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Using geoprocessing tools
Using the tool dialog
Since the majority of geoprocessing tools take datasets as input and produce new datasets as outputs, 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. There are three reasons for this.
- The tool doesn't create output datasets. For example, the Calculate Value tool writes the result of a numeric calculation as a message.
- The tool modifies the input dataset. For example, the Add Field tool adds a new field to the input dataset and doesn't require an output dataset.
- The tool determines where it will write the output data. Such tools are said to have managed outputs.
The first two situations should be self-evident from the operation the tool performs. If in doubt, consult the tool's documentation. The latter situation, managed output, is not self-evident and is the topic of the remainder of this section.
Managed output means the tool will decide where (on disk) to write its output datasets. All ArcGIS Server tools (geoprocessing services) have managed output because the server must determine a suitable location to write tool output when the tool is run.
Learn more about ArcGIS Server tools
If you build a model to run locally (not as a geoprocessing service), you also have the ability to declare your model output parameters to be managed.
Learn more about building models
Managed outputs will be added to the display if you have enabled the add to display option in Tools > Options > Geoprocessing tab.
Learn more about the add to display option
Managed outputs can also be viewed in the result information posted to the Result tab of the ArcToolbox window. The Results tab allows you to copy and paste the tool's results to another location.
Learn more about using results
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