Searching in dynamo is less effective now


After installing Revit 2020, the new dynamo presented issues when searching for specific nodes. The search results were too limited and I had trouble finding what I want by typing key words. Whereas in the previous version it was much easier to find what I wanted.

I tried troubleshooting the issue by removing all packages and reinstalling them one by one, thinking it might be something related to one of the packages. But I found out it had nothing to do with any package.

Then I found this topic

which informed that this issue was due to a change by design.

So my question is, what is the new search strategy? How should we search for nodes if they don’t come up when typing key words?


Hi @sed07 I have the same issue, my workaround at the moment is to try to type the node as it is. I mean if a node is called Element.GetParameterValueByName and you search for “element get parameter…” it will not show any results :confused: that’s unfortunate, so in order to show results in the search you need to type exactly the name of the node you’re looking for…

Please check the images below. And of course if anyone else found a solution to that please share!! :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the reply. It’s unfortunate that we have to resort to such inconvenient workarounds, as the search function is supposed to help us find nodes, not force us to remember all of their exact names.

I’m baffled how such a crucial element of dynamo was changed so suddenly and without (sufficient) testing, or even having it as an option or setting that can be turned off and on. And I’m surprised more people are not complaining about it, as it really impedes the workflow having to spend so much time to find nodes you want to work with.

If anyone is reading this and experiencing the same problem, please reply so that we know to what extent this is affecting people.

yes you’re right @sed07, I totally agree. You could also try to open Dynamo 1.3x and search for the node, then copy paste the exact name… :confused: it’s not the most beautiful solution but it works, at least until they fix this (hope they do soon) :slight_smile:

finger crossed

Seems related:

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@john_pierson your post it’s more on the “lag” side of the search XD

we do not have lag, we do not have the search itself working as it should. :grin:

It seems that including spaces in your search is equivalent to separate search keys and that’s why you get so many returns. Keep in mind that the (searchable) node name doesn’t include Class and therefore including it in your search is actually counter-productive. The full name is great for when you know exactly what you’re looking for but otherwise using spaces can return too many results. When I can’t remember the full name of a node I usually search for the part I remember with no spaces as this should find an exact match.

With all of that said, it’s still a pain to search for something.

@Nick_Boyts thanks for the reply, and yes you’re so right!! :slight_smile: hope Dynamo dev team fix this asap!!

This is all interesting because the team did spend time implementing new search mechanisms.

Here are the commits for more information on what changed:

they even had them in a debug menu for quite some time before rolling it out:


Interesting. So they did work on testing it out. The question is how do the team believe it’s an improvement over the previous search mechanism, now after being implemented? And what about most users?

I think opening a github issue and spelling out everything you are seeing here is probably a good idea.

The search improvements were made to address numerous user complaints about the previous method available in Dynamo 2.0.0 - 2.0.2.

For reference, here are the issues related to what users were experiencing before:

I also wanted to include that I have not had a chance to test the search in Revit 2020 + Dynamo 2.1.0. However, I was among the users that felt that the search needed serious improvements since Dynamo 2.0.0 rolled out.


You’re right, there were issues with it before that I’ve experienced myself as well, namely the slow nature and lag. It seems like they have fixed it, but at the expense of seriously limiting the search results and making them less likely to turn up what you type (unless you type the exact node name).

Also your case is probably the reason why few people have experienced this issue (maybe not so many people have switched to the new revit and dynamo yet).

I will consider opening a github issue soon, following your suggestion.

3 Likes may help a little. It has two search engines in it.

I am open to adding more Packages’ data to it if anyone wants to send them to me.


An issue on github has been submitted. Feel free to add your comments there or suggest anything to add to the issue text if I missed something.

Same issues here. If I search ‘pararmeter’ in dynamo 1.3 i can find the node element.parameter. If I search ‘parameter’ ,no spaces, in dynamo 2.2 it returns almost nothing but if i search element.parameter it is there.

Has anything been done with this?

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Hello James,

There were changes made to Search in Dynamo 2.1 to improve accuracy and performance that unfortunately came at a tradeoff with discoverability. We’re looking into doing another pass at Search to raise the bar again on keyword relevancy.

Search is now much faster and much more accurate with the results returned - but means you have to be more accurate in typing to achieve said results. Historically the more packages you had, the slower search became to a point where it was untenable with thousands of exposed nodes (Not atypical for a user to have).

We fully realise that the current solution isn’t perfect - hence the next pass on this - but do believe in the short term that this is a better solution that we had before :slight_smile:


Just passed to 2020, same problem here.

Thank you solamour, indeed in the previous versions the search could be frustrating because of the return delay. However, and I’m talking here as an almost newbie, it was very helpful to have a lot of results when you were not exactly sure about what you were looking for. It helped me many times discover nodes that could resolve a problem. Not to mention that I don’t remember most of the exact node names. I guess it would be useful to have the option to switch between many results/slow and few results/fast.

Until things are not changed I’d better stick with a previous version, is it possible to downgrade?


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Please use the monocle view extension. There is a “simple search” which works much better than the standard search

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Did anything ever come of this? After jumping into Dynamo 2.0 after a hiatus this was a shocking thing to see, especially after using grasshopper for the past year. Typing in “element parameters” yields 3 results, none of which are element.parameters. Same goes for set parameter, get parameter, and so on. Seems way more broken than it was in 1.3

Two options that help a bit and I use them often:

  1. Type the name of the nodes including dots versus spaces. E.g. type element.para instead and you’ll get the nodes that are more relevant

  2. Install monocle package and use the simple search browser extension. It is much better than default search and lets you exclude custom nodes too