User interface configuration

The ArcGIS Desktop application graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are composed of menus, toolbars, and dockable windows, which you can configure to meet your daily tasks and requirements without writing a single line of code. These tasks are accomplished by dragging and dropping within the application, and do not require administrative privileges. The configuration changes are saved with your document, so that when your document is opened, the layout of the GUI remains the way you last configured it.

The following are examples of UI configurations:

  • You can add or remove new commands and tools on to the application’s toolbar from the Customize dialog box.
  • You can create new toolbars and menus, or rearrange existing toolbars and menus to group the commands and tools that are frequently used. 
  • You can drag and drop geoprocessing tools and models on to the application’s toolbar from the Customize dialog box.
  • You can hide and show, or close dockable windows, such as the Search window, table of contents (TOC), and so on. Dockable windows can also be positioned to float or remain docked in a specified area in the application.
  • You can assign and work with default geographic data (via templates).

Here is a screen shot that shows the Customize dialog box in the ArcMap UI:


For more information, see About configuring the user interface in the ArcGIS Desktop User help system.


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