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Direct import of MXD creates APRX File with Issues

02-12-2024 08:16 AM
New Contributor II

Early on in the ArcGIS Pro adoption process, my team noted that directly importing an mxd file into ArcGIS Pro caused the destination APRX file to be significantly bloated, and for it to behave unpredictably (some functions would not work properly or would be unavailable, random crashes, slowness, etc - this effect seemed to be permanent).  The source of these issues seemed to lie within the layout elements rather than the map frames or layers. 

Our current workaround has been to create a "sacrificial" project file for importing mxds, from which we can copy map frames or layers, save and/or export bookmarks, graphics, and symbols, reference element sizes and scales,etc.  We then recreate the layout elements from scratch in the destination project file, and add in the map frames and/or layers, import any bookmarks or graphics, etc. This must be done for every unique layout. This takes an absolute eternity, and becomes problematic when there are many figures with unique layouts, or when a small edit is needed to an old mxd file on a project with very limited budget.

 I would anticipate - and can accept - that importing an mxd file might require some adjustments to the imported layout and map(s) to correct issues such as legend item order, font mismatches, or other minor issues, but the current state of the mxd import function has rendered it unusable for us.  The vast majority of my work and my team's work necessitates converting mxd files to ArcGIS Pro many times per day, so I'm hoping that the mxd import function will be fixed or at least radically improved sooner rather than later.  Is ESRI aware of this issue, and is it something that is being addressed? Has anyone else noted this problem or related problems? If anyone has a less arduous workaround, I'm all ears.

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Esteemed Contributor

Did you try doing a Save Copy As in ArcMap to minimize the ArcMap bloat before importing the mxd into Pro?

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