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Mike is correct, it is an icon to indicate that the adjoining textbox is for searching. It is a holdover from much older versions of Canvas that predate standardizing on using the magnifying glass to indicate a search, as most software, graphics software in particular, have used magnifying glass icons to indicate zoom functions.
On a personal note, in the little time I have been using Canvas Draw 3, the search feature in the Document Layout palette seems to be part of an incomplete feature set in Canvas Draw. In Canvas, there has long been an Object Specs palette where the user could name an object in an Canvas drawing. I cannot find the Object Specs palette anywhere in Canvas Draw 3. Granted some of the functionality of the Object Specs palette is available in the Properties Bar, but not all. I have yet to find a way to name objects.
Given how objects are generically named in Canvas, the search feature in the Document Layout palette is not of much use if objects cannot be uniquely named by the user.
I don't want to hijack the thread, but you can name an object. At the very bottom of the Canvas Draw window is an information bar with gives X-Y location, type of object, line weight, color, etc. Included there is "Name." Click on that and a box pops up called "Modify Object Name" and with "Enter New Name..." and a space to do so.