Libraries Search

Now reading version 17.1. For the latest, read: Libraries Search for version 18.1

The Libraries Search dialog, as viewed in Simple mode (left) and Advanced mode (right).


The Library Search dialog provides controls for library searches, including filter constraints, search scope, and search path.


From the Libraries Panel, click Search (top right corner) to open the Libraries Search dialog.



Use the available filters to narrow down your search terms.

  • Field - select an available field from the Field drop down list or type your own in the text box. For example, you might select Name, Pin Count, or Description. See the drop down for all options.

  • Operator - select an available operator from the Operator drop down list. Available operators include: equals, contains, starts with, and ends with.

  • Value - select an available value from the Value drop down list or type or type a value into the text field. For example, you might select COAX-M or Connector 14. See the drop down for more options.

  • Add Row - add another constraint row. By default there are three filter constraints; you can add up to 7 additional rows, for a total of 10 rows.

  • Remove Row - remove the last added filter constraint row. You can remove as many rows as are unused.

  • Advanced - enter advanced search mode. Use the Advanced search options to take advantage of finer search controls. The search string is populated with search parameters entered in simple mode or you can enter information directly in the Libraries Search text box while in Advanced mode.


  • Search in - choose one of the following search types when searching within libraries:
    • Components - Schematic components.
    • Footprints - PCB footprints
    • 3D models - General 3D models.
    • Database Components - Components from a database.
  • Available libraries - Search for specified model types within available libraries only.
  • Libraries on Path - Search for specified model types within available libraries in specified folder(s). You can define the path, include sub-directories, and include the library file mask to specify and narrow the search criteria.
  • Refine last search - Further define a search query criteria from the list of Query Results obtained by the previous search. For example, if you searched for Protel Footprints with a name based on DIP and you wish to search and return only those footprints with a defined height less than 100 mil, enable this option. Enter the new query expression and click Search. The sub-set of the previous query results will be displayed as the new Query Results list in the Libraries panel.


  • Path - edit this field to define the folder where libraries can be searched from or click at the end of the field to browse for a folder.
  • Include Subdirectories - enable this option if you want to search for libraries from the specified path and its sub paths.
  • File Mask - enter the file mask string or choose one of the existing file masks from the dropdown list. The search is filtered that match the File Mask string. You can use the * (any characters) wildcard in the File Mask. For example, type * to search all the files and type M to search all files that start with the letter M.
Path options become available once Libraries on path has been selected under the Scope field.

Additional Controls

  • Search - start the libraries search based on your search query criteria. Search results are displayed in the Libraries panel.
  • Clear - clear out the entered search parameters.
  • Helper - open the Query Helper dialog to easily build a library search query with pre-defined library functions and system functions. You can also use the History and Favorites buttons to choose a recently applied or pre-defined library query.
  • History - open the Expression Manager dialog to choose one of the previously applied query expressions to use for the Library search. You can also use the Favorites button to use a pre-defined query for a specified library search.
  • Favorites - open the Expression Manager dialog to choose one of your favorite query expressions to use in a library search. You can also change the Favorites list by removing, renaming, or copying expressions from the History list. 
  • Simple - return to simple search mode.


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