How can I add a search layout to a change set for a CUSTOM object? I know there is a question out there for standard objects, so not sure if the same logic applies to custom objects.
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You will need to move the entire object to move your search layout changes. Since you are using change sets, just add the entire object. This would have ben true even in the case if you were using metadata api - ANT etc. Salesforce does not have a metadata equivalent component for Search Layouts and they can only be moved along as object metadata. This is not the case with similar components like custom field, validation rules, list views etc. Hope this helps.