26 April 2011

Tuesday's Tip: PDF Searches

In my previous post, I mentioned that I was able to locate a few ancestors in the Maryland Death Index online and order copies of their death certificates. The index is available in the form of a PDF file embedded within the page, which is not uncommon among electronic records.

At first, I used the Find box at the top of the PDF file with no luck. Then I decided to test the feature--I typed a name that appeared at the top of the page in the Find box and the search returned a message that no matches could be found on the page. I had to start at the beginning again and look at every entry before I could locate my ancestor.

My tip to you is this--before you potentially overlook the information you are seeking by using a Find feature in electronic records, test it using something you can clearly see on the page. If it works, great! If not, unfortunately, you will need to proceed with your search the old fashioned way.

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