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Open dialog on same screen as ArcGIS Pro

03-10-2023 09:36 AM
Status: Open
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Honored Contributor

ArcGIS Pro 3.1

I'm creating a .LYRX layer file by right-clicking the Contents layer >> Sharing >> Save as Layer File:


When using a computer with two screens, the Save Layer File dialog pops up on a different screen than ArcGIS Pro.

When using big screens, I don't always notice that the window has popped up on a different screen. 

Screen1: ArcGIS Pro
Screen2: Save Layer File dialog


Is there anything Esri can do to make dialogs pop up in the same screen as ArcGIS Pro? 


Hi @Bud this is a result of the implementation of (an idea that you voted for 🙂 )

So the window will open up in its last location and at the size it was. If you move the main Pro application to a different monitor and open the dialog again, it will be where it was. You can move it back to the monitor where you moved Pro and it will continue to open up there. 


@KoryKramer Haha. Ok. Never mind then.


Hi @Bud I don't think it is a nevermind. I can see and understand what you're pointing out. We'll just need to look into possibilities to further refine the logic and do more user testing. This can be one of those situations where a user always wants a dialog to open in the same location, except when they don't. We'll continue to listen to feedback about the change that was implemented in Pro 3.1 and further refine it as needed.

Thank you.


@KoryKramer, the Delete (feature) dialog might be an even better example:


That example throws me off. If I'm intensely working on my right-hand screen, I don't always notice that small dialog popping up on my left-hand screen. The main ArcGIS Pro window is essentially locked while the dialog is open. So sometimes I mistakenly think that Pro has frozen -- which comes off as really frustrating, even though in reality I've just misread what's happening.



@KoryKramer There should be a user toggle in settings to either anchor dialog boxes to open within the confines of the ArcGIS Pro window or to open them in the last location they were.

Personally, I find the current setup as of v3.1.3 to be extremely disruptive to my work. I work hybrid, so my kit at home and my kit in my office are not exactly the same. When I work in Pro at one location or the other, Pro tries to open dialog windows off screen half the time, and as @Bud mentions, when dialog windows are open, Pro is basically locked. I can't see or move the dialog window, so half the time I have to kill Pro, undock my machine from my monitors, open Pro, do whatever I need to do with dialog boxes, and then plug my monitors back in. Not a smooth process. 

I get the idea behind making dockable windows like tables, catalog, geoprocessing tools, etc. open in the last configuration/location. Workspace customization is awesome. But properties, settings, add data, etc. should default to opening on top of the main ArcGIS Pro window, since you cannot interact with the project until those dialogs are resolved anyway. This behavior is actually really frustrating if you are using multiple workstations. The other day I was trying to present a tool I'd been working on in Pro, but since I was using the board room monitors, dialogs opened off-screen and locked up Pro. It really wasted a bunch of time getting things to work correctly.

The idea behind windows opening like this isn't a bad one, but it should be optional, and it should only apply to dialog boxes that can be moved and docked without locking up the workspace. 


I agree!! The other day while waiting or Pro to open I checked my email and waited, and waited, and waited for Pro to open. Finally I realized the "Sign In" dialog was on a second screen underneath my Outlook window. I will move the Pro window back and forth between screens depending on what I am working on (I tend to keep my primary task on the right screen...) and the dialogs always popping up on a different screens is annoying. And I agree with @ZachMoore, it isn't a bad idea, but it should be customizable.


As users, we should be able to dictate where pop up screens and dialog boxes open, a toggle in the back end settings would be great. I work on three screens and various dialog boxes open on screen that is different from the main screen that has the Pro project. 

Pop ups and dialog boxes that open away from the main pro screen: Select by location/attributes, save/delete edits dialog box, saving project dialog box, Pro project options, etc.

Sometimes, it feels like everything opens away from the main screen and its a little frustrating to deviate attention from the main Pro project screen. 


FYI @ZeminDhanani Very doable.  We currently do it for all the dialogs I know of; Pro 3.1+.

Can you add some details where you are seeing it not working?  Is it only when you first start Pro?  Maybe an older version of Pro?

The %localappdata%\ESRI\ArcGISSettings.xml file holds modal dialog locations and sizes where it was last used at.  That file is updated when you close Pro.

Thank you in advance.


Hey @JonathanNeal Thanks for responding. I agree that the dialog boxes open where they were last used. One may not always be using the same screen when working with ArcGIS Pro. If we start to use another screen then dragging all the dialog boxes to the main screen isn't fun and it needs to be done every time you switch the main screen.

Rather than manually dragging, a backend option to anchor it to the main screen will be great. This way it will always open all dialog boxes on the main screen of ArcGIS Pro Project.  

The dialog boxes which we dont have control over are Opening Project and Saving Project. I believe those are not draggable between screens. 



Also, I am using the latest version of Pro



@ZeminDhanani Appreciate what you've shared so far. Hate to potentially ask you to repeat yourself but, when it comes to the specific windows you're concerned with, are you referring to only the highlighted red progressor window in your screenshot? Or are we concerned with multiple different types of windows including that one?