Setting symbology with tool layers

In ArcMap, you can add a tool as a layer to the ArcMap table of contents to create a tool layer. You do this by dragging and dropping a tool from the Catalog window on the table of contents.

Most system tools have a single output, but custom model and script tools—tools that you create—can have multiple outputs, and tool layers created from such tools can be quite useful since all the output of the tool is contained in the tool layer, as opposed to individual layers.

Learn more about tool layers

Model output symbology can be defined when the model is used as a tool layers.

  1. Open ArcMap.
  2. Create a tool layer for a model by dragging and dropping the model from the Catalog window or ArcToolbox window onto the ArcMap table of contents.
  3. Right-click the tool layer and click Open.

    This opens the model tool dialog box.

  4. Provide values for the parameters and run the model tool by clicking OK.

    Each model output is added as a sublayer of the tool layer.

  5. In ArcMap, right-click one of the tool layer sublayers, click Properties, then change the symbology properties of the sublayer.
  6. CautionCaution:

    You can set the symbology for an output variable in the model using a layer file or Apply Symbology From Layer tool, or set the symbology for the output in the model tool sublayer properties in ArcMap tabel of contents. It is recommended that you set the symbology either in the model or in the tool sublayer properties, and not at both places.

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