level of documentation. The tool must have at least a summary, one or more tags, and a description for each parameter.

To document a custom model or script tool:

  1. Find the tool in the Catalog or Geoprocessing pane. Right-click the tool and select Edit Metadata.

    A new view opens, showing the item description of your tool.

  2. Add a Thumbnail image by browsing to an image file.
  3. Provide search keywords in the Tags text box.
  4. Provide a summary in the Summary (Abstract) text box.
  5. Provide usage tips in the Usage text box.
  6. In the Syntax section, expand each parameter and provide Dialog Explanation text.

    This text is displayed when you hover over the parameter's help icon on the tool dialog box.

  7. Optionally, complete the Code Sample, Credits, and Use Limitation sections.
  8. When finished, click the Save button Save in the Metadata ribbon.

Rerun the tool

Geoprocessing History is logged in the Catalog pane whenever you run a tool. The tool must complete successfully for you to be able to share the tool in a geoprocessing package. When packaging, ArcGIS analyzes this tool and copies all input and output data to the package. If this data cannot be found, you will receive errors, which must be corrected before you can continue packaging.


The most common problem with data not being found during packaging is that you're packaging a stale result, meaning a tool that was run a long time ago. Between the time the tool was run and the time you packaged the tool, your data has either been deleted, moved, or renamed and cannot be found.

To rerun the tool to ensure all input and output data exists and can be included in the package, do one of the following:

  • Right-click the tool in Geoprocessing History and select Open to open the tool in the Geoprocessing pane where you can specify parameters before rerunning the tool.
  • Or, to rerun the tool with the same settings previously used, right-click the tool and select Run.
After the tool completes successfully, you can create the package.

Create and share packages using a geoprocessing tool

You can create a geoprocessing package with the Package Result tool. Once your geoprocessing package is created, you can share it on ArcGIS Online using the Share Package tool.