Importing ArcMap MXD files into ArcGIS Pro

01-20-2022 10:10 PM
New Contributor

Hi all - I am not a very sophisticated GIS user - started with MapInfo in the 1990s and moved to ESRI in about 2000 and have used ArcGIS Basic for a number of years, being able to make maps and do some basic analysis in water-groundwater - then came ArcGIS Pro - just trying to import MXD files isn't working and the online help is so rudimentary and makes it sounds so easy - but it DOES NOT work - then there are data source issues to locate files - I like to think I am at least average or above average intelligence but this experience  with inadequate online help files is really frustrating -  and searching ESRI Online Help for information on this give Zero Results - only Google can turn up some information - Am I the only one having this issue with transition from ArcGIC to ArcGIS Pro? Is there any REAL help out there ? I've got a bunch of maps I thought I would be able to smoothly import but that isn't work and basically makes the work I have done over the last several years worthless - Any sage advice? Kind Regards.

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4 Replies
MVP Esteemed Contributor

What have you tried so far?

You could check the tutorial Import an ArcMap document—ArcGIS Pro | Documentation.

If you receive any error or get stuck at any particular step, please share relevant error message or screenshot, if possible.

Think Location
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New Contributor III
Hi Timothy,
I have encountered some of the problems that you are having, particularly with broken links to data source. In my case I found it is easier to correct all the source errors in ArcMap prior to importing the ArcMap into ArcPRO. I think I have also had problems with some images and I believe there are some differences in what a gdb contains. I had some ArcMap mxd's with personal gdbs. I converted them to file gdbs prior to importing the mxd into ArcPRO.
Converting from Map to PRO is not as easy as 123. There are problems. Focus on one area at a time.
Wishing you luck.
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by Anonymous User
Not applicable

I've had some issues with this as well, definitely not the straightforward backwards compatibility like you'd expect.

My solution is to convert the .mxd to a Map Package first, and then import the Map Package into ArcGIS Pro. It seems to be more of "It just works" than using the .mxd.

You'll want to make sure all the data is properly linked in your original .mxd before exporting the Map Package.

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New Contributor III

Can you explain the specific issues that you have run into when importing an mxd into Pro?  What version of Pro are you working with?

This process has greatly improved over the years, but as others have already noted make sure your source mxd is in as good of shape as possible.

I would recommend performing a Save As on the mxd before the import into as that removes unused items from the mxd that build up over time and this normally reduces the size of the mxd significantly.

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