Introduction to the guide books

This section of the Desktop Help is intended to assist you in finding the information you need to work with targeted areas of ArcGIS Desktop. Most of the functionality described in this book is available to all ArcGIS Desktop users, regardless of product level or extension licensing. The table below provides links and short descriptions of the functionality that is covered.

Guide book


Defense and intelligence

Visualize information from the defense and intelligence industry.

Finding a route

Discover the best route between stops on a road network.


Identify where a location—such as a coordinate pair, place name, or address—is on the earth's surface.

Linear referencing

Store and find geographic locations by using relative positions along a measured linear feature.

Map projections

Understand coordinate systems so that you can combine datasets effectively and perform integrated analytical operations.

Interoperability and standards support

Incorporate GIS in any application using the open standards, enterprise information technology, and Web computing frameworks that ArcGIS conforms to.

Customizing the ArcGIS Desktop user interface

Facilitate the interaction with ArcGIS Desktop for a given purpose by altering its appearance and exposing functionality that you've developed.


Some other areas of functionality that are similarly focused are explained in different sections of the Help. For instance, you can learn about rasters, topologies, geometric networks, parcel fabrics, and other data types in the Geographic data types book. You can learn about the ArcGIS Desktop extensions and their functional capabilities in the Extensions book.