What’s New in 2.1

This page lists the new and improved features in version 2.1. See What’s New (All Versions) for details of features added in other versions.


1. A New Reports Menu, a New Reports Window and 17 New Reports

The new reports include

  • Individual Summary Report
  • Family Group Sheet
  • Ancestor Outline
  • Descendant Outline
  • Source Summary Report
  • Individual Census Report
  • List Report

…and many more, including record detail reports which include all the data in a given record. All reports can be saved in HTML (World Wide Web) format, RTF (Rich Text Format – supported by word-processors such as MS Word), or plain text. The reports are fully configurable. You can create custom reports, using any existing report as a template.

The Reports Window allows you to preview any report and browse it online. While doing so, you can switch back to any other Family Historian window without having to close the Reports Window. You can even have multiple Report Windows open at the same time if you want to. You can change almost every aspect of report ‘on the fly’. For example, you can change the style, format, page layout and the content (which fields are displayed, etc.) within the Report Options dialog, while viewing the report, and watch the report update immediately to reflect your changes when you click ‘Apply’. You can change which records are selected for the report, and even change the actual data upon which the report is based (e.g. if you spot a mistake) – all without having to close the Reports Window. If the underlying data is changed, the window will update immediately to display the new changed data. You will be required to refresh the report by clicking on ‘Rebuild Report’ once, before you actually print it, however.

Reports have very flexible support for pictures and sources. You can, for example, display a picture of a family at the top of a family report, and then print pictures of faces taken from the family picture down the side, next to each family member in the detailed sections below. You can also print pictures of sources, and even of source citations, alongside the source listings if you wish to.

Most Family Historian reports can display information for multiple records. There is a new Record Selector Dialog to help you select records for reports. The Record Selector Dialog lets you select records from a normal records list or from Named Lists (see next section). It also lets you use queries to select the records you want (‘queries’ are stored instructions for retrieving data – you can create your own or use standard ones).

2. A New Facility for Creating Named Lists

It is frequently useful to be able to create lists of records for various purposes. For example, you might want a list of bookmarks, a list of work-in-progress records, a list of key people or famous people, a ToDo list – or even specifically, a ToDo list for a given planned trip to a particular record office. Family Historian now lets you create as many lists of records as you like. Support for Named Lists (so-called because you give each one a unique name), is integrated into the Records Window, which now supports multiple selection, making it very easy to add records to lists, or to find records from a Named List (you just double-click on the list item).

You can add a note to every item in a Named List. For example, if the list was a ToDo list, you could add a note to say what you wanted to do with the record in question. All lists can hold records of any type – not just Individual records. You can keep lists in any order you like. A new List Report will print off lists, including the list note (if any) and list item notes (if any). Support for Named Lists is integrated into the program generally. For example, as mentioned in the previous section, you can access them when selecting records for reports in the Record Selector Dialog. You can also add to them from the same dialog. You can add any record to a Named List from anywhere within the program. Named Lists are designed to work well with queries. You can use Named Lists as filters within queries, or use the output of a query to modify a Named List.

3. A New Tools Menu Facility to allow you to Re-order out of Sequence Data

Using this facility you can re-order any out-of-sequence events/attributes, children, spouses, and LDS ordinances within your file. You can either let Family Historian do them all in one go, or ask for confirmation before each record is re-ordered. You can also manually re-order events/attributes in the Events tab of the Property Dialog (new button on toolbar to support this). Previous restrictions on the order in which events and attributes could be stored have been removed. You can request that updated records be added to a Named List.

4. New Backup/Restore Facility

Backups are stored in a standard Winzip format. You get prompted to backup at the end of every session (unless you choose not to be).

5. Fast-find Edit Controls for Name and/or Record Id in the Records Window

These controls are also available in most contexts where you need to select/find a record. To find an individual, “John Smith”, in an Individual records list, for example, you type “Smith, John”. If there are multiple John Smiths, press F3 to move forward through each of them.

6. A Number of New Preferences Options
  • An Auto-Save facility
  • You can specify a default file to open when Family Historian is started.
  • You can specify a default folder to look in when using File/Open to locate Family Historian/ GEDCOM files.
  • You can specify a default backup folder to save backups to.
  • Option to Auto-add Father’s Surname when adding child (doesn’t apply to ‘low-level’ editing in the Records Window, but works in the Property Dialog and the Diagram Window).
  • Option to store Family records ahead of Individual records in the GEDCOM file (default now is Individuals first). Some 3rd-party applications will not work if the records are not in the order they expect.
  • Option to say if you want surnames in capitals or not (if yes, you get them everywhere; if no, nowhere – much simpler than old system).
  • Ability to specify which Named Lists are ‘auto-create’ – ie. should be created in any file, even if not already there.
  • Option to stop Family Historian automatically registering itself as the default GEDCOM application.
  • Option to stop the Family Historian splash panel appearing. The ‘Splash panel’ is the box containing the product name that appears when the application starts up.

7. Improved Support for Dates

You now have a choice of 6 different formats in which dates can be displayed in diagrams, reports and queries. It has also been made easier to copy Family Historian date information into other programs. The problem before was that Family Historian supports more complex date information than spreadsheets or database programs can usually deal with. Family Historian now allows you to effectively split a Family Historian date into 3 separate items of information which you can output from a query and copy into, for example, 3 columns in a spreadsheet..

8. Sundry Other Enhancements
  • New ‘Unlink’ menu command on the Edit Menu
  • Mouse Wheel support with most record lists
  • Added Address field to the Events tab
  • Added Birth/Baptism/Christening/Death/Burial fields to Details tab, plus other fields
  • ‘Email’ and ‘Web’ fields now added to the Property Dialog for Repositories
  • New qualifiers make it easy to display different parts of names in Diagrams, Queries and Reports
  • Improvements to the Exception Report
  • The Records Window now shows dates for Individual records in an improved format
  • You can use Ctrl-K and Ctrl-L as alternative ‘hot keys’ to zoom diagrams in and out (alternatives that is to + and – on the numeric keypad). Useful for laptops which don’t have numeric keypads.
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