Search tips

Sands directory search engine

If you can't find what you're looking for using the Sands directory search engine these tips will help you refine your search paramaters.

Search for a phrase

By default the Sands directory search will return only results that match exactly the phrase you entered. Henry Evans won't match Evans, Henry for example.

You can 'search for any words' but in this example the number of results may be too broad. There are lots of Henrys and lots of Evans.

Refine your search with wildcards

The wildcard characters * and ? can help if you want to find multiple variations of a keyword, are not sure of the spelling or want to allow for transcription errors.

* matches 0 or more characters

Not sure if it's Thompson or Thomson? Try searching for thom*son.

? matches exactly one character

Can't find that person in Glebe? The suburb often appears as Glebo in the machine translation. Search for gleb? to find all mentions of Glebe.

You probably don't need to change the default settings from 10 results or 5 files for more specific searches.

If you are searching for a commonly-used term and want to preview more results to help find the right one you can change the 'number of results per file' to a higher figure.

For example, you can set 'number of results per file' to 50 or 100 to see all occurrences of 'Evans' in each file.

The 'number of files per page' option just determines how many result sets are displayed.

Searching within a PDF

When you have downloaded a file you can find a keyword by searching within the PDF.

CTRL+F on PCs or Command+F on Apple machines will open the search box in the top right of the screen.

When you search within a PDF wild cards are not available – the search will find all instances of the term. For example, if you search for Stevens you will also get Stevenson and so on.

Browse a particular year

To download a complete directory for a specific year you can access each part that is available in the side navigation on this page.

Last updated: Thursday, 13 March 2014