6.2.4. General reminders, shortcuts, timesavers

Here is a list of items that will save time when using ArcGIS:

  • Naming schemes for files, folders, and anything else associated with ArcGIS should not have spaces. Instead, underscores (“_”) should be used when a space is needed.
  • In case data or project files (*.mxd) are moved to a different location, it is useful to save the relative paths of the data so that ArcMap is able to automatically locate the data without having to manually point to the data every time in ArcMap (when ArcMap cannot find the data, a small red exclamation (!) point appears beside the layer in the table of contents (TOC)). To do this:
    - File > Map Document Properties > Pathnames: check the “Store relative pathnames…” option.
    To make this feature permanent, go into the ArcMap options Customize > ArcMap Options > General tab > and check the “Make relative paths the default for new map documents”.
  • Also while in the ArcMap options, have a look at the other options and customize your ArcMap interface to fit your needs.
  • When both ArcCatalog and ArcMap are open on the desktop, files from ArcCatalog can be directly dragged and dropped into ArcMap without having to use the Add Data button.
  • After performing geoprocessing or spatial analyses, the results for all tasks are stored in the results window which can be opened by selecting Geoprocessing > Results from the main menu in ArcMap. The Results window is useful for keeping track of the tools you already used and easily allows you to reuse them again with alterations to the inputs.
  • The naming of raster layers in grid format (ArcGIS native format) cannot be more than 13 characters long.
  • Save frequently to avoid losing work!