Windows setup

When working with ArcGIS, it helps to have a few tweaks applied to your Windows environment.

You should only have to do these once.

Create an ArcCatalog shortcut

Add an ArcCatalog shortcut to your Taskbar or Start menu:

  1. Go to the Start→All Programs→ScienceApps→ArcGIS menu.
  2. Right-click ArcCatalog 10.4.1
  3. Click Pin to Taskbar or Pin to Start Menu (whichever you prefer to use to launch your favorite programs.)

You can now click on this shortcut to start ArcCatalog, instead of drilling down into nested menus.

NOTE: We're not going to worry about creating an ArcMap shortcut, since we'll always start ArcMap by opening (double-clicking on) a map document.

Set up Windows Explorer

You should already have a Windows Explorer shortcut on your Taskbar. (If you don't, then using the same procedure you used to create an ArcCatalog shortcut, create a shortcut to Start→All Programs→Accessories→Windows Explorer.)

Configure Windows Explorer so it shows you full filenames (including extensions) and the complete folder hierarchy:

  1. Start Windows Explorer
  2. Browse to your H:\ folder
  3. Select Details in the Change your view pulldown menu 
  4. Go to Organize→Folder and search options
  5. In the General tab:
    1. In the Navigation pane box:
      1. Check Automatically expand to current folder
    2. Click Apply
  6. In the View tab:
    1. In the Advanced settings: box:
      1. Select Show hidden files, folders, or drives
      2. Un-check Hide extensions for known file types
    2. Click Apply
    3. Click Apply to Folders
    4. Click OK

Set up Windows Taskbar

To make sure you'll notice when you have multiple ArcGIS map documents open simultaneously (so you can close all but one of them—having more than one map document open is almost always a bad idea):

  1. Right-click on an unused portion of the Taskbar and select Properties
  2. On the Taskbar tab, select Never Combine in the Taskbar buttons pulldown menu
  3. Click OK

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