How To: Define a projection for a shapefile to a predefined coordinate system


To reproject a shapefile, the shapefile must have a projection defined. ArcToolbox can be used to define a shapefile's projection.


  1. Start ArcToolBox.
  2. Expand the Data Management Tools tree.
  3. Expand the Projections tree.
  4. Double-click the Define Projection wizard (shapefile, geodatabases).
  5. Click the Browse button and navigate to the shapefile that is going to be defined.
  6. Select the shapefile and click the Add button.
  7. Click Next.
  8. Click Select Coordinate System.
  9. Click Select.
  10. Navigate to the projection definition that describes the coordinate system the shapefile currently uses.
  11. Select the PRJ file and click Add.
  12. Click Apply.
  13. Click OK.
  14. Click Next.
  15. Review the Summary.
  16. Click Finish.
For help in identifying the correct projection to assign to the shapefile, follow the link in the Related Information section below.

Related Information