Spools To Search Sets

Spools To Search Sets

Win64, English

VDC Toolbox
Automatically creates and maintains Search Sets for unique property values. Also provides further organization of sets into Primary and Secondary folders based on a property value delimiter.

General Usage Instructions

To start the "Spool To Search Set" dialog go to the "Tool-Add-ins 1" tab and select the SpoolToSearchSet icon.

Basic usage:

The Spool Search Sets dialog consists of a "Category" field, a "Property" field, a "Folder Name" field, "Use Selection" and "Delete Existing" check boxes, "Primary Folder" with both "Delimiter" and "Index" fields, and "Secondary Folder" with an "Index" field. This works on the same principal as the "Find Items" tool within Autodesk® Navisworks®. The only difference is that it automates the organization and creation of Search Sets from properties with unique values (spool names). The only required pieces of user information are the Category and Property fields. If the "Use Seletion" check box is checked, only the current selection will be used to create the Search Sets. To populate the Category field with all Category names in the model, select the "More…" field from Category dropdown list. If you only want to use get the Category names from the current selection, be sure the "Use Selection" check box is checked before selecting "More...".  After you select the Category, the Property field will populate with all the Properties of that Category in the model. You also have the option to further organize your sets into a unique parent folder with the "Folder Name" field. If no folder name is specified, a parent folder with the name of the Category and Property fields will be created. Lets say for example you leave the "Folder Name" field empty and are going to use the "Notes" property of all of the Fabrication MEP parts (CADmep+) in the Model. If you click on the "OK" button at this point, Search Sets with all of the unique names in the "Notes" field will be created under the folder "CADmep+-Notes" (because the "Folder Name" field was left blank, the Category-Property used will be the name of the parent folder). These settings will also be saved for the next time the tool is used.

Using Primary and Secondary folders:

The way these fields work is dependent on the structure of the spool name text itself. We will use the spool name "4-CPWR-12003-CS-001" as an example. Let's assume that all of the spools that we are going to create Search Sets for follow the same structure: Size-Service-Line Number-Spec-Sheet Number. If we wanted to create Spool Search Sets that are organized into Folders with the different Service names we can use the Primary Folders field. The "Delimiter" field will be the character that separates the different parts of the spool name. In this example the "-" character is used as the delimiter. The "Index" field is how the user specifies what part of the spool name to use for organizing the spools. In this example we want to organize the spools by Service so the Index will be "2". The "Secondary Folder" field works the same way, it just adds one more layer of organization to the Sets. In this example we can further organize the Sets by line number by using the "Secondary Folder" field with an index of "3" (according to the spool name structure in our example, the line number is the third index). If we then click the "OK" button, the spools will be organized by service and by line number.

Maintaining sets:

If the tool is run multiple times with the exact same parameters, it will not create duplicate spool Search Sets, so long as the folder structure stays the same. This makes it easy to maintain Search Sets for the duration of the project because as the project moves forward, and new spools are created, all the user has to do is run the SpoolToSearchSet tool and only the new spool Sets will be created. You also have the option to delete the existing spools by checking the "Delete Existing" checkbox. This is used if you want to make sure any empty or unused search sets are removed from the same parent folder.

Using Multiple Conditions:

With the Multi-Conditions tab you can create and organize sets by selecting two separate Categories and Properties. The first Category and Property in the list will be used to organize the sets into folders. For example if you use a Category/Property of (CADmep+, Service) and a Category/Property of (CADmep+, Status), a folder will be created with each service name in the model/selection. Within those folders, there will be individual sets of each Status found on that Service name.

For more information on how to use this app visit "Creating Navis Spool Search Sets"




The installer that ran when you downloaded this app/plug-in from Autodesk App Store will start installing the app/plug-in. OR, simply double-click the downloaded installer to install the app/plugin. You may need to restart the Autodesk product to activate the app/plug-in. To uninstall this plug-in, exit the Autodesk product if you are currently running it, simply rerun the installer, and select the "Uninstall" button. OR, click Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features (Windows 7/8.1/10/11) and uninstall as you would any other application from your system.

Additional Information

Known Issues

Using Spool to Search Sets with Data Tools turned on can cause Navisworks to become unresponsive


Company Name: VDC Toolbox
Support Contact: sdaniels@vdctoolbox.com

Author/Company Information

VDC Toolbox

Support Information

For support contact sdaniels@vdctoolbox.com

Version History

Version Number Version Description


Updated to 2024


Updated to 2023


Updated to 2022


Updated to 2021


Updated to 2020


Changed Folder Name field to only save value if the user enters it.


Fixed Multi-Conditions to handle multiple value types.


Fixed bug preventing the handling of non string property values


Fixed Navisworks 2016 Compatibility


Fixed property drop down when "Use Selection" check box is checked


Added 2019 version and the ability to use two Category/Property criteria to create unique sets (2019 version)


Added ability to create Selection Sets for 2017 and 2018 versions


Updated for 2018


Initial Release
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