Finder Tool Help

This Finder Tool allows you to browse through, or search for, values in complex hierarchical codesets, and select the desired values to include in your request.

Regular Finder Options

These options present the basic Finder Tool. Tabs on the tool show windows that allow you to:

When a request is submitted, the last items highlighted in either a Browse or a Results of Search window are used in the request. If your browser has JavaScript enabled, the current selections appear in the Currently selected box. More on making selections.


This option starts with the top-level list of values in the codeset and contains controls that allow you to browse through the hierarchy of values. Values in the list are preceded by characters that indicate their place in the hierarchy:

The value has subordinate values below it that aren't opened yet
The value has subordinate values below it that are already opened
no character:
The value has no subordinate values below it

The following operations are available by clicking the appropriate button:

Highlighted items are opened one level to display their subordinate values.
Open Fully
Highlighted items are opened at all levels and display all subordinate values. If a codeset has only one or two levels, this button is not displayed.
Highlighted items are closed so their subordinates are no longer displayed.
Close All
This closes any open items and redisplays the oridinal list of top-level values.


This option lets you search for words or phrases found in the names and descriptions for the values in the codeset. You may search for a combination of up to three words or phrases. The system contains labels and longer descriptions for all codeset values, and it is the text of these labels and descriptions that are searched. The words or phrases are combined with the boolean operators "or", "and", or "and not". "Or" returns items whose text contains either phrase, "and" returns items whose text contains both phrases, "and not" returns items whose text contains the first phrase and doesn't contain the second phrase.

For example, suppose you're searching a codest containing FIPS state and county codes:

  • A search for "dekalb or georgia" will return all the DeKalb counties in the United States plus Georgia and all of its counties.
  • A search for "dekalb and georgia" will return Dekalb County, GA.
  • A search for "dekalb and not georgia" will return all the counties in the United States except DeKalb County, Georgia.

Results of Search

This window is not displayed until a search has been performed. When a search has been performed the results are placed in this window. Items that match the search criteria are written in blue and start with a ">" character. Preceding levels of matched items are also displayed in the window so you can see where in the codeset hierarchy the matched items fall. Once here you can open and close items as you can items in the Browse tab. Instead of a Close All button, this window has a Reset button that will restore the original list of search results.


This tab displays detailed information on the codeset plus any highlighted items in the Browse or Results of Search window. If both Browse and Results of Search windows are present, items highlighted in the last viewed window will be shown here.

Making Selections

Selections to use in a request are made by highlighting items in the Browse window or in the Results of Search window if a search request has been made. If selections are made in both windows, the selections made in the last viewed window are used in the request. If JavaScript is enabled in your browser, the Currently selected box displays the items that would be sent in a request, regardless of which Finder Tool window you happen to be currently viewing.

Multiple items can be selected in these windows. To select a range of items click one end of the range, then hold the mouse button or a Shift key down and move the mouse to the other end. To select a set of individual items, hold down the Ctrl key and click the desired items. See the WONDER Quick Start Guide for more information.

This method of selecting items can be awkward if you need to select a number of different items from different places in the codeset. If this is the case, try the tool's Advanced Finder Options.

Advanced Finder Options

These additional options are only available if your browser has JavaScript enabled. A Selected Items box is added in addition to the regular Finder Tool. To make selections for a request items must be added to the Selected Items box. You can add items by hand, one per line, by simply typing in the correct codes if you know them (or see them in the Finder Tool). Or you can use the Finder Tool to browse or search for items, and when you've selected items you want click the Move Items Over button to move them to the Selected Items box.

Items put in the Selected Items box stay there until you remove them or go back to the Regular Finder Options, making it a convenient place to accumulate multiple items from separate regions of the codeset hierarchy. Items can be removed simply by highlighting them and hitting the Delete key on your keyboard. The Clear button clears all items from the Selected Items box.

When you've got the items you want in the Selected Items you can Send your request. Items that are highlighted in the Finder Tool are not sent as part of the request, only items in the Selected Items box are sent.

This page last reviewed: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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