Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Ancestry Search Beta Now Available to Everyone

New Ancestry Search Beta Now Available to Everyone
Back in February I wrote that a new Ancestry Search was in early “mini-beta” stage. The beta is now an option available to all users and the Ancestry search team is anxious to hear your thoughts. You can access the new search preview by going to the Search tab and then clicking the Try It link in the upper right corner of the page. (Don’t worry, if you decide you want to switch back to the old search, there will be a link in that same spot that will take you back whenever you want.)

In addition to improvements in finding the best possible matches, here are some other features you’ll find:

Hover preview. When you hover over a search result, you’ll see a preview window open with more details so that you don’t have to click on every item.
Image snapshots. When you are working with newspapers, you’ll see thumbnail images of the search terms as they appear in the document, again saving you from having to click through on irrelevant items. Thumbnail images are also available on photo search results.
Refine search box. The box to refine your search has now been moved to the left side of the page, so you don’t have to scroll down to the bottom of the page. For searches of the entire site, there is also a box below the refine search box that allows you to narrow your search by category.
Exact Match Options. Specify whether you want all terms to match exactly, only particular fields, or go for the closest matches.
Card Catalog. Browse titles in the card catalog with the ability to filter by category, location, and/or date simultaneously, and then sort the results alphabetically, by the date the database was added or last updated, by popularity, and by size. Click here to try it out!

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