You can add tools to a toolbox, or to a toolset within a toolbox, as long as you have write permission to the toolbox. System toolboxes—those provided by Esri—are read-only, so you cannot add tools to system toolboxes.
The way you add tools differs according to the tool type: built-in, model, script, or specialized. For all tools, you right-click the toolbox or toolset, then click either Add or New.
Built-in tool. These tools are built using ArcObjects and a compiled programming language like .NET.
Model tool. These tools are created using ModelBuilder.
Script tool. These tools are created using the Script tool wizard and run a script file on disk, such as a Python file (.py), AML file (.aml), or executable (.exe or .bat).
Specialized tool. These tools are rare—they are built by system developers and have their own unique user interface for using the tool. The ArcGIS Data Interoperability extension contains specialized tools.
Adding built-in tools
- In the Catalog window, ArcToolbox window, or ArcCatalog, right-click either the toolbox or one of its toolsets and click Add > Tool. A dialog box appears listing all built-in tools.
- In the Add Tool dialog box, expand the toolboxes and toolsets, then check the tools you want to add to your toolbox or toolset.
If you check the toolbox, all tools within the toolbox are added. If you check a toolset within a toolbox, all tools within the toolset are added. In either case, the toolsets aren't copied over—just the tools within them are.
- Click OK.
Adding model tools
You can add a model tool by copying and pasting an existing model tool. The procedure below adds a new empty model to your toolbox or toolset.
- In the Catalog window, ArcToolbox window, or ArcCatalog, right-click either the toolbox or one of its toolsets and click New > Model.
A new model is created with the default name, and the ModelBuilder window opens. Create your model by adding elements. When you save the model, it is saved to the model you created.
Adding script tools
- In the Catalog window, ArcToolbox window, or ArcCatalog, right-click either the toolbox or one of its toolsets and click Add > Script. The Add Script dialog box opens.
Adding specialized tools
The way you add specialized tools is determined by the developer of the custom tool. As of this writing, the only specialized tools delivered by ArcGIS are in the Data Interoperability extension. These tools are added by right-clicking the toolbox or toolset and clicking New > Spatial ETL tool.