Output Extent (Environment setting)

Tools that honor the Output Extent environment will only process features or rasters that fall within the extent specified in this setting.

The Output Extent environment setting defines what features or rasters will be processed by a tool. This setting is useful when you need to process only a portion of a larger dataset. You can think of this setting as a rectangle used to select input features and rasters for processing. Any feature or raster that passes through the rectangle will be processed and written to output. Note that the rectangle is used only to select features, not clip them. The extent of the output dataset will typically be larger than the Output Extent setting to account for features that pass through the extent rectangle.

Features that pass through the Output Extent will be processed

Usage notes

Dialog syntax

Scripting syntax

arcpy.env.extent = extent


When set, the extent environment property returns an Extent object in Python.



Extent object

An Extent class can be used to define the extent.


The extent where all input features or rasters overlap (intersect one another). Note that it is possible that none of the features overlap and that a null extent (zero width and height) may result. In such cases, no features will be processed.


The combined extent of all input data. All features or rasters will be processed.

XMin, YMin, XMax, YMax

Space-delimited coordinates that define the extent in the coordinate system in which the input data is stored.


Path to a dataset. The extent of the dataset will be used.

extent syntax

Script example

import arcpy

# Set the extent environment using a keyword.
arcpy.env.extent = "MAXOF"

# Set the extent environment using the Extent class.
arcpy.env.extent = arcpy.Extent(-107.0, 38.0, -104.0, 40.0)

# Set the extent environment using a space-delimited string.
arcpy.env.extent = "-107.0 38.0 -104.0 40.0"

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