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I want to run basic tools (e.g., Dissolve, Intersect) over a group of feature classes from the content pane.

Is there any way to have a tool run over a set of layers grouped within the contents pane?

I'm currently doing it layer by layer within the tool dialogue box. Even with Python, it seems I need to type out the names of each layer which can take longer than simply clicking from the drop-down menu in the toolbox.

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    Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user please take the tour to learn about our focused Q&A format.
    – Midavalo
    Jul 8 '20 at 16:24
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ArcGIS Pro geoprocessing tools have a Batch option for running a tool multiple times on multiple layers (or with other settings). You can right-click on the tool and you should see the "Batch" option.

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The first screen asks what you want to batch and whether you want to save it for further use or just make it temporary

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After you click next you'll be asked to set the parameters for your tool. Here you should be able to select the down arrow for "Add Many" and then select the layers you want to run the tool on. You can also select the layers you want to feed into the tool from the Contents pane and drag them over (hat-tip to @lambertj)

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You will then see your list of layers ready to run. You can also add/remove layers from the tool here, one at a time.

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Then you just set your other parameters and hit Run.

The "Batch" option is also available in ArcMap 10.x

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You can use Model Builder to create workflows with tools (clip, dissolve, etc) and layers to automate processes. https://pro.arcgis.com/en/pro-app/help/analysis/geoprocessing/modelbuilder/what-is-modelbuilder-.htm

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