Fold3 includes powerful search capabilities to help you find the documents and images you are looking for. You can search from the home page or by clicking the "Search" link at the top of most pages of the site. Type a name in the search box, and Search will look for documents that contain that name. To search for keywords, click on “Advanced search” on the home page, or “Advanced” on the search page. Matching terms may come from the indexing of the image, or from annotations added by other Members. If you do not get the results you are looking for, try broadening your search by removing some of the terms. Often it works better if you start with broader terms, then narrow your search by using the tools in the Search Results Page.

You can use quotation marks (") to find exact matches, including spaces (i.e. "John Hancock" or "Washington Monument").

Search Results Page

Searching on Fold3

Searching 'john hancock' on Fold3

The Search Results page displays a list of documents and images that contain matches, and provides tools to narrow your search to help you find what you are looking for. The left two columns allow you to select specific titles, categories, date ranges, locations, and other filters to narrow your search. The third column shows the individual search results with highlighted matches. Clicking on a search result will slide open a mini-viewer so you can see what the document looks like, and view source information. If the image has been indexed using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), the locations of the match(es) will be highlighted on the image.

You can also modify your original search by clicking the “Modify Search” link at the top of the page. In this dropdown, you can do keyword searches, add a place or a date range, or search by when the document was added to Fold3.

Filter by Category or Specific Title

Filtering Categories on Fold3

In the left column of the Search Result page you can select to filter by category (e.g. “World War I”, “Non-military Records”), or by specific titles. Just click the tab for “Category” or “Title”, then check the boxes of the category or title you want included in the filter. By default, all categories and titles are included in the search results.


If you have a search you would like to save and receive periodic email updates on, click on the “Notify me” button to set a notification for your custom search. To modify or update Notifications, click on your Member name in the page header and select Bookmarks.

Using Browse to Search

In addition to Browse functionality built into Search, you can use the main Browse tool in Fold3 as an alternate way to search for what you are looking for. See the Browse section for more details.


The Browse tool is a great way to find information on Fold3 by allowing you to visually drill-down to find publications and documents that interest you. You can also search directly from any level in browse by using the Search box at the top. Searching from Browse automatically filters your search to only include results from the title you select.

As you click on selections in the browse categories, you may see an Info button appear in the title box at the top. Clicking on this Info button will open up information about that title, including a description and details about the source.

If you drill down to the Page level, selecting the thumbnail of a page that interests you will open it in the document Viewer for easier inspection.

Browse Screen Shot

Browse documents with the Fold3 browser

Using Browse in the Viewer

The Viewer has a built-in browse tool to easily navigate to other documents or images. Click on the oval image location box at the top of the Viewer to open Browse.

Browse in the Fold3 Viewer

Browse in the Fold3 Viewer

Choose a Viewer Topic:

Viewing Documents

Being able to explore an image or document in close detail is important to researchers and history buffs alike.

The Fold3 viewer is a powerful tool that lets you explore, annotate, print, and save documents and images.

Here are some of the Viewer’s key features:

Browser Screen Shot

Print and Download

When you find an image or document that you would like to print or download, you can do so from the viewer.

To print or save from the Viewer

  1. Click the Save or Download button in the viewer's toolbar
  2. Choose Print or Download
  3. Choose Entire Page or Select a Region
  4. If saving, select the file format you would like to download (JPG or PDF)
  5. If printing, follow the instructions for printing

Save Location

When you save an image, the Viewer automatically saves it in your computer’s “Downloads” folder, as specified in your browser. If you use Chrome or Firefox, you can change your browser’s settings so that it always asks where to save files. Simply do the following:


  1. Select the Menu button (the icon at the top right that looks like three stacked horizontal lines)
  2. Select "Settings"
  3. At the bottom fo the "Settings" tab, select "Show Advanced Settings…"
  4. In the "Downloads" section, check hte fox for "Ask where to save earch file before downloading"


  1. Select the Menu button (the icon at the top right that looks like three stacked horizontal lines)
  2. Select “Options
  3. On the “General” tab, go to the “Downloads” section and select “Always ask me where to save files”

Keyboard Shortcuts

Print: P

Save: S


Annotations make documents and images easier to find when using the Fold3 search. They also make it easier to find things on the page since annotations can be applied to a specific area of the image. Annotations can be flagged as Name, Person, Date, Location, Transcription, or you can add a simple Comment.

Creating an Annotation

  1. Click on the Annotate button in the Viewer toolbar
  2. Drag the selection area to the desired location and resize it to your highlight area
    OR click and drag a new selection
    OR click “Select entire image”
  3. Choose the type of annotation from the dropdown at the top
  4. Type the text of your annotation in text box provided

You can view annotations to the images by opening up the Info pane at the bottom (Click the Info button near the bottom of the screen to open the Info pane), and click “Contributions”.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Create Annotation: A


Bookmarking an image adds the image to your Bookmarks list. It also adds the image to your Gallery.

To Bookmark an Image

  1. Click the Bookmark star at the top

Note: You can click on the Bookmark star again to remove the Bookmark.

To access your Bookmarks list, click on your Member name in the header, then select Bookmarks

Save to Ancestry Tree

Fold3 make it easy to save links to images directly from the Viewer.

Save to Ancestry Tree

  1. Click on the Save to Ancestry button in the Viewer toolbar
  2. Log into Ancestry (Optional. If you are already logged into Ancestry this step will be skipped).
  3. Select the Tree and Person you wish to save the link to.
  4. Click Save

The link to the Fold3 image will be saved on the Profile of the person selected, under Sources/Other Sources.

Creating a Memorial Page

Memorial Pages are an excellent way to remember those from your past. Fold3 has created millions of Memorial Pages from our vast collection of records to give you a head start. Add photos, stories, and facts to existing Memorial Pages, or add a new page if we have not already created one for the person you want to remember. Memorial Pages are easy to create, update, and share, and you can make as many as you would like.

Memorial Pages also have the added feature of honoring military heroes from your family. Just add the military service information and watch the page transform with conflict-specific backgrounds, military seals, flags and data.

Memorial Page Screen Shot

Example Memorial Page, Bruce Anthony Nelson.

Use Memorial Pages to:

  • Remember those from your past and present
  • Write a biography or memorial for a favorite person
  • Share photos, stories, and facts about your ancestors with family and friends
  • Collaborate with others
  • Highlight documents you find on Fold3

What you can do on Memorial Pages:

  • Attach pictures and documents
  • Instantly see where events happen with a dynamic map
  • Connect other Memorial Pages or add a web link to the page
  • Easily gather facts or organize details
  • Tell stories and include photos
  • Add comments to a page
  • Optionally prevent others from modifying or contributing to pages you create
  • Save a link to your page on your Ancestry tree

Creating other Pages

In addition to Memorial Pages, you can create pages to highlight Events, Places, Organizations, and Topics. Just like Memorial Pages, you can add stories, photos, and other details to make your page interesting and meaningful.

Learn more about Memorial Pages or create one now.

Note: While you can prevent others from editing Memorial Pages you have created, you cannot make them hidden. Memorial pages are viewable by all.

Your Gallery

Your Gallery is a great way to gather and organize images you have uploaded to or found on Fold3. You need at least a Basic Membership and be logged in to use the Gallery. To access your Gallery, click on your Member name in the header, then select Your Gallery.

Uploading Images

Adding your own images to Fold3 is easy, free and a great way to preserve and share historical photographs or documents.

From your gallery:

  1. Click the Upload to your Gallery button in the top right.
  2. Select one or many images from your computer.
    PC: Hold down Shift or CTRL while clicking to select multiple files.
    Mac: Hold down the Shift or the Command/Apple key.
  3. Choose whether you want to upload your images to Your Gallery or to a specific Collection.
  4. Click the Upload Images button.

Fold3 supports .jpg .gif .tif and .png images that are less than 10 megabytes in size.

You will notice that once you click Upload Images, a progress bar and an estimated time to upload will be shown for each file while it is being uploaded.

Once the process is complete you will see a confirmation message and a link to view them in Your Gallery.

Once the images are in Your Gallery, you can edit their names, add descriptions and connect them to other images. The more detail you provide, the easier it will be for people to find what you have added.


Collection adding

You can organize your images or group them around a theme using Collections. You can add an unlimited number of Collections with as many combinations of images as you need. Images in Your Gallery may be added to more than one Collection.

On the left side of the gallery is a Your Gallery link. Clicking on this link will display all of your images.

Creating a Collection is as Easy as Drag and Drop

You can create a Collection just by dropping an image onto the dashed box found in the upper-left corner of Your Gallery.

To select multiple images, hover over an image and check the Select checkbox when the bubble appears.

You can add more images to an existing Collection by dragging images to that Collection in the list in the left column.

Rearranging Images in Your Gallery

You can rearrange the images in Your Gallery by clicking the Arrange button and then dragging and dropping images into the place you want them. When you are done arranging your images, click I'm Done to go back to viewing and using the images in Your Gallery.

Profile Pages

Each Member of Fold3 has a public Profile Page that displays basic information about them and a list of their contributions to the site.

Your Profile

You can update your profile to:

  • Include a photo that represents you.
  • Specify your general location.
  • Share your interests in the About Me section.
  • Choose whether or not to allow other members to contact you.

In addition, Your Profile Page shows the contributions you have made to Fold3, including:

  • Annotations, connections and comments you have made
  • Memorial Pages you have created
  • Images you have uploaded

Other Members' Profiles

Profile Pages of other members can be a great way to find interesting information. When you see contributions added by other Fold3 members, you will see their image and Member name next to it. Clicking on the Member name will take you to their profile page where you will find a full list of contributions they have made to Fold3.

When you find other Members with interests similar to yours, you can contact them to get more information or share an insight, if they have that feature enabled.

Managing Your Account

You can manage all aspects of your account by clicking on your Member name in the header and using the links provided.

Account Details

Go to your Account Details when you need to:

  • Change your Member Name, password or email address.
  • Change your membership settings.
  • Update billing information
  • Change communication settings.
  • Update the content of your Profile page