Exporting Navisworks Searches

Rather than picking on elements on the screen or using the selection tree, searches in Navisworks are a quick and efficient way of selecting items in your model. Like any search or filter these work best when a consistent naming convention or standard is used in your model.

Projects federated from Revit are a particularly good example as the categories are pre-set for all major items E.g. – Columns, Framing, Ductwork, Pipework and Floors to name a few. If your naming conventions/categories are common from project to project, then these searches can be exported and re-used in other projects, thus saving you time setting up from scratch each time.

In this example we will set up a search in one project based on models federated from Revit, we will then export it and import it into another project.

In you project you will need to navigate on the ‘Home’ tab to the ‘Select & Search’ panel, there you will click on ‘Find Items’.

Exporting Navisworks Searches

On the left side of the ‘Find Items’ dialogue box in blue you can see the models which make up the project. When searching in the current project you can select a particular model or part of a model and the search will only look in there. If you select nothing, then the search will work on the whole project (useful when there are similar elements belonging to different models). On the right side in red is where you set up the search rules.

Exporting Navisworks Searches 2

For the next part you may need to do a bit of checking in the item properties to see what you will need to search for.

In this instance we are searching for ‘Item > Name > Contains > column’ and also ‘Item > Name > Contains > Beam’. Note the second search rule defaults to an ‘And’ statement so you need to right click on the row and choose ‘Or condition’ prior to filling in your criteria.

Exporting Navisworks Searches 3

Notice the tick boxes at the bottom allowing you to turn on and off case sensitivity amongst other things therefore opening the search out a bit.

Exporting Navisworks Searches 4

Next click ‘Find All’ and you should see the elements selected as below in yellow.

Exporting Navisworks Searches 5

If you now wish to use this search in another project, you now can click on ‘Export’ in the bottom right hand corner and choose a name and location to save it in, this will be stored as an XML file.

Exporting Navisworks Searches 6

In another project, open up the ‘Find Items’ dialogue box and click ‘Import’, locate your search and load it in. When you click on ‘Find All’ you will see the element selected as per the other project.

Exporting Navisworks Searches 7

Hopefully this will save you some time selecting items in Navisworks, the searches do however take some initial set up but I’m sure the work at the beginning will pay dividends down the line.

If you are interested in doing an Autodesk Navisworks training course just contact your local Graitec office or request a quote.

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