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Example of using batch processing

Release 9.2
Last modified November 9, 2006
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This section gives an example of using the batch window and grid. More details can be found in Using the batch grid control.

In ArcCatalog or ArcToolbox, right-click a tool and click Batch. This will open the batch window, where you can set up multiple runs for the tool. When you open the batch window for a tool, one row is automatically added, ready to accept input. The following example uses the Clip tool.

Batch window and batch grid

Resizing the batch window and grid

The first thing you'll want to do is to resize the window in order to show as many columns as possible in the batch grid, because most tools have more parameters than the number of columns visible in the window. To resize the window, click the outside edge of the window and drag to resize, or maximize the window using the controls in the upper right of the window. You can also change the width of individual columns by clicking and dragging the column separators.

Entering parameters

To enter the parameters for an entire row, double-click the row header to open the tool's dialog, as shown below. Alternatively, you can right-click the row header and click Open. Use the dialog to enter one or more of the parameter values.

Filling in a row

After clicking the OK button on the tool dialog, the row in the batch grid contains the parameters you entered.

Entering parameters using the tool's dialog

Adding more processes

Each row in the batch grid represents a process. A process is simply a tool plus the data needed to execute the tool. To add another process, click the Add button Add data button. A new row (process) will appear.

Adding a new row

You could double-click on the row header as before to open the tool dialog, but you can also right-click any cell and click Open. The parameter control will open allowing you to enter the value for the cell. In the following example, the Input Features control is opened.

Opening a parameter control for a cell

Easier yet, since the parameter is for a dataset, you can right-click the cell and click Browse to browse directly to the dataset. You can also drag and drop data into the cell.
After clicking OK and returning to the batch grid, it appears as follows (the Output Feature Class path name was automatically generated when the Input Features parameter was entered):

Second process added

Note that the Clip Features cell is green, meaning that input is required. In this example, all data is to be clipped to the same Clip Features— E:\Batch\StudyArea.gdb\StudyArea. There are a number of ways you could enter a value for the Clip Features parameter in the second row. You could:

  1. Right-click in the cell and click Browse.
  2. Right-click in the cell and click Open to open the parameter control.
  3. Drag and drop a dataset from ArcCatalog or a layer from ArcMap.
  4. Select and copy the text from the cell above.
  5. Type in the value.
  6. Double-click the row header to open the tool dialog and enter the Clip Features parameter.
  7. Select the row by clicking the row header, then right-click on the Clip Features cell in the first row and click Fill. This will use the value of the cell to fill in the parameter value.
The last method, using Fill, fills every selected cell. In the illustration below, where there are many rows, Fill would be the preferred method. First, select the rows to be filled. You can select rows in a variety of ways, such as holding the Shift or Ctrl key when clicking row headers (see Using the batch grid control for more details on selecting rows). Next, right-click in cell containing the fill value and click Fill.

Filling multiple rows in the batch grid

Illustration after using Fill:

After using fill


After filling the batch grid, execute by clicking OK. The tool will execute once for each row, starting with the first row. The progress dialog will show the messages for each execution.

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