Tips and Tricks for ArcGIS Pro users

With the final ArcGIS 10.3 release sitting in your My Esri portal, I thought it’d be a good idea to quickly recap a few interesting features about ArcGIS Pro 1.0 you may be yet to come across.

If you haven’t heard, ArcGIS Pro is a new Desktop GIS which will be released as an integral part of the 10.3 suite, and in this chain of blogs we’ve already covered a few topics about ArcGIS Pro, including, and some of the common problems that users can encounter while moving from ArcGIS Pro Beta to ArcGIS Pro 1.0 final.

I hope the few tips I’ve listed below will help you to get started with ArcGIS Pro 1.0 and take advantage of its functionality!

#1. Configure your license.

Like most ArcGIS software, ArcGIS Pro 1.0 requires a license to run. The license can be taken from your ArcGIS Online for Organizations (AGOL) account or from Portal for ArcGIS (if you have one running in your organization).

You can hit the ‘Configure your licensing portal’ link on the “splash screen” which appears when you open ArcGIS Pro and change the source of the license from AGOL (default) to Portal for ArcGIS.


#2. Automatic updates.

ArcGIS Pro 1.0 checks for updates automatically (default). You can also choose to turn this option off and check for updates manually.


All updates can be downloaded from within the ArcGIS Pro interface (which means you won’t need to go to or and search for fixes etc).

#3. About ArcGIS Pro


After you’ve launched ArcGIS Pro the above interface window will appear on your screen. Here you can create a new project or open an existing one.

Note the “About ArcGIS Pro” link in the bottom of the interface. If there’s no project loaded to ArcGIS Pro, this dialog allows you to review a few important parameters, such as software version, license summary (below) and apply a few settings at the application level.

Once you’ve opened a project, you can still access this dialog by clicking on the Project button.


#4. Take ArcGIS Pro licenses offline.

By default, ArcGIS Pro requires a direct connection to either or your local Portal for ArcGIS to obtain the license. Fortunately, there’s a new feature which allows you to authorize ArcGIS Pro to work offline. To activate the “offline” license, navigate to Project or About ArcGIS Pro tab, activate Licensing and check the Authorize ArcGIS Pro to work offline option (you must be connected to AGOL or Portal to do this).


After the license has been checked out, you can login to AGOL, navigate to Manage Licenses and check if the process completed successfully.

Your username will be marked with a red vertical bar, and if you left-click on the link under the “Licensed For” column, you should see confirmation that the license has been checked out:


It’s important to mention that some users who had been testing this option during the transitional period between Beta 5 and ArcGIS Pro 1.0 (pre-release) reported problems with returning licenses to AGOL or Portal for ArcGIS. This issue affected only a small percentage of users and Esri technical support are currently investigating these reports.

#5. Customizing the interface.

ArcMap has always been praised by users for the flexibility of the interface. In ArcMap, users can add or remove toolbars, add hidden tools (i.e. like Pixel Inspector) and embed custom Geoprocessing tools and add-ons, thus turning an out-of-the-box software package into a custom GIS solution.

And so this trend continues with ArcGIS Pro, whose interface and application settings can also be customized. You can change the so-called Ribbon interface (the menus and sub-menus on top) by removing standard tabs or groups and adding your own ones and populating them using commands and tools.


To create a custom group of tools in the ArcGIS Pro interface, use this simple workflow:

  1. Open the Project Tab (see #3).
  2. Navigate to Customize the Ribbon
  3. Create a new Tab and rename it.
  4. A new group will be created. Right-click and rename it.
  5. You can populate the new tab with commands using the All Commands List (similar to ArcMap’s Customize Mode > All Commands) or by dragging the tools from existing Tabs and Groups.


You can also reset the changes that you did to any of the standard Tabs or Groups by using the Reset option:


I hope these tips and trick will help you to get started with ArcGIS Pro. Feel free to contact Esri Australia Support at any time during your ArcGIS Pro set up and experience. We are here to help!

This entry was posted in General and tagged , on by .

About Ivan E.

Russia-born geographer with a degree in Cartography and GIS with a 18-year Esri-related experience. Had been working for Esri Russia (CIS) then moved to Australia to join Esri Australia as support trainer in the Professional services dept. Area of expertise: ArcGIS Desktop software, 3D modelling (CityEngine), cartography, remote sensing

1 thought on “Tips and Tricks for ArcGIS Pro users

  1. Rajesh K

    How do I customize the splash screen for ArcMap desktop version (10.x)? I want to bring a custom splash screen and no where it is mentioned how to do this?


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