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An .mxd file specifies one particular way of rendering some data. The .mxd file references your data (by file name, by IP address, by URL, etc, depending on the data). But it does not contain the data. In the ArcGIS world, an .mxd file is often simply called "a map". (The acronym "MXD" stands for "map document".) And yes, you can create as many ...


An mxd file is simply your map. It contains the links to your geodatabases that the current mxd is using, plus any settings that you configured in the mxd (such as symbology, extent, etc). Multiple mxds can all access the same geodatabase without problems. Here is a quick reference - http://wiki.gis.com/wiki/index.php/File_Format_MXD


It sounds like your talking about using relative paths. You can set the MXD to use relative paths by going to File ---> Map Document Properties and checking the Store relative pathnames to data sources: If you want this to be the default setting for all new MXDs, you can go into the Customize menu ---> ArcMap Options and on the General tab check the Make ...

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