Searching the Online Version of the London Gazette - Tips and Tricks

Note - This is one of a series of pages on how to search the On-Line London Gazette. It is highly recommended that you start at the index to the series and work through the lessons in the correct order.

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 Finding text on a page

This first example shows how individual entries in the London Gazette can be copied and pasted to another program.

The pages of the original printed London Gazette have been scanned and then put through an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) process. This gives the best of both worlds - not only can the original document can be seen on the screen, but the text can be searched for particular words. Indeed, for WW1 and WW2, the complete text of the printed version of the London Gazette is available for viewing (less the printed indexes), and is meant to be searchable.

Go to the search page and enter gerald patrick heffernan into the "Find:" box (I prefer to use lower-case for all my searches). Note that the surname is "HefferNan", not "HefferMan":

Make sure "World War 1 Records" is chosen:

Now press the Search button:

You should get two hits:

This means that the phrase "gerald patrick heffernan" appears one or more times in each of these editions of the London Gazette.

Click "View Edition in PDF format" for the first of these hits - the one for 30th May 1919.

Another window will open up to show the relevant page from the London Gazette. Note the page information at the top - in this case the computer is displaying the 30th page of Issue 31370 of the London Gazette, and that there are 132 pages in this issue altogether. You could move forwards and backwards through all 132 pages in this edition by clicking on the navigation buttons.

At the very top of the page you are told that the phrase "gerald patrick heffernan" appears on only one page in this issue:

If the phrase had appeared on five different pages, it would have said "Hit 1 of 5 in this gazette edition", and you could move between these pages using the navigation buttons.

We now know that the phrase only appears once in this edition, but where? Let's look at the Acrobat toolbar again:

The 6th icon from the right shows a full page of paper , and will display the image at 100%. This may make searching the page easier, depending on your monitor's resolution.

If you click on the 4th icon from the right , the page will expand to fit the width of your screen.

It can be time-consuming to search the page for a name, so a better way is to use the "Find" icon on the Acrobat toolbar . Click on this icon, enter heffernan into the search box, and click the Find button. You'll be taken straight to Heffernan's entry in the right-hand column.

You can click the "Find Again" icon in the Acrobat toolbar to see if the name appears again on this page. Note that only the current page displayed will be searched. In this case, no further entries are found.

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