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Find Property Set GUIDs and Property Integer IDs for Search Properties

This topic discusses how to obtain the values that are required before you can add a property to a search property list and make it searchable by full-text search. These values include the property set GUID and property integer identifier of a document property.

Document properties that are extracted by IFilters from binary data – that is, from data stored in a varbinary, varbinary(max) (including FILESTREAM), or image data type column – can be made available for full-text search. To make an extracted property searchable, the property must be manually added to a search property list. The search property list must also be associated with one or more full-text indexes. For more information, see Search Document Properties with Search Property Lists.

Before you can add an available property to a property list, you have to find 2 pieces of information about the property:

  • The property set GUID of the property.

  • The integer ID of the property.

(When you add a property to a property list, you also have to provide a name and description. However you do not have to use the canonical name and description of the property.)

This topic describes the commonly-used methods to find information about available properties, especially about properties that are defined by Microsoft. For information about properties that have been defined by a third party, refer to the third-party documentation or contact the vendor.

Microsoft defines hundreds of document properties for use in many contexts, but only a small subset of the available properties are used by each file format. Among the frequently used Windows properties is a small set of generic properties. Some examples of well-known generic properties are shown in the following table. The table shows the well-known name, the Windows canonical name (from the property description published by Microsoft), the property set GUID, the property integer identifier, and a brief description.

Well-known name

Windows canonical name

Property set GUID

Integer ID






Author or authors of a given item.





Set of keywords (also known as tags) assigned to the item.





Perceived file type based on its canonical type.





Title of the item. For example, the title of a document, the subject of a message, the caption of a photo, or the name of a music track.

To encourage consistency among file formats, Microsoft has identified subsets of frequently used, high-priority document properties for several categories of documents. These include communications, contacts, documents, music files, pictures, and videos. For more information about the top-ranked properties for each category, see system-defined properties for custom file formats in the Windows Search documentation.

A specific file format might implement properties of three types:

  • Generic properties defined by Microsoft.

  • Category-specific properties defined by Microsoft.

  • Custom, application-specific properties defined by the software vendor.

To learn what properties are discovered and extracted by an installed IFilter, you can install and run the filtdump.exe utility, which is part of the Microsoft Windows SDK.

You run filtdump.exe from the command prompt and provide a single argument. This argument is the name of an individual file that has a file type for which an IFilter is installed. The utility displays a list of all the properties discovered by the IFilter in the document, with their property set GUIDs, integer IDs, and additional information.

For information about installing this software, see Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4. After you download and install the SDK, look in the following folders for the filtdump.exe utility.

  • For the 64-bit version, look in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin\x64.

  • For the 32-bit version, look in C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1\Bin.

For a well-known Windows search property, you can obtain the information that you need from the formatID and propID attributes of the property description (propertyDescription).

The following example shows the relevant part of a typical Microsoft property description, in this case, of the System.Author property. The formatID attribute specifies the property set GUID, F29F85E0-4FF9-1068-AB91-08002B27B3D9, and the propID attribute specifies the property integer ID, 4. Notice that the name attribute specifies the Windows canonical property name, System.Author. (This example omits portions of the property description that are not relevant.)

name = System.Author
formatID = F29F85E0-4FF9-1068-AB91-08002B27B3D9
propID = 4

For the complete description of this property, see System.Author in the Windows Search documentation.

For a complete list of Windows properties, see Windows Properties, also in the Windows Search documentation.

The following example shows how to add a property to a search property list. The example uses an ALTER SEARCH PROPERTY LIST statement to add the System.Author property to a search property list named PropertyList1, and provides a user friendly name for the property, Author.

  ADD 'Author'
    WITH (
          PROPERTY_SET_GUID = 'F29F85E0-4FF9-1068-AB91-08002B27B3D9',
          PROPERTY_INT_ID = 4, 
          PROPERTY_DESCRIPTION = 'System.Author - the author or authors of the item' 

For more information about creating a search property list and associating it with a full-text index, see Search Document Properties with Search Property Lists.

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