One of Onshape’s most unique features isn’t a CAD feature at all – it’s the fact that you use it in a web browser. This true cloud-native SaaS solution is a paradigm shift that you can take advantage of by combining browser shortcuts with some of Onshape’s native tools and functions. This Tech Tip will focus on how to create a custom search engine that aligns Onshape’s Advanced Search with your regular browser search bar.

Onshape’s cloud database architecture allows for seamless management of metadata. Whether it be custom properties that you’ve created or the out-of-the-box versions, this modality of search requires metadata assignment. Two common properties that I would recommend starting with are “Part Number” and “Project.”’ For this example, I’ll use the Project metadata field.

One project I have in my company is this Helmet Concept surface model. I’ve assigned this metadata using the BOM in the assembly. If I want to access various parts of this design, I will often use Onshape’s advanced search with the criteria “Project.” Here is the result when I do that search directly from within the Onshape interface:

To get the most out of Onshape in the browser space, it’s more effective to directly search for metadata directly in the browser. This is possible with many different browsers, but for this Tech Tip, let’s focus on Google Chrome.

To start, go to your browser settings and navigate to the “Search engine” section.

Click the chevron highlighted in the above image, and in the “other search engines” section click the “Add” button. You will be prompted with this dialog:

Add “Onshape Projects” as the search engine name. This is solely for organizational purposes.

Keeping your keyword short is best to maximize efficiency. For this example, I would choose something like “os.proj.

Finally, for URL replacement, you will need the URL generated when Advanced Search is used. To make this generalizable to all project searches, the browser needs your specific query to be replaced with “%s”. In this case, the end of the URL will switch from:

https://cad.onshape.com/documents?resourceType=filter&nodeId=1&q=type:all%20foundin:w%20when:latest%20project_string:helmet

To this:

https://cad.onshape.com/documents?resourceType=filter&nodeId=1&q=type:all%20foundin:w%20when:latest%20project_string:%s

Once this has been added to the dialog, select “Add” and now you can begin searching directly in the browser bar as shown below.

Of course, you can choose which metadata you want to be in your search. Another option is to turn Onshape’s Help documentation into a custom search engine as outlined in this Tech Tip.

For more Onshape Tech Tips, you can review the most recent technical blogs here.