In a project file, search paths point to file locations where components associated with a project are stored.
When Autodesk Inventor searches for a file, it looks in the file locations in a project file. To avoid file resolution problems, projects use paths that are relative to the project file location, rather than absolute paths.
- File names are stored in a relative path from the project root (".\"). If the file is in a library, the library name is also stored.
- A file name stored in the same folder or a subfolder of the file that references it is stored as a relative path.
Nested paths in legacy projects
Some legacy projects contain nested paths or multiple workgroups or workspaces. In the Project Editor, the nested paths are shown in red to remind you that they sometimes cause resolution problems.
Avoid nesting search paths, and define only one workgroup or workspace for a project.
Where Used search
In Design Assistant, you can search for all files that reference a specified file. For example, if a part file is used in multiple assemblies, you can view a list of all assemblies.
Where Used search returns only first level references. For example, if you create a drawing of an assembly, the search recognizes the assembly as referenced by the drawing, but does not recognize the components as referenced by the drawing.
Search for specific objects
You can search for specific objects, such as constraints, components, features, sketches, and welds in all Autodesk Inventor file types. You can refine your searches by including additional criteria such as and/or operators, properties, conditions, and values. You can specify the location in which you want to search.
Find is useful when you want to locate sick constraints, suppressed components or features, sketch parameter names or values, or references, as well as any other combination of criteria you select.
You can use an Included file to add a path to a second project, and gain access to its files. An included project is often a master workgroup project located on the network. Any project type can use an Included file.
- You can use only one included file in the project.
- The project type in the included file overrides the type in the recipient project file.
- For a semi-isolated project, a master project can include the needed workgroup and library search paths and settings for the entire project. Each workgroup member can create a semi-isolated workspace project to set a personal workspace and specify only the Included file. Then workgroup members all have the same project settings and search paths from the Included file.
- If you work on a project with files in only a single project, do not use an included file.
You can include the search path to another project file in the selected project. An included project is often a master workgroup project located on the network. Using this method, you can access all file locations from the included file.
A personal workspace created in a project is where you create and edit files, and is accessible only by you. In a shared environment, changes you make to files in the workspace are not visible to other designers until you check them back in to the Vault. Other designers must refresh or reload the files to see the edits.
In most cases, when you create a project, the workspace is already created for you by the Project Wizard. The default location is at the root level (where the project file is located).
- The workspace can contain only one location.
- To maximize portability of your datasets, define only one workspace for the project folder (which contains the .ipj file), in addition to any libraries you use.
- If the project type is shared, a workspace is not required.
- Do not set up library search paths as subfolders of the workspace, and do not create any other subfolders in the workspace folder.
- Maintain the same relative path to a file from the workgroup folder that would first be found when you copy the file to the workspace.
- Workspace is the first location searched for non library references.
- A workspace is not defined for shared mode.
If you use a separate project file for each project, and locate the files specific to that project in the workspace folder, including the project file, copy the entire project folder back and forth between your local disk and the shared server. If you have sufficient space, you can also copy the necessary or frequently used libraries to your computer. Use Pack and Go to create a local copy of the libraries that contain only the library files referenced from your project.
Avoid the use of Workgroups altogether where possible.
The number of Workgroup search paths defined affects the time it takes to search. If your environment necessitates the use of Workgroups, limit the number as much as possible.
A workgroup comprises the shared network locations where Autodesk Inventor searches for nonlibrary files. The workgroup designates the master storage location for data files for both shared and semi-isolated projects, but not single user projects.
Each project has only one workgroup. When you create a shared or semi-isolated master project, a workgroup is automatically designated.
- Set up only one workgroup per project. It is adequate for almost all situations. Do not specify its location as a subfolder of the workspace.
- You can organize your files into subfolders beneath the workgroup folder, and move the folder without breaking links to referenced files, if the path to the new location is specified in the project.
- If you plan to change the existing workgroup path, add the new one first before you delete the old workgroup path.
- Workgroup search paths are searched after the workspace is searched.
A library is a storage location for read-only files that are referenced. You cannot edit the files in a location that you specify as a library, but you can reference them.
You can specify paths to standard and custom libraries of read-only files for a project. Each project can have multiple libraries.
- When you add a library search path, the folder in the path is considered a library.
- Any project type can include one or more libraries.
- A single library can be used in one or multiple projects.
Libraries for iParts require two folders: one for the iPart factory file and one for a corresponding proxy file that contains linking information. The folder names are the same except that the proxy folder has a leading underscore character (such as iParts and _iParts). Do not make iPart proxy libraries read-only, because the factory has to create new files there.
To reference a location on a server or remote workstation, use a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path (such as: \\server_name\our_folders). Ensure that our_folder is shared with everyone who accesses the project location.
