In ArcGIS 9.3, it was easy to export metadata into an HTML format. In ArcGIS 10, it looks like everything is in XML format and that there's no easy way to convert the XML to HTML.

Has anyone successfully exported layer metadata into an HTML format using ArcGIS 10?

5 Answers 5


ArcCatalog in ArcGIS 10 automatically generates an HTML file from metadata when you click on the "Description" tab. Right click the document and go to properties, the URL given is an HTML file. If you don't need to do any additional XSL transformations this may meet your needs.

  • Sadly, none of the ESRI metadata tools work for me anymore. There is always some issue with the export. This work-around is the only way I can get HTML metadata with Arc 10.4
    – Tom
    Commented Dec 15, 2016 at 20:41

Take a look at the XSLT Transformation GP tool to see if it will meet your needs. I have not used this tool myself and am not familiar with the stylesheets that are provided out-of-the-box.


Try the USGS MP Metadata Translator. I somehow missed it earlier, but it's producing all of the various HTML I'm familiar with.

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Part 2:
I haven't had much luck with the XSLT Transformation Tool. In fact, no luck. But I'm an ArcGIS 10 client w/ ArcGIS Server 9.3.1.

I had filed an ESRI incident for a problem with the arcpy.ExportMetadata_conversion, so maybe they are all related. It sounds like there's a lot of metadata issues @ ArcGIS 10, so I haven't and won't spend a lot of time with ArcGIS 10 metadata until SP1 (or maybe SP2).

So far, I've been exporting to XML and then using msxsl.exe to process the XML with an XSL file from 9.3.

Here's an example of processing XML to HTML w/ a 9.3 FGDC FAQ XSL (that I copied from an existing 9.3 install--might be good to keep a copy of those handy on a usb drive):

msxsl wp_meta.xml "c:\temp\FGDC FAQ.xsl" -o wp_meta.html -u 3.0

It's not perfect but the xsl can always be tweaked to produce the HTML that you are after.

  • I'm in the same boat as you, AG10 against SDE 9.3. Thanks for the info. Commented Oct 8, 2010 at 14:21

Use the XSLT Transformation GP tool with the ArcGIS.xsl stylesheet. See the help on XSLT Transformation which has a section on "Export metadata to an HTML file" using a short python script. It looks like you can do the same with toolbox command, but I have not tested it.


just do an esri.request using the MapServer url with ?f=html appended... like:


  • 2
    While a service description like this contains metadata, they are referring to standard metadata formats associated with data.
    – awesomo
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 19:44

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