Pro - bring back "Output Location" that shows ALL existing files

05-15-2020 11:12 AM
Status: Implemented
Labels (1)
New Contributor III

Pro 2.5  -  Please bring back "Output Location" that shows ALL existing files, not just GDBs and folders.


This is an aggravating design flaw that creates extra steps for users.


Namely having to open Windows Explorer in order to see all existing file names... ArcMap never had this problem.


Users to need to see ALL existing files when doing the common task of exporting data.


related thread: why does "Output Location" not show existing files? 


please see attached screen shots.


Hello PRuss,

If you want to explore existing data in a location, e.g. a folder, you can add that folder to the project as a folder connection, and then brows/explore the content of that folder in the Catalog view (or Catalog pane), which will show all the items of all the types that could be used in an ArcGIS Pro project.  Browse dialogs, on the other hand, are for specific purposes, each will show only the types of items that are relevant for a specific operation, with the choice of visible types in the filter drop down, as shown in your screen capture.  The purpose of the Output Location browse dialog (for the Feature Class To Feature Class tool as seen in your screen capture), as its name indicates, is only for you to specify an output location for the output feature class, therefore the filter list you saw for the types of containers in which a feature class can reside.  (You would specify the actual output feature class name in the next parameter of the Feature Class To Feature Class tool).  The Output Location browse dialog is thus unlike the Output Data browse dialog (used in some other geoprocessing tools, such as the Buffer tool) – the Output Data browse dialog does show not only containers, but also relevant items inside a container, because its purpose is to let you not only select an output location but also specify the output item name.


Every time you want to replace an older layer, you need to write the name of the layer you want to replace when you export the layer because ESRI decided to make a separate space for the Output Name. This wasn't there in older versions of ArcGIS Pro. When I wanted to replace a layer, there was just the Output Location and through it I could click the layers name I want to replace and that will be my Output Name. This is very useful specially if the layer to replace has a very long name.


I would also love to see picking the output location work the way it did which was much easier. 

When combining data and outputting new files or exporting features it would be so nice to see what file names already exist in the destination folder / gdb.  This is extremely helpful if you want to overwrite one that didn't work as planned or you just need to use a name that isn't in there already or is an increment on an existing naming convention, ie. Junk1, Junk2, Junk3 :-). 

The way this currently functions you have to have a great memory or the catalog pane open with the GDB or folder in question visible to see what is in the destination as you come up with a meaningful file name.  Not ideal.


Status changed to: In Product Plan

The export dialogs that are discussed and pictured are being redesigned in ArcGIS Pro 3.0, and the browse dialogs will show existing contents inside folders and geodatabases.

Status changed to: Implemented

This has been addressed in ArcGIS Pro 3.0. See Ideas in ArcGIS Pro 3.0  to see this and all of the other ideas you can look forward to when you upgrade.

Also be sure to check out the What's New documentation: