Introduction: MicroStation V8i (SELECTseries 2) installs Bentley DGN IFilter is a tool that enables searching text content in DGN files using Windows Search or Google Desktop. It supports all the text-based elements such as text, text nodes, fields, tags, XYZ text, cells, digital signatures and overridden dimensions.
In addition to .dgn files, Bentley DGN IFilter also supports the following file formats: .cel, .rdl, .sht and the following published files: i.dgn, dgn.i.dgn, and dwg.i.dgn.
How to use Windows Search: To use Windows Search on Windows 7, simply go to Start button and key in the text string in field provided. Windows will search the contents of popular file formats, including those mentioned above, and display the results in the same dialog. In the graphic below, I'm searching for the text string Rutherford and it was found in the 11 files listed.
And by using MicroStation's Find/Replace Text tool, we can easily locate the same text in the open design file:
Note, You can narrow your search by using a variety of keywords. For example, to search only those files that have an extension of dgn, add this filter in the search field: ext:.dgn. You can find additional keywords in this handy-dandy document:
How it works: Windows Search Service on a Windows 7 operating system, creates and maintains catalog of standard Microsoft files on your computer to facilitate searching. This includes text files, Word documents, email messages, PowerPoint presentations and so forth. What it doesn't include is the ability to search for text inside of proprietary file formats such as design files and cell libraries. Note: In Windows 7, Windows Search Service replaces Windows Indexing Service.
Microsoft provides an API which allows developers to create plug-ins, called iFilters, to extend what the search service can do. When the search serivice encounters a DGN file, it hands it off to the Bentley DGN iFilter "sub-routine". The iFilter analyzes the contents of the file and pass back a list of words that were found in the given design file. Without the DGN iFilter installed, it would simply skip the design file and move on to the next file.
How to eliminate specific words from a search: The search service uses a list of noise words to prevent the indexing, and storing of, useless words such as the, and, how, a, b c, at, an and so forth. The list of words can be found in the following text file: .../windows/system32/noise.dat To exclude words from being indexed in your design files, simple open and edit this file with any text editor. For example, to exclude the word legend from being indexed, it's been added as shown below.
Note, the search service must be restarted for the changes to take effect. To stop and start the service on a Windows 7 machine, use the Services dialog, or the following command lines: net stop wsearch and net start wsearch
For documents to be indexed by the edited noise-word file, they'll have to be reprocessed. Until then your searches will return the results using the old noise-word file. To re-index the catalog, select the following on Windows 7: Control Panel > Indexing Options > Advanced > Rebuild.
This can be a time consuming process, so it may be an idea to kick this off during non-working hours.
For information pertaining to ProjectWise, please refer to the following link:
ProjectWise Full Text Search - Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
With thanks to Jo West for assistance for this article.