Avoid using different drive mappings or different UNC paths to the same file. In the Open and Place Component dialog boxes, you can navigate using arbitrary UNC paths to network locations. Avoid using this general capability, and instead use only the project shortcuts in those dialogs to the folders in your project.
NoteUsing an alternative UNC or mapped drive path to navigate to a project location manually can confuse the Windows Operating system or the network domain mappings, causing it to drop the project based network mappings, resulting in an inability to locate referenced files.
Remove any mapped drives that no longer exist.
Tips for creating search paths
- To increase performance when you work with large assemblies, create libraries for read-only parts such as fasteners or purchased parts.
- Assign a meaningful unique name to each search path and library to avoid confusion when using File Open and Save and to maximize the usability of your datasets.
If using unique file names, set the project option Using Unique File Names to Yes. Autodesk Inventor
automatically searches all locations in the project. If the file cannot be located, the Resolve Link dialog box opens and you locate the file manually.
Set search paths for projects
In the Project Editor, set search paths to file locations where you access and edit files.
Access the Project Editor
- Choose either method:
- In Autodesk Inventor, select Manage Projects.
- Outside Autodesk Inventor, select the Start menu Programs Autodesk Autodesk Inventor [version] Tools Project Editor.
- In the Project Editor, select the project to edit in the upper pane.
- In the lower pane, right-click a path category, and then select an option on the menu.
Set the path for an included file
- Right-click Included File, and then click Edit on the menu.
- Browse to the project file you want to include and select it.
- Click Save.
Set a path for a workspace
- Right-click Workspace, and then click Add Path on the menu.
- Accept the path shown, edit the path, or browse to and select a workspace folder.
- Click Save.
NoteIf you work in a Single User or Semi-isolated Workspace project, you can copy files to your workspace to work on them. You can use Design Assistant to copy the files, or when you check them out of a workgroup location, they are automatically copied to your workspace. In the File Status browser, click a name with an icon to the left indicating it is available for checkout , and then click Check Out.
Set a workgroup search path
- Right-click Workgroup Search Paths, and then click one of the options on the menu:
Enter a library name and location in the fields provided, and then click Save.
Add Paths from File
Browse to and select a project (.ipj) file, and then click Open.
Add Path from Directory
Browse to and select a folder that contains workgroup files. A path for each subfolder of the folder you selected is added to the paths in the selected file location category."
Paste a copied path into the field provided.
Delete Section Path
Deletes all paths in the Workgroup section. If you delete all paths, the project type is automatically reset to Single User.
- Click Save.
Set a library location
- Right-click Libraries and click one of the options on the menu:
Enter a library name and its location in the fields provided, and then click Save.
Add Paths from File
Browse to and select a project (.ipj) file, and then click Open
Paste a copied path into the field provided.
Delete Section Paths
Delete all paths in the Library section.
- Click Save.
NoteWhen you create a project, you can add library search paths from other projects.
Add library search paths from other projects
- Verify that all Autodesk Inventor files are closed.
- Open the Project Editor, and then click New.
- On the first two pages of the Project wizard, specify the project type, the project name, and location of the workspace or workgroup. Click Next.
- On the Select Libraries page, use the Add and Remove arrows to create a list in the New Project pane. Click Finish.
When Autodesk Inventor
is installed, a setting can be selected that allows Content Library files to be edited. You must reinstall Autodesk Inventor
to reset this option.
Find where files are used
- Open Design Assistant, either within Autodesk Inventor or from Microsoft Windows Explorer.
- Select Tools Find Where Used to open the dialog box.
- Specify the file that is the subject of the search.
- Specify the search paths for the files to find. If necessary, you can specify multiple search paths.
- Specify what file types you are searching for by checking the filter options.
- Click Search Now to initiate the search. You can save the search results to a text file and view them using a text editor.
Find specific objects in Autodesk Inventor files
Find in Window
Use the Find in Window shortcut to locate an object in the graphics window quickly.
- In the browser, expand folders to locate the object you want to find.
- Select one or multiple components, constraints, or other objects.
- Right-click and select Find in Window. The found objects are zoomed and centered in the graphics window.
Locate objects in the project
To search using specific criteria, open the Find dialog box to initiate a search in any of the following ways:
Select Tools Find Autodesk Inventor Files from the menu.
Autodesk Inventor Open dialog box
Autodesk Inventor ribbon
When a file is active, select or click the binoculars icon on the browser menu bar.
Windows Start menu
Select Search Autodesk Inventor Files.
- In the Find dialog box, set the search criteria. The criteria may be as simple as files of a given type or may include specific values for one or more file properties.
