You can search your project for items stored in the project file, such as maps and layouts, items available through item connections in your project, and items stored in other locations designated for indexing. Items can only appear in search results if they exist in locations that are indexed as specified in your indexing settings.
Searches can be performed in catalog views, the Catalog pane, and browse dialog boxes. In all cases, you type a keyword or keywords in the search box and press Enter to get results.
In the Catalog pane, click the Project tab to search the project. In the Contents pane of a catalog view, or in a browse dialog box, click Project to search the project.
Search for items
When you search your project, search results include items in the following locations by default:
- Items stored in the project file (.aprx), such as maps, map layers, layouts, and reports.
- Items on your computer that are accessible from folder connections and other connections in your project.
Optionally, search results can also include items in the following locations:
- Items on network drives that are accessible from folder connections and other connections in your project.
- Items in enterprise geodatabases (.sde) that are accessible from folder connections and other connections in your project.
- Items in locations that you have designated to be indexed whether or not the location has been added to a project.
- Items in locations that have been indexed for you by an administrator and for which you have been given an index file.
Items are returned in search results when the search keyword is found in the item's file name or item description metadata.
In most cases, searches do not return items that are not used by ArcGIS Pro or that cannot be added to a project. For example, searches do not return Microsoft Word documents or PowerPoint presentations, nor do they return ArcGIS Pro projects. Searches also do not return the contents of style files. To search for style items, such as symbols or color schemes, manage the style in a catalog view.
Search within an item container
In a catalog view or browse dialog box, you can restrict your search to a specific item container by selecting it. For example, if you select the Toolboxes container in the Contents pane of a catalog view and run a search, results are returned only for project toolboxes and their contents.
Search by keyword
To search for items, enter a keyword or keywords in the search box in a catalog view, the Catalog pane, or a browse dialog box. Add more keywords to refine the search. For example, a search for city park returns only items that are indexed on both keywords.
Keyword order does not affect search results. A search for city park returns the same items as a search for park city.
Keywords are not case-sensitive. Underscores and hyphens are treated like spaces. For example, a search for flow finds items named flow-direction and flow_direction.
Keywords searches are stemmed; that is, search results return the root form of inflected words. For example, if you search for zones or zoning, your results will include items that contain the word zone.
It is not necessary to use a wildcard character, such as an asterisk (*), to find unspecified characters at the end of a keyword. This functionality is built in to searches. For example, if you search for wind, your results will include items that contain words such as windmill, windstorm, and so on. Wildcards are not supported at the beginning or in the middle of words.
The default order of search results puts the most relevant results at the top. Relevance is determined by factors such as whether the keyword is part of the item name or title and how often it appears in the item description.
In the Catalog pane, catalog views, and browse dialog boxes, you can click the Sort button to change the sort order. In catalog views and browse dialog boxes, different item properties are available to sort on depending on your location. For example, in a catalog view, a search of the Databases container provides different sort options than a search of the Maps container . In the Catalog pane, sorting is limited to the relevance and name properties. You can always return to the relevance sort order.
You can also sort items in the following ways:
- In a catalog view or browse dialog box, click a column heading in the search results. Click again to reverse the sort order.
- On the ribbon, when a catalog view is active, click the Catalog tab. In the Organize group, click Sort and choose a sort option.
Folders, including subfolders of folder connections, are returned in search results if the search term matches part of the folder name. When a folder appears as a search result, you can browse into its contents in the Catalog pane, catalog views, and browse dialog boxes.
In the Catalog pane or a catalog view, you can filter search results by modification date or item type. Click the Filter button , expand a heading, and click an option.
Items can also be filtered prior to a search. For example, in the Catalog pane, you can filter on the Maps item type to see all the maps in your project.
Some item type filters have additional options. For example, if you expand Data, you can choose to display only feature data, tables, raster data, or other data types. If you expand Analysis, you can choose to display only tools, toolboxes, notebooks, or similar items.
The modification date and item type filters are always present in the Catalog pane. Browse dialog boxes don't have the item type filter because they have a separate item filter drop-down list. In catalog views, which allow you to search within an item container, most containers do not have an item type filter because the container itself acts as a filter. Containers for items stored in the project file (.aprx), such as maps and layouts, do not have any filters. The item type filter is unnecessary because the container is already a filter. The modification date filter is unnecessary because these items don't store modification dates. In this case, the Filter button does not appear.
