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Searching for documents in Smart Manuals

Discover how to find your documents using the many search options available in your manual.

You can search for documents in Smart Manuals in a number of ways. These are:

  • Search menu – text-based searching.
  • Search text content of PDF files.
  • Discipline – for example Architecture and Electrical.
  • Document Types – these are categorized by document types.
  • Handover Section – a customizable filter of Document attributes.
  • Graphical Navigation – find files by selecting an area in a graphic.
  • Assets – use this to drill down into into lists of assets.

You can also change the way search results are shown using Custom filters. These allow you to create a hierarchical view of your results by dragging and dropping column headers into the area above the results grid.

Searching Handover

Using the Search field 

This is the simplest form of searching, and returns a list of all files containing the words you enter in the Search field. The results are based on the tags listed in the Document and Assets tables, and from Hotspots. Tags are added when the document is imported into Aconex.

An example of the Search field and search result.

An example of the results for a text-based search for the words ‘first floor’.

An example of results from a text-based search.

This search method lets you drill down to the documents for a specific asset in the project. If you select Assets, you’ll see a list of all the different ones available, along with basic information like the Make, Model, Manufacturer etc.

assets menu

Double-clicking an asset takes you directly to the location of the asset in the As-built drawing, which is highlighted so you can easily see it. If you then select the asset itself, it displays a list of Document Types. You can open list specific to the type by clicking specific type.

An example of an asset's documents, organized by Document Type.

Search Text in PDF files

This allows you to search for specific text contained within PDFs for a given Discipline. The results display the filenames that contain the search text, but only within the selected Discipline.  You can only search within one Discipline.

Double-clicking on a file will open the PDF in your default PDF reader on your computer.   

An example of the results for a PDF text search for the word ‘RC’.

search text in PDF

The menu lists the available Handover documents categorized by areas such as architecture, electrical and mechanical.

The Disciplines menus.

When you select one of these, it opens more levels showing the various document types. Clicking on any of these opens a list of document specific to that type.

discipline search example
Document Types

The Document Types menu lists the available files categorized by type. Clicking on one of these to open a list of a specific type of document. In this example these are all manuals.

The Document Types menu.

Handover Section

This section is customizable and allows you to further categorize your Manual.  It is based on specific Document fields in your project and configured in the Settings option.  

In the example below the Handover Section is catergorized with two levels.  

handover section
Graphical navigation

As well as searching using menus, you can also search by drilling down into areas and sub-areas of a graphical view of the project. 

This feature is specific to a project and can be customized. The areas and sub-areas you can access are:

  • based on the handover documents you need to access
  • should be available as attributes in your Aconex project
  • documents have to be tagged appropriately. 

To use the graphical search, click on area in the image, then select the sub-area that opens.

An example of the start of search using Graphical Navigation.

Clicking on the sub-area opens a list of the documents available for that area, which are organized by Discipline. Select a discipline to open a list of documents.

An example of a list of the documents available for an area, organized by Discipline.

Creating custom filters

You can create customized filters that appear above the list of files in the grid. To do this, right click in the column headings area at the top of the grid to open the Column Chooser menu.

An example of the Column Chooser menu and area to add filtering columns into.

Select Column Chooser to open the Customization menu.

The Customization menu.

From here you can add the columns you want to use for filtering and searching by double clicking or dragging them into the area above the list. You can add several options to the list, and move them around to re-order them however you require. 

An example of searching and filtering using column headers selected from the Customization menu.

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