If desired, click Open Search to search on previously specified criteria.
- Select the object type from the Look For list.
- In the Define more criteria box, you can make your search more specific. If desired, enter one or more:
- Using the And/Or operators, select And to accumulate criteria or select Or to satisfy the search if either criteria is met.
- Specify Property. The Find command recognizes the active environment and offers search criteria based on the environment.
- Select a Condition.
- Specify a Value to complete the Property, Condition, Value statement.
For example, specify a Stock Number (property) that is exactly (condition) A97000_3_8 (value). Or, specify Suppress status (property) equals (conditions) Suppressed (value).
- Click Add to List to add the refined criteria to the search box.
- Specify the current path file.
- Click Find Now to initiate the search. You can save the search results to a text file and view them using a text editor.
Defines searches for constraints, components, features, sketches, and welds. When you search for an object, all the browser nodes that contain searched objects expand to make selections more visible.
NoteIf Assembly view is active in the browser, each constraint half is listed under the feature or component it constrains. Find locates the first occurrence in the browser. If the second half of the constraint is the desired search target, use the context menu option Other Half.
From Design Assistant, select Tools Find Autodesk Inventor Files from the menu.
From the Autodesk Inventor Open dialog box, click Find.
From the Autodesk Inventor ribbon when a file is active, select or click the binoculars icon on the browser menu bar.
From the Windows Start menu, select Search For Files or Folders Autodesk Inventor Files.
Find files that match set criteria
Sets the conditions for the search.
Lists the active search criteria.
Defines the type of object to search for.
Opens a list of previously saved searches so that you can use their criteria for the current search.
Opens the Save Search dialog box so that you can save the current search to use it again. Enter a unique name for the search.
When selected, causes the search to observe the capitalization you use in the search criteria.
Removes the selected search criterion from the list.
Removes all items from the list of search criteria.
Define More Criteria
Sets up search criteria that you can add to the current search.
And/Or sets the relationship of the new criterion to the other criteria in the list. Select And to find only files that contain this criterion in addition to previously defined criteria. Select Or to find files that contain any of the specified criteria.
Property selects a file property as the criterion. The list of properties is adjusted to the selected object type. The Find command recognizes which environment is active and adjusts the listed properties accordingly. For example:
Assembly and Weldment environment
Components, constraints, features, sketches, and welds
Features and sketches
File: Open dialog box, Design Assistant, or Windows Search
File types (.ipt, .iam, .idw, .dwg (Autodesk Inventor Drawing), .ide, .ipn)
Click the arrow and select from the list. To specify a custom property, enter the property name in the box.
Condition sets the condition for the specified property value. Click the arrow and select from the list.
Value specifies the value of the selected property. After setting the property and condition, enter the value in the box.
Add To List adds the defined criterion to the list of search criteria.
Specifies where to search for the files.
Current Path File
Limits the search to the files in the specified folder.
Sets the folder or file to search. Click Browse to find the desired search location.
Searches the target location for files that meet the specified criteria. The list of files is displayed in the Files Found dialog box. To save the list to a text file, click the Save List command in the Files Found dialog box and specify the file name.
Searches for the files in the active project that directly reference the specified file.
Search for references to file
Specifies the file that is the subject of the search. Enter the file name in the box or click Browse to find the file.
If you enter the path to the file, the search returns only references that match the path. To search for a reference to the file name regardless of where it is found, enter only the file name.
Sets the paths to search for the files. To add a path to the list, click the Click to Add prompt and select a folder to include its path in the list. To remove a path from the list, select it and press the Delete key.
Filters the search results to the file types specified. At least one file type must be selected before initiating the search.
Includes the subfolders in the specified search paths when searching for related documents. Select the check box to search the specified search paths and all subfolders. Clear the check box to search only in the specified search paths.
Searches the specified folders for files that reference the selected file, and expands the dialog box to display the list of files found.
Clears the Search for References to File box so that you can set up a new search.
Closes the dialog box.
Displays the list of files in the specified search paths that reference the specified file. If you opened Design Assistant from Microsoft Windows Explorer, you can right-click any file in the list and select Design Assistant to open a Design Assistant session for the selected file.
Interrupts the active search operation.
Opens the Save As dialog box so that you can save the Files Found list as a text file.
Specifies a string (such as a referenced file name) and searches for it in all files listed in the Design Assistant Manager browser.
Use Microsoft Windows Explorer to select an assembly file, right-click, and then select Design Assistant.
Click the Manage icon to activate the Design Assistant Manager.
Select Tools Find String from the menu.
Enter the string, and then click OK. When the search is complete, the file names are highlighted in the Design Assistant Manager browser.
NoteThe search on the string is case sensitive.