Tools that do not create output datasets

While most geoprocessing tools produce a new dataset specified in an output dataset parameter, some tools do not create output datasets. Instead, these tools modify or update the input dataset, geodatabase, or workspace, or produce messages, output values, or reports.

Tools that modify or update the input data

The following are categories of tools that modify or update the input dataset, geodatabase, or workspace:


Take precautions when using a tool that modifies the input dataset. If you are unsure whether you want to modify the input dataset, do the following:

  • If available, use the Enable Undo option. Several geoprocessing tools that modify the input dataset have an Enable Undo toggle button next to the Run button, which allows you to undo the changes the tool makes to the input dataset.
  • Make a backup copy of the input data, and run the tool using one copy as input, leaving the other copy in its original state.
  • When input data is stored in a versioned geodatabase, tools will only modify the single version of the data. The version must be reconciled and posted to apply changes to the rest of the database.

Tools that produce messages, output values, or reports

Tools such as Calculate Value or Get Count write their result as a message or output value, while others, such as Spatial Autocorrelation, create reports. You can find these messages, output values, and reports in the messages window or geoprocessing history.