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An overview of using the tool dialog

Release 9.2
Last modified November 9, 2006
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Everyone begins their use of geoprocessing by executing a tool using its dialog. The steps for using a tool dialog are


  1. Open the ArcToolbox window.
  2. Learn how to open the ArcToolbox window

  3. Find the tool you want to execute. If you're new to ArcGIS or geoprocessing you may not know what tools are available or what tool to use. In this case, you should review the material found in Geoprocessing tools.
  4. Learn how to find tools using the Index and Search tabs

  5. Open the tool dialog, enter the parameters, and click OK to execute the tool.
  6. Learn more about opening a tool and entering parameters

    You can get help on how to use a tool when entering tool parameters.
    Learn how to get help on using a tool

  7. After clicking OK, the tool begins executing. A progress dialog will appear and the tool will write messages to this progress dialog.
  8. Learn more about tool execution and messages
Most geoprocessing tools take datasets as input and produce new datasets as outputs, so most tool dialogs ask you where you want to write the output dataset. However, some tool dialogs will not ask you where to write output.
Learn more about tools with no outputs

As you become more proficient with using tools, you may find that the Command Line window gives you more options and flexibility.
Learn more about the Command Line window

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