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Free Toolsets for ArcGIS

There’s a bit of cognitive dissonance in posting about free toolsets for a program that costs well over $1000 if you buy it new. Still, I’m guessing that a fair number of visitors to this site use ArcGIS, and may not be familiar with some of these. There are also free tools available from the ESRI support site as well.

The first two are tools with a time-demo for the full set of features, but the listed features remain free and active even after the time demo expires:

XTools Pro

  • Transfer/Convert Features
  • Convert Multipart Shapes to Single Parts
  • Convert Polygons to Polylines
  • Convert Features to Points
  • Make one Polygon from Polyline
  • Make one Polygon from Points
  • Make one Polyline from Points
  • Convert Graphics to Shapes
  • Shapes to Centroids
  • Erase Features
  • Identity
  • Update Polygon Layer
  • Open Attribute Table
  • Show Nodes
  • Show Directions
  • Calculate Area, Perimeter, Length, Acres and Hectares
  • Add XYZ Coordinates
  • Export Data to MS Excel
  • MultiDelete Fields
  • Table Statistics
  • Export Table to Text
  • Create Personal Geodatabase
  • Delete Dataset

ET GeoTools and GeoWizards

ET GeoTools

Polyline Tools

  • Draw Arrows
  • Draw Vertices
  • Extend Polyline – no topology will be enforced
  • Flip
  • Offset Single
  • Split In Point – no attribute update rules will be applied
  • Split In Closest Vertex – no attribute update rules will be applied
  • Split In Middle Point – no attribute update rules will be applied
  • Split In All Vertices – no attribute update rules will be applied
  • Split At Distance – no attribute update rules will be applied
  • Generalize
  • Densify
  • Densify By Angle

Selection Tools

  • Select By Box
  • Select By Polygon
  • Select By Polyline
  • Select By Circle

Sketch Tools

  • Draw Circle

Common Tools

  • Move Shapes
  • Copy Shapes
  • Explode
  • Quick Delete
  • Delete Multiple Vertices

ET GeoWizards

Basic functions

  • Create New Shapefile
  • Delete Multiple Fields
  • Sort Shapes
  • Move Shapes
  • Rotate Shapes
  • Scale shapes
  • Generate
  • Ungenerate
  • Explode multi-part features
  • Vector Grid
  • Closest Feature Distance
  • Order Fields
  • Redefine Fields
  • Copy Fields
  • Export To Shapefile

Conversion functions

  • Polygon To Polyline
  • Polygon To Point
  • Polyline To Point
  • Polyline To Polygon
  • Point To Polyline
  • Polyline To Polygon
  • Multipoint To Point
  • Shape Z (M) To Shape
  • Polygon Z (M) To Point
  • Polyline Z (M) To Point
  • Point Z (M) To Point
  • Point To Polygon Z (M)
  • Point To Polyline Z (M)
  • Point To Point Z (M)

Geoprocessing functions

  • Clip layer
  • Erase layer
  • Merge Layers

Surface functions

  • Convex Hull
  • Calculate True Surface Area

Polyline functions

  • Generalize polyline layer
  • Densify polyline layer
  • Get PolylineZ characteristics
  • Flip Polylines

Point functions

  • Create Point Grid
  • Point Distance
  • Station Points

Available for use in VBA or any COM language

ArcGIS 8.1 and above


  • GeneralizePolylines
  • DensifyPolylines
  • PolygonToPoint
  • PolygonToPolyline
  • PolylineToPoint
  • Spatial_Join
  • Merge
  • Utility Functions
  • Point Grid
  • Select By Attributes and Export
  • Rename field
  • Add Attribute Index Shapefiles
  • Add Spatial Index Shapefiles

ArcGIS 9.0 and above only


  • Calculate
  • Calculate Area
  • Calculate Length
  • Rename Field
  • Add Attribute Index
  • Add Spatial Index
  • Get Point Coordinates
  • Get Polygon Coordinates
  • Get Polyline Coordinates

This final set of tools is completely free; the features listed work only with ArcGIS 9.0 and higher, but there’s an older set compatible with 8.x. Hat tip to Jeff Thurston of Vector One for letting me know about these.

Hawths Analysis Tools For ArcGIS

Analysis Tools

  • Intersect Point Tool
  • Distance Between Points (Within Layer)
  • Distance Between Points (Between Layers)
  • Count Points In Polygons
  • Polygon In Polygon Analysis
  • Sum Line Lengths in Polygons
  • Line Raster Intersection Statistics
  • Enumerate Intersecting Features
  • Line Metrics

Sampling Tools

  • Create Random Selection
  • Random Selection Within Subsets
  • Generate Random Points
  • Generate Regular Points
  • Conditional Point Sampling Tool
  • Create Vector Grid (lines/polygons)
  • Create Sample Shapes (various shapes)
  • Generate Random 3D Points

Animal Movements

  • Create Minimum Convex Polygons
  • Calculate Movement Parameters
  • Convert Locations To Paths
  • Convert Paths to Points
  • CRW Simulation I
  • CRW Simulation II

Kernel Tools

  • Fixed Kernel Density Estimator
  • Batch Fixed Kernel Density Estimator
  • Percent Volume Contour

Other Tools

  • Digitize XY Coordinates
  • Set/Zoom To View Extent Bookmark

Raster Tools

  • Clip Raster
  • Clip Raster By Polygons
  • Landscape Characterization (fast)
  • Extract Raster Edge
  • Thematic Raster Summary (by polygon)
  • Zonal Statistics ++ (by polygon)
  • Spatial Replace Tool
  • Maximum Grid Separation Tool
  • Cellular Automata (1D x Time)
  • Grid Spread (Cellular Automata)
  • Raster Pixel Type Conversion

Table Tools

  • Add Area Field To Table
  • Add Length Field To Table
  • Add XY To Table
  • List Unique Values
  • Sum Values
  • Delete Multiple Fields
  • Add XY Line Data (creates line layer)
  • CSV Management Tool

Vector Editing Tools

  • Create Buffers (Retain Attributes)
  • Vector Rotation and Shifting Tool
  • Snap Points To Lines Tool
  • Intersect Lines (Make Points)
  • Split Vector Layer By Unique Value Field

Specialist Tools

  • River Sample Extraction
  • Point Redistribution Tool
  • PLSS Point Finder
  • Julian Day Lookup

Looking for something else? Enter some keywords below, then click "Search".    

4 Responses to “Free Toolsets for ArcGIS”

  1. 1 jakc

    agreed, i couldnt do a lot of day-to-day tasks without these 3 key extensions. Definite recommend adding these.

  2. 2 Ken Goraya

    These will be quite useful tools for daya to day use to increase productivity

  3. 3 Carl Weathers

    Great Stuff! Thanks – Carl,

  4. 4 farhad


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