ArcGIS Pro

Boost your Geoprocessing productivity with these enhancements in ArcGIS Pro 3.1

Approximate reading time: 4 minutes

We introduced several enhancements in ArcGIS Pro 3.1 to make geoprocessing more efficient and customizable to suit your needs. This blog outlines some enhancements we made to help you improve your productivity, including:

Sound interesting? Keep reading to learn more about each topic.

Field list settings menu

Geoprocessing tools include a field list settings menu field list setting menu icon next to all field parameters. The options in this menu change how fields are sorted and displayed, allowing you to select the correct field easily, even if it’s in a long list.

Gone are the days of scrolling endlessly for the correct field. Reorganize the field order as you prefer; you can use the original field order or sort alphabetically from a to z (ascending) or z to a (descending). Also, you’ll never forget the field aliases versus names—the menu allows you to change between displaying field names or aliases. The menu’s sorting and display choices are stored in your user profile and remembered the next time you use a field list.

The Field list settings menu
Field list settings menu in the Summary Statistics tool

Python commands have improved formatting and readability

The syntax for the Copy Python Command, Send to Python Window, and Save As Python Script commands are formatted into multiple lines with named keyword arguments. This new format aligns with modern coding styles and improves the code’s readability. Even when a tool has many parameters, you will always know which value matches which parameter, making the code easy to read and adjust.

copied python code
Old (left) and new (right) copied Python code

This new format is available in all copy, send, and save Python code options, including:

Additionally, ModelBuilder’s export to python option also uses named keyword arguments in its generated Python code.

Note: if you want the script to retain the old format, hold down the Shift key while clicking the command.

Size and position memory for tools opened in a floating window

ArcGIS Pro 3.1 remembers the size and position of geoprocessing tools opened in a floating window per tool. This memory is saved in your user profile, so it applies to all floating tools in any project. ArcGIS Pro will always open a closed floating tool dialogue in its last used position and size. And if you adjust the height and location of multiple tools, ArcGIS Pro will remember that adjustment independently for each tool. This feature helps you personalize your experience in ArcGIS Pro when working with multiple floating tools and reduces the time spent on resizing and repositioning.

Floating tool window size and position memory
Resizing and adjusting a floating tool window

Calculate Fields (multiple) tool supports an optional SQL where clause per calculation

The Calculate Fields (multiple) tool is a great tool to know about and use when performing multiple calculations. It allows multiple calculations in one data update operation, so the performance is much better than running multiple sequential calculations. In ArcGIS Pro 3.1, the tool supports an optional SQL Where Clause to streamline your workflows that involve multiple calculations based on various conditions. In the tool’s Fields parameter, you specify multiple sets of fields and calculation expressions. Now, you can specify an SQL expression in the Where Clause column to apply that calculation only to a subset of records that match the specified criteria.

For example, use the Where Clause to build a simple reclassification calculation to classify counties as urban or rural, depending on the population density. Counties with a population density greater than or equal to 1000 are urban, and less than 1000 are rural.

To perform this calculation, in the Fields parameter:

(1) Choose the field you wish to use; in this example, use “UrbanRuralType”, which is a text field

(2) Set the Expression as ‘urban’

(3) Specify the ere Clause with the SQL expression: popdens>=1000

(4) Repeat the steps above by adding another set in the Fields parameter. But change the Expression to ‘rural’ and the and the Where Clause to popdens<1000

Calculate Fields (multiple) tool
Calculate Fields (multiple) tool with steps


We strive to improve your geoprocessing experience with every software release. We hope you will upgrade to ArcGIS Pro 3.1 and take advantage of these new features to improve your productivity and workflows.

Your feedback and ideas are integral to improving user experiences in ArcGIS Pro. If you are looking for new features or tools not currently available in ArcGIS Pro, drop by our Geoprocessing Ideas page to submit your ideas for future releases.

About the author

Margaret is a Product Engineer on the Geoprocessing team. Her passion for GIS began with her interest in human-environmental relationships, and her graduate studies utilized spatial analysis to study the growing impact of flood-induced cascading disasters caused by sea level rise. Margaret leverages her foundation in research methodologies and spatial analysis techniques in her role at Esri, where she creates written content and demonstrations on technical concepts and functions in ArcGIS Pro. She also contributes to refining and redesigning geoprocessing tools and functions with additional capabilities and improved usability. In her personal life, Margaret is a loving cat parent to three cats, and enjoys swimming and snowboarding.

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