I think your best bet, if you don't want your users to enter their own find operators (ie. wildcards) is to set up a layout with global fields where they enter or select criteria and then a script performs the find, inserting operators as appropriate to get the desired results.
Scripts are often used in FileMaker solutions as a way to simplify the query process in order to make it more user friendly.
Here's a greatly simplified example. Say you have a global field named Globals::gName and you want to use the data in it to perform a search where the text entered is enclosed in a pair of * operators.
Go to Layout [specify a layout based on table being searched]
Enter find mode  //clear the pause check box
Set field [Yourtable::yourNameField ; "*" & Globals::gName & "*"]
Set Error capture [on]
Perform Find 
I'll give your solution a go.
Yup, that worked very nicely thank you.
I don't quite understand about the global field bit nor the "set error capture [on] " but as I understand tne script basically adds wildcards around the entered data value and then resubmits it for the search.
Without set error capture, a find that finds no records or that lacks any valid search criteria will cause the script to be interrupted by an error message that doesn't really fit for scripted finds. This step suppresses that message. If you want you can use Get ( LastError ) immediately after the find is performed to check for and identify find errors and use your own custom dialogs to handle them.
You can also use Get ( FoundCount ) to test for no records found and display a custom dialog that no records are found.
With the script written the way it is. Any field used for entering search criteria must have global storage enabled. Try this simple experiment: Put a global and a non global field on a layout. Enter data into each. Enter find mode. Which field goes blank? Which still displays the data entered into it? Only the global fields still have their data accessible when in find mode and this is also true for your script.
THere are two other advantages for global fields: 1) In a multi-user environment, each user's changes to values in global fields are not visible to other users and thus they each can perform different searches without interfering with each other. 2) Using a global field ensures that no user can accidentally modify data when they thought they were entering search criteria as theses fields will be separate from your data fields.