Easy search tips in SOLIDWORKS EPDM - Don’t be a Joker and use the right wildcards in your searches

Easy search tips in SOLIDWORKS EPDM - Don’t be a Joker and use the right wildcards in your searches
Posted in: Data Management

Learn search tips for  SOLIDWORKS EPDM. Read this tips and tricks blog by Hawk Ridge Systems' David Lefebvre and learn how to use wildcards in your search. This will save you countless hours. Did you know that EPDM searches can be narrowed down with the help of wildcards? Take advantage of wildcards and increase your productivity with more efficient searches in EPDM.

Here is a list of those special characters that are going to help you:

Wildcard Description
* Any number of characters of any kind can be filled in
? One character of any kind can be filled in
= Exact entry
!= Exclude entry
SPACE Act as a OR
“” Exact string of characters

Here are some of the basic EPDM search rules:

  1. Enterprise PDM search will by default always search with the * wildcard
  2. The search tool is not case sensitive.
  3. Leaving the fields blank will search for everything in the selected part of the vault.


The ‘Name’ search field and the dataset below will be used to illustrate the use of each of these wildcard commands.

The Default Search in SOLIDWORKS EPDM

When entering a word in the name field such as rod, you are in fact searching for *rod* and the result will include anything that contains rod in the name with any number of characters before and after.

The Wildcard Command {*} SOLIDWORKS EPDM Searches

Using the * wildcard can significantly speed up a search in large vaults. The reason for using the wildcard is that the search will actually become more exact. From the moment you start using wildcards in your searches, the default wildcard searches no longer apply.

In this example, using the search command rod* will result in a search for a name that starts with rod.

You can also use the * to search for multiple words in a name. In the example below, the search for *rod*sld* will look for the word rod and sld anywhere in the name as long as the words appear in that order. The search for *sld*rod* will not return any result.

The Wildcard Command {?}  in SOLIDWORKS EPDM Searches

The ? wildcard can take the place of any single character and will allow you to be very specific with your search. You can put as many ? as necessary in the search field and they can be placed before, in the middle or after a string. For example, looking for 3 characters in a Word documents as shown below.

Another good use for this wildcard is when searching for files that are using intelligent part numbering. When some characters inside the naming scheme refer to something specific (i.e. assemblies have the third letter being a 1 and parts are a 5 as shown below) the use of the ? gives the flexibility to search that section of your intelligent part number.

Keep in mind that you can use more that one wildcard at a time.

The Wildcard Command {=} and {!=} in SOLIDWORKS EPDM Searches

Using the = as wildcard may also help speed up searching for exact filename, =rod.sldasm is sometimes faster than rod.sldasm because it searches for the exact filename. Note that the filename includes the extension. Without the default * you need to include the extension in the search. Searching for =rod would not return any result in this case.

In the same way, you can use the wildcard != to exclude files from the search.

The Wildcard Command Space { }  in SOLIDWORKS EPDM Searches

A space is considered as an ‘OR’ function in EPDM searches. With a space, the default wildcards are going to be applied so if you enter rod end, it will look for *rod* or *end*. In this case, end rod will return the same result.


The Wildcard Command {“”}  in SOLIDWORKS EPDM Searches

If you are looking for a specific name containing a space, the last wildcard “” can be useful, allowing you to search the exact string without getting all results containing one of the 2 words and still having the default wildcards apply.

June 15, 2015
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July 16, 2015
Is there any way to do a nested search? For example, If I want files with "apple" in the file name but not "juice". "*apple*" & != "*juice*" does not work "*apple*" AND != "*juice*" does not work There must be some way right? Every search engine i have every used has SOME sort of AND operator.
January 16, 2017
Is there a way to point the operator enabled search to a variable instead of the system filename? I have a variable "string" on my card generated with input formulas called "Keywords". The string would be far more useful if the search control for "Keywords" used the operators.
Nils Gerber
March 27, 2019
I am not sure, but i think the AND Operator is a + try this
Luiz Demenicis
May 4, 2020
Wildcards only work in the with the file "name" in EPDM search, we are in 2020. It doesn't work for other variables and becomes useless if you use unique numbers for the files names like any decent/professional setup requires. Please do more tests before posting a conclusive result. Thanks
David Lefebvre
July 9, 2020
Hi Luiz, new 2020 search allows you to add up to 5 variables to search globally with wildcard. Please take a look at this Vlog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sijGTY4yz8 Thanks,
Ben Kasper
June 24, 2020
Is there any way to turn on automatic wildcard search. In out EPDM a search for 6 parts takes on average 84 seconds but after putting the asterisks behind each part number the search speeds up by a few order of magnitudes and takes only like 1.4 seconds. Can I configure my settings in such a way that it always searches with the asterisks wildcard? Thanks!
David Lefebvre
July 9, 2020
Hi Ben, the only wildcard that are automatic is on the filename. Check the new 2020 search functionality, wildcards works for up to 5 variables outside of filenames. Thanks,

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