Navisworks: To search or not to search, that is the question

The main benefit of using search sets is the reduction in time to find particular items based on different criteria.  Navisworks enables you to create an intelligent group of objects based on criteria that can be defined by the user in a variety of ways.

If selection sets are created, they are a static group of items, and are useful for saving a group of objects that could be repeatedly selected that you may want to regularly perform some action on, such as hiding them, changing transparency and so on. They simply store a group of items for later retrieval. There is no intelligence behind this set – if the model changes at all, the same items are selected (assuming they are still available in the model) when recalling the selection set.

Search sets however are dynamic groups of items, similar to selection sets, but that they save search criteria instead of the results of a selection. The search can be re-run at a later date as and when the model changes. Search sets are much more powerful and can save you time, especially if your CAD files are continuing to be updated and revised. It is also possible to export search sets, and share them with other users.


You can select objects using the Select Tool, the Find Items tool or by highlighting  objects from the Selection Tree and dragging and dropping them into the selection sets dialog box.

Rather than re-create Selection Sets repeatedly, standard sets can be created by exporting the sets to a .XML file, which in turn could then be imported into any appended Navisworks file sets.


Cadassist offer a range of Autodesk software, as well as training courses including Navisworks Essentials.  Visit our website for more information, contact our team on or call on 0845 872 5555 for information and for a competitive quote.

For more news, updates, hints and tips you can follow Cadassist on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s