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SolidWorks Search

SolidWorks Search searches for file names and for text strings in all indexed documents.

Searching Adobe Acrobat documents requires add-ins from Microsoft.

SolidWorks Search provides:

  • Full text search (searching text inside documents)

  • Advanced search (searches for multiple criteria)

  • Keywords (for precise searches)

  • Retrieval of all types of documents

Windows Desktop Search is installed with SolidWorks and indexes the resources once before searching begins, either after installation or when you initiate the first search. Subsequent indexing of added files is fast and transparent.

To search:

In the SolidWorks Search box, type the text or keywords to search for, then press Enter.

Click to choose a recent search. The last 10 unique searches are listed.


The search results appear on the Results tab in the left pane.

If the results require more than one pane, navigate with the Forward and Back buttons or specify a page for Next at the bottom of the tab.

The search results include:

  • Preview

  • File name

  • Search keywords and their contexts

  • Location

  • Where used, if Workgroup PDM is added in


In options, you can specify:

  • Search paths

  • Search while typing

  • Number of results per page

  • Maximum number of results per search

  • Index Now

To access options in SolidWorks Explorer:

Click Options and select the Search tab.

Search Locations

Under the Search box, you can select from:

  • All Locations. All items below.

  • Local Files. The local computer plus any paths added with Add Location.

  • Workgroup PDM. Available when SolidWorks Workgroup PDM is added in. The vault is searched.

  • 3D ContentCentral

  • Add Location. Opens the SolidWorks Explorer Options dialog box to the Search tab, where you can specify other locations to search. Selections, including locations on networks, are added to the local search.

SolidWorks Search does not search folder names.

Search Command Syntax

A colon and space separate keywords from the values to be searched for. The syntax is:

  • <string>

  • <keyword or custom property>: <value>


The following keywords are available:













The format for date is that specified on the local computer (mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy, for example).

Any custom property can be a keyword. For example, if a SolidWorks document contains custom property Customer, a search can be Customer: ACME.

Date text arguments:


"last week"

"last month"

"last year"


"this week"

"this month"

"this year"

Some properties such as Material are mapped to internal SolidWorks values. To bypass the SolidWorks internal search to find specific file custom properties, you can specify FileProperty<property>:<property_name> in the search string. For example, FilePropertyMaterial:steel will search only the custom property material for steel and not the SolidWorks internal property.

The following operators are supported:

  • Wildcard. * (asterisk)

  • Quotation Marks. " " (for exact term, including spaces)

  • Spaces for compound strings. (implicit AND)

  • Comparison. > and < with date.


Search String



Text beginning with nut, same as nut*

screw nut

Text with screw and nut, also text with only screw and only nut

"screw nut"

Exact term screw nut


Text with nut in the string, equivalent to *nut* (slow)

description: nut

Custom property description containing nut

material: steel

Custom property material containing steel

fileext: sldasm


filename: 234

File name in document starting with 234

date: yesterday

Documents modified yesterday

date: "last year"

Documents modified last year (quotation marks required)

date: >02/01/2006

Documents modified after the date, which must be specified (not yesterday)

created: 02/01/2006

File creation date

nut date: "today"

Text nut in documents modified today

nut number: 123

Text nut in documents with custom property number beginning with 123.

Number: ref876hj Customer: SolidWorks

Custom property Number with value ref876hj and custom property Customer with value SolidWorks

date: "yesterday" fileext: slddrw author: eric

Documents modified yesterday with file extension slddrw and custom property author with value eric

material:steel fileext:drw

Drawings with steel in annotations or title block

A shortcut menu with Copy, Cut, Paste, etc. facilitates editing of search strings.


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Web Help Content Version: SOLIDWORKS 2011 SP05

To disable Web help from within SOLIDWORKS and use local help instead, click Help > Use SOLIDWORKS Web Help.

To report problems encountered with the Web help interface and search, contact your local support representative. To provide feedback on individual help topics, use the “Feedback on this topic” link on the individual topic page.