Search and filter elements in a model

Depending on the size of your model, it may be difficult to find an element with a specific name or type. You can search and filter to find a specific element in ModelBuilder.

Search for elements

To search for a model element, type the name of the element in the Search text box in the upper right of the model view. As you type, you will see a list of suggested model elements that match the characters you typed. Choose an element name from the suggestions list to select the element in the model.

Search to find an element in the model.

Regular expressions can be used to search for model elements. The table below contains examples using regular expressions.



Select elements that match the exact keyword.

Searching for Polygon


Find elements that start with the characters before *.

Searching for Polygon*


Find elements that end with the characters after *.

Searching for *Polygon


Find elements that contain multiple keywords.

Searching for Polygon&Raster*


Find elements that contain characters between two *.

Searching for *Polygon*


Find elements with any character in a list [ ].

Searching for *[()]*


Find elements that match keywords on either side of |.

Searching for Buffer|Near


Find elements that match one keyword and contain another keyword.

Searching for Buffer|(*Near*)


Find elements that either contain a keyword or begin with a specific keyword.

Searching for Buffer|Near*

Search results

If the search returns multiple selected elements, use the Next and Previous arrows to browse the selected elements. Previous search history can be accessed from the Recent Searches drop-down menu.

Recent Searches menu


Filters in a model help refine the search results. Checking multiple filters Filter returns elements matching any of the selected filters. When you apply filters, the model zooms to selected elements that match the filter. When the filter is unchecked, the model zooms back to the original level.



Selects all model elements


Selects input variables (blue ovals)


Selects tool outputs (green ovals)


Selects variables that are model parameters

Parameters with filters

Selects model parameters with filters

Add to display

Selects variables with Add To Display checked

Intermediate data

Selects variables with Intermediate Data checked


Selects variables with defined symbology

Model tools

Selects model tools, nested models, or submodels


Selects built-in-tools in the model

Script tools

Selects script tools in the model

Elements with precondition

Selects elements with preconditions

Inline variable substitution

Selects elements that use inline variable substitution

When all filters are unchecked, no model elements are selected.

You can combine filters and search to find elements that meet both the filter and the search criteria. For example, searching for an element with the keyword *Polygon* and the Parameter, Add To Display and Model Tools filters checked will select elements with the word Polygon in the name that are a model parameter, have Add To Display checked, or are a model tool.

ModelBuilder filtered search