FIND tool on Steroids!

08-22-2011 10:46 PM
Status: Open
New Contributor III

Many GIS users would have a requirement that is to be able to search through all the layers for a specific value(s) based on different criteria. Using the COTS FIND  tool in ArcMap is not good enough because it is slow and does not give additional criteria options (like WHERE clause or SQL type staments).

The idea is to enahance the FIND tool and be able to search within a Map Document for all value(s) and have the search result highlight records in 1 or many layers that satisfy the criteria.


So for example in ArcMap:

If I have 5 Layers that reference Mains, Service Lines, Pipes, Parcels, Posts , they all have a field called USERID and the linear layers have a field called PRESSURE.

The search I would like to be able to do would be like:

Where USERID=’ABC33345’ and PRESSURE=’5’

The tool should be able to search through all layers looking for those fields and selecting criteria as defined in the Where clause. The result of this would be records from the Mains, Service and Pipes layers that meet that criteria.


This is similar to what the FIND tool does, but gives the user and extra level of criteria by having a “Where” clause that could reference multiple  fields.


The reason this is required is to be able to search through the entire document without having to know which layer to go looking through. With large Map documents that reference multiple layers and even layers that reference the same feature class multiple times, it can be difficult to know which one to use in a Select By Attributes. Also, the FIND tool is extremely slow and becomes unusuable with large MXD’s as it takes a very long time to complete a FIND/SEARCH.


Good idea. Some additional ideas like area specific, layer specific or attribute specific search in Enhance find features functionality.
Just a quick tip I've found about speeding up the find tool is to make sure you have any Global ID or other GUID fields turned off for the layers in the search.  If you have those on I know at least ArcMap v9.3.1 likes going extremely slow with the find tool, but it has sped up quite a bit for me when I turn GUID type fields off.