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Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.

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Model Search

The Model Search facility helps you to quickly navigate to or find modeling elements within your model. It lists each object that meets the search criteria you specify within the search terms and search type. Many different kinds of searches are already built into the system, and it is possible to create detailed and specific searches of your own. It is also possible to export and share your favorite searches. Having obtained the results of a Model Search, you can perform a range of operations on them to either modify their presentation or to extract and/or report on further levels of detail.

You specify, run and manage the Model Searches through the toolbar at the top of the view.



Explore > Search > Model (or select one of the other specialized categories of search)

Start > All Windows > Design > Explore > Search

Design > Element > Manage > Search

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt+1 | Search    or

Ctrl+F    or


Specify a Search



See also

Search Term

Type in the word, phrase or characters to search on.

Search Category

Use the default Common Searches group to filter the types of search you might select from, to the commonest searches used.

If you want to use a search from a different functional set, including searches you have created or imported yourself, click on the drop-down arrow and select the appropriate group.

Individual searches you have created are contained in the My Searches group. Searches imported as part of a Technology are grouped under the Technology name.

Pre-defined Searches


Simple is the first, and most general, of the system-supplied searches in the Common Searches group. If you want to execute a different search in this group, click on the drop-down arrow and select the search from the list.

The drop-down list is populated from the search group selected in the first field in the toolbar. To list and execute different searches, change the group in the first field.

Search in Model

Start test.

Click on this icon to run the selected search using the search term you have provided.

New Search

New search icon.

Click on this icon to display the 'New Search' dialog, through which you can create your own search in the My Searches group.

Create Search Definitions

Copy Search

If you want to copy an existing search to edit into a new search, select the existing search and click on this icon.

The Enter Search Name prompt displays, in which you type a new name for the copied search. The search is automatically copied into the My Searches group.

You can now edit this copy to suit your requirements.

Edit Search

Edit search.

After creating a new or copied search, you can edit the search definition.

Click on this icon to open the Query Editor underneath the toolbar. You can use search filters to modify the searches on a search term in order to locate model elements having specific characteristics.

Define & Modify Searches

Delete Search

Delete search icon

Click on this icon to delete the search definition from the My Search group and its associated Search drop-down list.

The icon is not available for system defined searches or technology-defined searches.

Documentation and QA

Click on this icon to display a submenu of these options for acting on the results of a Model Search:

  • Edit Notes - select this option to open the Notes window to edit the text of any notes a selected element might have
  • Generate Documentation - select this option to display the 'Generate Documentation' dialog, through which you can generate a report on one or more selected items from the search results
  • CSV Import/Export - select this option to specify the CSV export file location into which to export the search results
  • View Notes - select this option to specify whether to:
         -  Hide the text of any Notes each item might have
         -  Display a summary (the first line) of any Notes each item might have
         -  Display the full text of any Notes each item might have
  • Import Search - select this option to display the 'Windows Directory Explorer Open' dialog, to import searches as XML Search files from an external directory; these searches would have been exported from another user's model or project
  • Export Search - select this option to display the 'Export Searches' dialog, on which you select the checkbox against each search in your model that you want to export to an external directory as an XML Search file; other users can then import this file into their models, to make the same searches available to them
  • Dock in Output Bar - select this option to move the 'Find in Project' tab to the System Output window
  • Dock in Main View - select this option to return the 'Find in Project' tab to the main view in the center of the screen
Notes Generate Documentation

Result List

The results of the search display in the view area, under a set of column headings that you can reduce, add to and re-arrange to better display the information you need.

You can also operate on the items in the search results using the Model Search context menu.

Customizing the Search View Model Search Context Menu

Keyboard Options

When the search has produced results, you can perform a number of simple operations on them using the keyboard keys:

  • Display the 'Properties' dialog for the element (double-click or press the Enter key)
  • Drag item(s) onto a diagram (Ctrl+drag selected items) - a prompt displays for you to specify how to render the element on the diagram
  • Open the Linked Document window for the selected element (press Ctrl+Alt+D)


You can access the Model Search facilities and perform specific searches indirectly, from Add-Ins, from MDG Technologies, from a hyperlink and from a shortcut to access your model; this entails setting up a search profile, either in the appropriate tool or as an XML file accessed by the tool.

Searching from

See also

An MDG Technology

Create MDG Technology File Define & Modify Searches

A Login Shortcut

Project Shortcuts

An Add-In

Add-In Search

A Hyperlink