Hypertext systems provide an appealing mechanism for informally browsing databases by traversing selectable links. However, in many fact finding sirtuations string search is an effective complement to browsing. This paper describes the application of t he signature file method to achieve rapid and convenient string search in a hypertext environment. The method has been implemented in a prototype, as well as in a commercial product. Performance data for search times and storage space are presented from a commercial hypertext database. User interface issues are then discussed.