In my Table of Contents, I have a layer that is named "symmetrical differences" but I am not certain it was created using that tool.

  • 1
    When was this tool run and the layer created? If the tool was run recently you may be able to find the tool used in the Results window ( Geoprocessing > Results ) and from there you can see what parameters were used and where the output was saved etc...
    – ed.hank
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:36
  • 3
    Did you check the metadata? Geoprocessing history can be stored in the ESRI metadata (i.e. the "Item Description" tab in catalog.
    – Jyler
    Feb 17, 2016 at 20:50

2 Answers 2


The geoprocessing history is often included in the metadata of the item, and it is also logged in the geoprocessing results window. More info from ESRI here


I found this on the ESRI website...

Whenever you execute a tool using its dialog box or in the Python window, information about the execution is written as a result in the Results window. You can learn more about the results window from ESRI's help page

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind as outline by ESRI.

There are a number of useful things you can do with results in the Results window, such as

Open a previous execution of a tool to change a few parameters without having to reenter all parameters, then rerun.
Create a geoprocessing package or geoprocessing service.
View the status and messages of a tool executing in the background

Here is a breakdown of the Results window

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  • If they ran the tool recently then it will definitely be there, for some reason my results will only show results for the past month (so if the tool was run before then it wont be there.) Someone has shown how to keep results for longer I just can not for the life of me remember. Fingers crossed they ran the tool recent enough its still in the results window!
    – ed.hank
    Feb 17, 2016 at 21:26

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