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 included with the SOLIDWORKS software 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, enter 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 Forward and Back 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


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:
  • All Locations. All items below.
  • Local Files. The local computer plus any paths added with Add Location.
  • 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

You can use the shortcut menu with Copy, Cut, and Paste to edit search strings.


The following keywords are available:

filename configuration note
fileext reference table
date feature material

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

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 date format is the format that is specified on the local computer. For example, mm/dd/yyyy or dd/mm/yyyy. You can use the following date text arguments:

"today" "last week" "last month" "last year"
"yesterday" "this week" "this month" "this year"
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 Results
nut 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
*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 Assemblies
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: >02/01/2018 Documents modified after the date, which must be specified (not yesterday)
created: 02/01/2018 File creation date
nut date: "today" Text nut in documents modified today
nut number: 123 Text nut in documents with the custom property number beginning with 123.
Number: ref876hj Customer: SOLIDWORKS Custom property Number with the value ref876hj and custom property Customer with the value SOLIDWORKS
date: "yesterday" fileext: slddrw author: eric Documents modified yesterday with the file extension slddrw and custom property author with the value eric
material:steel fileext:drw Drawings with steel in annotations or title block