This page gives you information about how to use Download Searches so that you can make better use of FreeBMD.
What is a Download Search?
When you have done a search the results are displayed on the results page. If you click the Download button you will be offered the option to download the results to a file on your computer. This enables you to manipulate and search the results as well as being able to view them offline.
What format used?
The main body of the results is in a Tab Separated Variable format, that is to say each column is separated by a tab. If you view these results using a text editor or word processor the columns are unlikely to be consistent unless you adjust the tab settings. However, the main purpose of the download facility is to enable you to manipulate the results in a Spreadsheet program like Excel which will accept Tab Separated Variable format through the Import Wizard.
We have chosen Tab as the separator rather than Comma (i.e. Comma Separated Variable) because it works better with Text Editors and Word Processors, as well as Spreadsheets, and because the columns can contain commas.
How is the data laid out?
The data is laid out similarly to the results page. The biggest difference is that rather than having the Event (Births, Marriages or Deaths), Year and Quarter as a heading it is repeated on each line. This makes processing the information with a spreadsheet much easier.
Other differences are that the Search Keys are laid out on separate lines and there is a column called Flag which gives information about the district. The key to the values is given at the end of the results. On the results page this information is accessed by clicking on the District (which will be in italics if Flag is non-zero).
What can I do with the data?
That's up to you! We have put it in a convenient form for manipulation by a spreadsheet but what you do with it is up to you. However, you must abide by the Terms and Conditions which are contained in the first line of the data.