Topics Map > IT Services > IT Security
Topics Map > IT Services > Software Support

Identity Finder - Custom Find

This page will explain how to use the customfind feature in identity finder, these features include the use of keywords, regular expression (regex) statements, and the use of dictionary files.

Custom find will enable the user to more accurately search for individual types of PII as well as individuals identities. This is where you will be learn how to use keywords, regular expressions, otherwise known as 'regex statements,' and dictionary files to locate the specific PII that you are trying to find. 


This setting allows you to specify any keywords or phrases to include in the search. Identity Finder will look for any exact matches to your keywords without regard to context. For example, if you added the keyword "to" (without the quotes), you would receive results matching the "to" in, for example, to, town, into, and altogether. If you want to ensure that there are, for example, spaces before and after the keyword, you can include those spaces by typing " to " (without the quotes). Searching for Keywords is case sensitive.

Here is a picture of the Keyword and Regex inpout boxes


Regular Expressions (Regex statements)

This setting allows you to specify any regular expressions (RegEx) to include in the search. Regular expressions allow you to search for patterns such as a sequence of digits, a word surrounded by white space, and even complex formatted strings. Identity Finder uses the Perl regular expression syntax from the boost libraries.

For example, to search for 2 digits followed by a dash followed by 4 digits, you could add the RegEx:


This would match 43-5343 and 56-2313 but would also match within 35435-324322 and return the result 35-3243.  To not match the latter case, you could enhance the expression to require leading and trailing white space:



Dictionary Files

The Include the Following Dictionaries in the Search setting allows Identity Finder to search for words within dictionaries that you specify. To add dictionaries to the list, click the “...” button next to the Add Dictionary field and navigate to the desired dictionary or type the full path to the dictionary file and click Add. Please see below for the required dictionary file format.

The 'Require this many matches' in a dictionary setting specifies how many of the words in the dictionary must be found in the location before the dictionary is considered to match.
One: Specifies that if any word in the dictionary matches, the location is considered to match the dictionary and all words in the location that match words in the dictionary will be displayed in the results.
All: Specifies that all words in the dictionary must match before the location is considered to match the dictionary. If one or more words from the dictionary are present in the location but not all of the words from the dictionary, no dictionary matches will be displayed in the results.
Require: When using the Require matches in at least this many dictionaries setting, the 'Required' checkbox allows you to specify the dictionaries that are required. For example, if there are 5 dictionaries specified, Require matches in at least this many dictionaries is set to 3 and no dictionaries are specified as required, matches from any 3 of the 5 configured dictionaries will satisfy the Required and all of the dictionary matches in the location will be returned as results. Using all of the criteria above, but specifying a dictionary as required will require at least one match for that specific dictionary and then and 2 of the remaining 4.

Here is a picture of the dictionary feature on identity Finder


How to Create Your Own Dictionary Files

You can create your own dictionary file by using Microsoft Word. Create a standard blank word document and fill it in with the words that you would like to search for in the format listed below.

  • Dictionary words may only contain English alphabetic characters [A-Za-z], numbers [0-9], and periods [.]. A period anywhere except at the end of the word. Users of the Console can customize the valid character set.
  • Dictionary words are case insensitive. For example, if you have abc in your dictionary, it will match all of these:

Dictionaries are plain text files that use the following format:
any words you want

Here is an example:


Follow the format above along with the directions below to find out how to make and properly save your own dictionary file to use as an identity finder search parameter.

  1. Create the list of words you would like to search for
    • Verify that every line ends with a paragraph marker as shown above
  2. Click Save As
  3. Save the file with a .dic extension
    • The file must be wrapped in double quotes as shown below
  4. Click on the save as type dropdown menu and select Plain Text 
    • Verify that it did not add a .txt extension to the end of the file, then click save
  5. The file will now be an Identity Finder compatible dictionary file


Back to Advanced Search

Keywords:Identity Finder Customfind   Doc ID:53916
Owner:Richard M.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2015-07-14 13:40 CDTUpdated:2016-12-28 17:08 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
Feedback:  1   0