About Instance Index Files
Instance index files enable you to retrieve instances by entering their instance name only. An instance index file displays the total number of instances, followed by a column of instance names on the left and a column of their corresponding generic names on the right. The instance index file is named directoryname.idx (where directoryname is the directory in which the file is saved).
Saving any generic model automatically creates a new instance index file, or updates the existing file. This file lists the names of all the regenerated instances for every generic regenerated and saved in the same directory as the current generic.
The instance names that are listed in the instance index file are only those instances that were regenerated when their generic model was saved. The regenerated instances did not have to be in memory when the generic was saved. For example, the instances could have been retrieved, then erased from the session using the Erase command on the File menu. (The exception to this is for Library objects, such as parts from the Basic Library).
Storing the generic part automatically adds the names of all of its instances to the instance index file, without the need to regenerate them. This includes the names of instances in subfamilies, such as instances that have instances, as well.
Instance index files are cumulative, so instances that are retrieved in later sessions can be added to the list. To add new instance names to the file, you must save the generic after those instances have been regenerated; the instance index file is then updated, including the new instances.
You can also create or update an instance index file by clicking File > Manage Session > Update Index.
This creates or updates an instance index file for a specified directory (the current working directory is the default). Update Index creates the instance index file for all generics saved in the specified directory, not for objects that are in session or active in the Main Window.
You can use the Tools > Verify command in the Family Table to facilitate the process of bringing instances into session so that they can be added to the instance index file. Saving the generic after verification causes the names of all instances that were successfully regenerated to be listed in the instance index file for that directory.
The .idx file is a text file and can be edited outside of Creo Parametric, within any text editor. However, if you edit this file outside of Creo Parametric, Creo Parametric will not recognize the file. For instance, when you click File > Open to open the model that contains the edited .idx file, its instance names do not display in the File Open dialog box.