Controlling tool results

There are settings you can make that control how geoprocessing tools behave, such as:

These settings can be accessed and changed in the Geoprocessing tab of the applications options.

Accessing geoprocessing settings

To access the geoprocessing settings, click the Tools menu on the Standard toolbar of the application you are working in and click Options, then click the Geoprocessing tab.

Accessing application options

Overwriting tool output

The first choice you should see is the "Overwrite the outputs of geoprocessing operations" check box. By checking this option, all tools will automatically overwrite any existing output when run (you will receive a warning before tool execution that the output exists). With this option off, existing outputs will not be overwritten, and the tool will display an error, preventing you from executing the tool.

Overwrite outputs option

Results management

Each time you execute a tool, a result is added in the Results tab of the ArcToolbox window.

Learn more about working with Results

You want to manage the number of entries in the Result tab for two reasons:

To help you manage the number of results, you can choose a duration for keeping results, as shown below.

Keep results younger than option

When you close ArcCatalog or a map document, entries older then the duration you choose will be removed from the Results tab.

NOTE: No data will be deleted—just the entries in the Results tab are removed.

Display and temporary data

In the Display / Temporary Data frame, you'll find two check boxes that control the display and permanence of results. The first check box, "Add results of geoprocessing operations to the display", is only available if you are working in an ArcGIS Desktop application with a display, such as ArcMap. It is unavailable in ArcCatalog. By default, this option is checked so that tool results will automatically be added to the display.

Add results of geoprocessing operation to the display

The "Results are temporary by default" check box is only available when the "Add results of geoprocessing operations to the display"check box is checked. By default, this option is unchecked so that all results are permanent. Check this on if you want all tool results to be temporary.

Changing the option to create temporary results by default

When results are temporary, the behavior is as follows:

New Layer Visibility

You can control whether newly added layers are visible or not with the New Layer Visibility option found in Tools > Options > General tab, as illustrated below. (This is not a geoprocessing option, but a general ArcMap option.)

Controlling layer visibility

See Also