Finding .dwg files containing a text string

I want to search a large directory structure for all ACAD .dwg files containing a particuar word in a note.

I've tried the Windows Search function assuming that drawing notes would be ASCII encoded, but apparently that was a bad assumption. (I'm running Win2K.)

Is there any way to do this?
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Tommy KinardCommented:
Hi GaryGarnier

We could use VBA to open the drawings search for what you want to, put the file name and path in an array, write the array to a file after processing all of the dwgs in the directory. Or fix the problem (if it is a problem).

Or we could use a converter on the dwgs, change to dxf's and search the dxf's with windows search for text in documents options. Long way around IMHO.


Could you not use windows explorer search and use something like this?

GaryGarnierAuthor Commented:

I've tried (unsuccessfully) Explorer search as you suggest (putting the word I want in the "A word or phrase in the file" field) but without the stars. When I get to work Wednesday I'll try it with stars, but I don't expect a different result.

I renamed one ACAD file, gave it a .txt extension and opened it with Notepad. As I said in my question, it appears that even drawing notes are not ASCII-coded in a .dwg file. I think this will require a fairly sophisticated solution involving a knowledge of how AutoCAD encodes user-entered text within a file.
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The 'stars' are wild cards. It should work as long as you supply a key word in the method I mentioned above.
It should read *word*.dwg

GaryGarnierAuthor Commented:
I know about wild cards - but if you'll note in my original post, I'm searching for files that have a particular word within a note inside the file, NOT files having that word in the file name.

If the files of interest were Word .doc files, I could just Search for files named *.doc and put the target word in the "A word or phrase in the file" field. But apparently ACAD does not use ASCII encoding for user-entered text such as notes. That's why I think this requires a solution that exploits knowledge of how text is encoded in an ACAD file.
Corey ScheichDeveloperCommented:
I have used DragonTooth's method in the past.  You will have to recurse both the ACADText Objects and block attributes for the values.  I was able to find and replace TitleBlock text on thousands of drawings in a resonable amount of time.
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