Using the batch grid control

For a basic description of using the batch grid, see Quick tour of batch processing.

In the batch grid, each process (a tool plus its data) is represented by a row. Within each row, each cell represents one of the tool's parameters. Since the purpose of the batch grid is to allow you to quickly and easily gather parameter values to batch multiple processes, there are a number of ways the batch grid allows you to enter parameter values:

Entering data parameters

Tool parameters can be divided into two general groups, data and values. Data parameters refer to datasets on disk, such as feature classes, tables, TINs, rasters, networks, and so forth. Values are everything else: numbers and strings.

When you encounter a parameter containing a dataset, you can, in addition to the above methods


If you right-click a cell and click Browse, you can choose multiple datasets by holding the CTRL key when selecting data. A row is created for each dataset you pick. The exception to this is if the parameter expects multiple datasets, such as the Union tool. In this case, the datasets you pick go into the cell as a list of datasets.

Using the shortcut menu commands

If you right-click a cell, the following shortcut menu opens:

Batch grid context menu

OpenOpens the parameter's user interface control.

BrowseAvailable if the parameter is a dataset, and allows you to browse to disk, bypassing the parameter's user interface control.

ClearEmpties the cell.

FillFills cells below with the value of the clicked cell. Cells will be filled regardless of whether they have values or not. The value of the clicked cell will replace the values of all cells below, using the following logic:

Don't use fill on any output dataset cells. This will cause processes to write to the same dataset.

CopyCopy the text in the cell.

PastePaste whatever text has been copied.

DeleteDelete the selected rows.

Operations on selected rows

You can select an entire row by clicking the row header (the column containing the numbers). The entire row is highlighted in blue. The standard selection methods work on the batch grid; you can select multiple rows by holding the CTRL key or select a region of rows by holding the SHIFT key.

When you have one or more rows selected

To unselect a row, hold down the CTRL key and click the row.

You cannot select a column of cells.

Adding, deleting, and removing rows

After clicking OK, the first row in the grid is run first, and the process continues in order down the rows, with the last row being processed last.

Using the check values button

When you enter values in the batch grid, no error checking occurs. That is, you can enter a dataset that doesn't exist or an incorrect string. Additionally, there is no autogeneration of output dataset names. To check for errors, click the Check Values button Check Mark. This will scan all rows for errors and create an output dataset name if one is needed.

If errors are found, the color of the cell will change.

Learn more about parameter status colors and messages

Error checking always occurs when you click the OK button.