Figma Support Forum

How does the global search field work?

It seems broken. I name a certain frame, page, even a file a certain unique name, and the search does not find it. In other cases it return random where my search terms don’t exist anywhere. How is it supposed to work?

You mean the file search? It should find files by name + text contents in the file so if you have certain text in the file it should find the file (but the text shouldn’t be too long, otherwise it’s ignored I think).

Thanks @Gleb

So I created a test project with test files, test pages, test frames, and a test layer, all naming them uniquely and with short names.

Then I searched for them by name using the global search. The only search results were from projects and files. No matches from page names, frame names, or layer names.

That’s quite unfortunate because I was hoping to use the page and frame names to include the names of stories/tasks, and sprint numbers, from my client’s agile dev process.

This is quite limiting in making it easy to find designs :frowning:

Happy to invite anyone to this test project if they’d like to investigate things first-hand. I’m a newbie so maybe I missed something in how I set things up.

Just message me here via my profile with an email address and I’ll invite you.

I can find this file by the text. Layer and page names are not included in search, only text layers contents are as I mentioned.

Ok here’s why I didn’t see it in the results: I didn’t type the entire text string. I stopped at “testlayer”, leaving out the “1”.


Requiring an exact search string is not very user friendly… I’ll post a feature request, along with searching page and frame names as well. This would be a huge game changer in terms of making it easier for PMs, devs, and QA folks to find designs if we can use the page and frame names in the global search (and partial matches, not exact matches).

Thanks again for your help @Gleb

If you are curious, you can learn how and why the search works this way at the moment: A deep dive on deep search

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Thanks @Gleb that was indeed very helpful as context. As a side note I’m impressed to see the folks at Figma share their own journey in developing the product. Kudos to Shloak and his team for their due diligence on the global search / deep search feature.

From what I can tell, the decisions were driven in part by some analytics in how organizational elements are named, and of course, by performance. I think that’s a very fair approach and the feature works good to find files by name at least (layers, not so much in my experience so far).

I also wonder if the experience of those collaborating with the Figma designers (the PMs, Devs, QA folks) - essentially those not necessarily well-versed in how everything is organized in their Figma workspace - was considered.

And then, add the context of agile development (epics, stories, sprints, jira issues), and things could get difficult to find. The exact word match for layers also doesn’t seem to make things easier to find.

That being said, as a newbie with a completely fresh, still un-jaded perspective (not sure how long that will last), I do see a potential opportunity to leverage Figma’s rich organizational capability (projects > files > pages > frames > layers) to facilitate the finding of designs, especially within the context of agile development and for the non-designers in the team.

Maybe at the end of the day it will boil down to adding more options to the global search. I’ll write up some thoughts in the Product Ideas section, and hopefully the right people (I’m assuming Shloak is one of them) will come across it for ideas.

Thanks again for providing the link to that article. Really great work from the folks at Figma.

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Yeah 100% it definitely can be improved! Would love to hear your ideas.

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Sure thing - Happy to contribute to this awesome tool :slight_smile:

So apparently I maxed out my number of posts for the day and it’s asking me to wait 18 hours, so I posted using my main account (the other one was an account tied to one of my client’s).

Anyhow here it is: Enhancing Figma's Global Search functionality

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