Items stored inside the project file, such as maps, layouts, reports, and tasks, don't store modification dates. This is also true for items stored in a mobile geodatabase or GeoPackage. Filtering search results by modification date removes these items from the results list.
Use Boolean operators
You can narrow or widen a search using the Boolean operators AND, OR, and NOT. Boolean operators must be entered in capital letters.
This operator is used between keywords. Items are returned if they are indexed on all the keywords connected by AND. This operator is usually unnecessary because typing two keywords without AND has the same effect.
The search parks AND urban returns items indexed both on the word parks and on the word urban. (The search parks urban returns the same results.)
This operator is used between keywords. Items are returned if they are indexed on any of the words connected by OR.
The search parks OR urban returns items indexed on the word parks, items indexed on the word urban, and items indexed on both words.
This operator is used before keywords. Items are not returned if they are indexed on a word that follows NOT.
The search parks NOT urban returns items indexed on the keyword parks that are not indexed on the keyword urban.
You can combine operators to add complexity to a search. Use parentheses or repeat the operator to make the logic clear.
- The search historic AND (buildings OR districts) returns these items:
- Items indexed on the word historic and the word buildings
- Items indexed on the word historic and the word districts
- The search (historic AND buildings) OR districts returns these items:
- Items indexed on the word historic and the word buildings
- Items indexed on the word districts
- The search historic NOT buildings NOT districts returns items indexed on the word historic and not indexed on the word buildings and not indexed on the word districts.
A hyphen (-) has the same effect as the NOT operator.
Use quotation marks
Use quotation marks to find items that contain an exact phrase. For example, a search for “open water” returns items only if these two words are indexed next to each other and in this order.
Use item fields
Indexes are built from item descriptions. You can limit searches to specific elements of the item description with item field names. The syntax for an item field name search is item field name:keyword. The following table lists item field names and usage examples.
Item field names
|Item field name||Description|
The Title field of the item description. By default, the title matches the item's file name, but it can be changed.
The search title:birds returns items with the word birds in the title. (It also returns items with birds in the file name.)
The data type of an item. This property is set by the software.
The search type:"geodatabase feature class" returns geodatabase feature classes. The search type:shapefile returns shapefiles.
To get the best results, use quotation marks around the item type if it contains more than one word.
Items of a specific data type are also returned if the search keyword specifies the data type without an item field name. For example, a search for shapefile returns shapefiles as well as items indexed on the word shapefile.
The Tags field of the item description.
The search tags:agriculture returns items only if the word agriculture is a tag.
The Summary field of the item description.
The search snippet:boundary returns items only if the word boundary appears in the summary.
The Description field of the item description.
The search description:satellite returns items only if the word satellite appears in the description.
The Credits field of the item description.
The search credits:Esri returns items only if the name Esri appears in the credits.
The Use Limitations field of the item description.
The search accessinformation:attribution returns items only if the word attribution appears in the use limitations.
Manage search results
You can manage search results in the search box.
- To clear a search, click the Delete button in the search box.
- To repeat a recent search, click the search box drop-down arrow and click one of the listed searches.
- To clear the search history, click the search box drop-down arrow and click Clear History.
Incomplete search results
When a project is indexed for the first time, or if a scheduled indexing task is in progress, a message appears that indexing is in progress. Your search results may be incomplete until the indexing task finishes.
If a search does not return expected results, possible reasons include the following:
- You may be searching within an item container, such as Toolboxes or Maps , and not the entire project.
- An indexing task may have failed to complete.
- Indexing may be turned off for one or more locations such as local disks, network disks, or enterprise geodatabases.
- Indexing may be turned off for the entire ArcGIS Pro application.
Differences in search experiences
The Catalog pane, catalog views, and browse dialog boxes provide similar, but not identical, search experiences.
- Search results can be sorted on more properties in a catalog view or browse dialog box than in the Catalog pane.
- A search performed in the Catalog pane searches all project items. In a catalog view or browse dialog box, you can restrict a search to an item container, such as Databases or Toolboxes .
- In a catalog view, if a map is returned as a search result, you can double-click it to see its layers. In the Catalog pane, double-clicking a map that is a search result opens the map.
- In the Catalog pane, you can hover over search results to see their item pop-ups. Item pop-ups aren't available in catalog views or browse dialog boxes.
- In a catalog view, the number of search results is returned at the bottom of the view. In the Catalog pane and browse dialog boxes, the number of search results is not returned.