Command Line Search in EPDM

One of the powerful parts of any PDM system is Search but it tends to not get as much limelight as other aspects of PDM like workflow or bills of materials. Search in SolidWorks Enterprise PDM brings a long list of powerful features from its Windows Explorer integration to the ability to build any search card to customize the experience of finding data.

EPDM's Search exe is located in the install directory (C:\Program Files\SolidWorks Enterprise PDM\Search.exe) which is the application behind the search buttons throughout the EPDM and Windows Explorer interface. This application can be further customized with a few switches for those that like the black screen (Command Prompt) or for those that just want a simple shortcut on the desktop to launch their favorite searches.

By launching the Search application as a shortcut, we can append switches to the run command to customize the application's default mode.  Here is a list of switches that can be added:
  • /V:<vault name> - Checks this vault for the search
  • /S:<search form> - Selects this search form to be selected
  • /F:<favoirte> - Selects this favoirte search to be selected
  • /HT - hides the tree on the left of the search screen (list of vaults and search cards)
  • /HP - hides the preview and other tabs from the screen (Preview, Version, BOM...)
  • /HF - hides the search form surrounding (looks like a unified window)
  • /P:<path> - search starting path starting point

Here is how you set it up:

  1. Create a shortcut on the the Desktop by a right-click drop/drop from the above install directory where the Search.exe is located. 
  2. Go into the newly created shortcut's properties (Right-click, Properties)
  3. In the Target you add the switches on the end of the path and outside of the "".  If you do something wrong, the message (shown on the right) will prompt you.
  4. Hit "Apply" and run the new shortcut.


  • You can use all the switches or any combination of them following your target path.
  • If any of the custom switches (/V: /S: /F: /P:) contain spaces, enclose those switches in "". (i.e. for a vault called "EPDM Vault" the switch would be "....Search.exe" "/V:EPDM Vault").

The result is a simple shortcut to lauch with user specific search screen with all the distraction hidden from view.  This is a great option when rolling out EPDM to a group that just needs to see certain files in the vault. Using Search with this clean UI will avoid teaching all the complexity of the vault structure and simply leverage the ability to get to the file of concern quickly! ~Lou