Display and manage Map Document contents in ArcCatalog

03-09-2011 07:25 AM
Status: Open
Labels (1)
Occasional Contributor III

Provide direct access to contents of Map Documents, Layer Files and all native ArcGIS formats in ArcCatalog (Styles, Expressions, etc.). Display inner structure of Map Document in Catalog Tree view with possibility to manage, preview and edit document’s functional parts. Give possibility to simply and freely extract or copy desired items, elements and settings between Map Documents (drag and drop):

  • Data Frames – display Data Frames with detailed group and layer structure with possibility to extract selected Data Frames, Groups or Layers as LYR or create Layer Packages.
  • Layers – display layer’s characteristic properties. Provide copy/match functionality to simply import/export all or specific properties between layers in current or other Map Documents with smooth transition reflecting different source parameters:       
    • Definition Query – show and build query expression,
    • Labels – show label classes, change settings,
    • Source – show data source information with source replacement possibility,
    • Symbology – show layer symbology, change settings,
    • Joins and Relates – list all referenced tables with possibility to open them in their native application or open their destination in ArcCatalog or Windows Explorer.
  • Layouts – display single layout template or multiple data driven pages layout with structured list of used map and graphic elements (like Title, Legend, Scale, etc.).
  • Sources – show workspaces and sources with possibility to replace either whole workspace or specific sources selected. Possibility to open source destination in ArcCatalog, ArcMap or Windows Explorer.
  • Styles – display all styles used in Map Document in classic structure. Changing style generally affects all symbols which use it in the Map Document.


Related Ideas:
Fantastic idea!
Oddly enough, you can open up a tree for the contents of a CAD drawing (DWG), but not for ESRI's own MXDs...
Just that, with the ability to drag and drop those layers (including symbology and other properties) into ArcMap would be so useful.
Continually evaluate availability of Map Document’s Data Sources for the whole MXD – display icon if some or all sources are missing. Display availability status of each source in the proposed detailed inner MXD/LYR structure. Control and manage missing sources by Advanced Data Source Management.

With Data Driven Pages I am unable to have more than one dataframe in my layout.  In my a map booklet I added a second dataframe for a detail on one page and it propagated to ALL of the pages.

ESRI Customer Care emailed me back and said, "As discussed that if you have two dataframes in your layout it is not possible to have one DDP with two dataframes and the rest with one dataframe.This is how the application has been designed.  However you can suggest this as an idea in the esri idea page."


Juraj Krumpolec‌, this is a great idea, but now ArcCatalog is mostly deprecated and ESRI is no longer adding new features to it.  It would be a good idea to update your title and description to emphasize ArcGIS Pro Catalog to give it more visibility and traction.

You could re-title it this way:

"Display and manage Map Document contents in ArcGIS Pro Catalog and ArcCatalog"

...or just leave ArcCatalog off altogether.

Good luck with this.  It would be a great feature to have!

Kory Kramer


David Wheelock‌ I see https://community.esri.com/ideas/11193-browse-other-project-s-map-frames-and-layouts-from-project-pa... as more relevant to this functionality request in ArcGIS Pro - but absolutely important to see that the request has been out there for a number of years and has a lot of interest from the user community.



Are these ideas close enough to be merged?