I have a custom script tool in my toolbox in ArcGIS Desktop 10.3. I want to add it as a layer in table of contents so when the map is shared people can have access to it easily. For example, as shown in figure:


When I drag a tool from catalog to contents, it gives error:

Could not add specified data object to the map

Can anyone help?

  • 1
    That's because you can't add script tools to the table of contents. I'd suggest taking a look at Jason's post here, which describes how to use Python Distribution Utilities to get your custom toolbox to show up in the ESRI system toolboxes: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/130772/…
    – ianbroad
    Aug 30, 2015 at 9:38

2 Answers 2


It is not possible to do that; GeoProcessing (GP) tools could only be added to toolbars, menus and sub-menus but not to TOC. Create a python Addin with a button to open the GP tool.

See here:

python addin module


I guess you're talking about Preparing map documents containing tool layers.

Esri has removed this feature since ArcMap 10.1. I was trying to do that and found out that it's not possible anymore: https://geonet.esri.com/thread/87086

  • The GeoNet link appears to be broken.
    – PolyGeo
    Oct 28, 2021 at 3:18

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