Version 7 Updates


Reports and Books
  • Source citations in translated reports were sometimes truncated, with 3 trailing dots, and an extra full stop was added on the end. Both problems now fixed.
  • The progress indicator which displays in the status bar when you are opening or refreshing a book, has been improved so that it is more informative and gives a better reflection of progress made in book generation.
  • Improvements have been made to the appearance of charts in books – on-screen, when printed, and in generated PDFs (only applies to Windows 7 installations if the Platform Update for Windows 7 is installed, and ‘Enhanced Print/PDF’ is enabled – see Windows 7 Users in the 7.0.3 section below).
  • If you saved a report to PDF, the page size and/or orientation did not always match the current page size and/or orientation. Fixed.
  • Deleting books did not always work correctly. Fixed.
  • The option to combine identical source citations was incorrectly being affected by the short footnote template, even if short footnotes were not being used. Fixed.
  • Previously the Report option to combine identical source citations did not treat citations as identical if either of them had displayable pictures.  This is no longer the case.  It will now treat citations as identical, and combine them, if they have displayable pictures and these are identical.
  • By default, books no longer auto-refresh when you make a change to them in the Edit Book dialog.  There is a new check box in the Edit Book Dialog (“Auto-refresh Book”, bottom-left) which you can tick if you want the Book Window to auto-refresh (if open) when you make changes to the book.  Otherwise, there is a new button ‘Refresh Book’ in the Edit Book dialog which you click to manually refresh the Book Window (again, if open).   In general, users are recommended to not tick the ‘Auto-refresh Book’ check box, because some books can be quite big and slow to refresh, so it makes sense to only do this when you need to.
  • When you view or refresh a book, you can now choose either a ‘Standard Build’ or ‘Full Rebuild’.  The latter only will completely refresh any charts in the book.    If not refreshed, charts will display as they did when last rebuilt.  Refreshing a book that contains charts can be slow.  Where that is the case, users are recommended to use a standard build most of the time, and only do a ‘Full Rebuild’ from time-to-time, as needed, to keep charts up-to-date.  If auto-refresh is enabled, it will do a standard build.  For books that do not contain charts, there is no difference between a standard build and a full rebuild.
    • Known issue with this release: if you add a diagram to a book that has never been opened or refreshed using the new ‘Full Rebuild’ option (see above), the diagram pages could be blank. If this occurs, doing a single full rebuild will fix the problem. This issue will be fixed in the next update.
  • Fixed a bug which could prevent reports and books from displaying at all, in specific circumstances.
  • Various changes have been made to improve support for large reports, large books, and books which contain numerous charts and chart pages.
Charts and Diagrams
  • By default the four key diagrams (Ancestors, Descendants, Ancestors & Descendants, and All Relatives) no longer have their own buttons on the main application toolbar. Instead they are the first four items on the dropdown menu that appears when you click on the ‘Charts and Diagrams’ button. This change only affects new users. All users can choose in any case to override the default on this (see the option “Include Key Diagrams on the Main Toolbar” in the Display tab of Preferences).
  • In rare circumstances, the All Relatives diagram could generate branches with overlapping lines. Fixed.
  • In rare circumstances, diagram images were not appearing when a diagram was saved to PDF, even though the rest of the diagram appeared correctly. Fixed.
  • The Pedigree Chart now automatically checks for duplicated ancestral branches. Duplicated branches are replaced with an arrow pointing to the chart page that continues the branch. This can significantly reduce the number of pages required.
  • The display of large charts, when zoomed in, is now faster (that is, the window refresh is now faster).
  • If you point the mouse at a particular box and zoom in using the mouse wheel, it now zooms in on the specific thing you’re pointing at (as it already does with the Map Window). Zooming out works the same way.

Property Box, Citation List Pane, and Citation Window

  • Certain edits in the Citation Window could cause the Citation List pane to update itself in such a way that it, in turn, caused the Citation Window to switch to displaying a different citation. Fixed.
  • Check boxes for flags in Property Box were sometimes inappropriately small if displayed in a high resolution monitor. Fixed.
  • The ‘Preferred’ fact flag was not being honoured for child (and other relative) facts in the Facts tab of the Property Box.  It was also not being honoured with respect to children displayed in the Child Grid of the Property Box.  The flag is now honoured in both contexts.
  • The ‘Sources For’ field in the Citation List pane (a dropdown list) did not always update correctly in response to changes. When this happened, it meant that the Citation List pane displayed citations for the wrong item. Fixed.


  • It is now possible to force the generation of titles for one or more Source records, using the program’s automatic Source record titling capability, when a GEDCOM file is loaded, or reloaded. This was added for use by Ancestral Sources, at the request of its author, Nick Walker.
  • When referenced in various contexts, it is sometimes necessary to show a truncated version of long text fields, rather than the full text. For example, if a long text field is referenced in a query, a truncated version of it will be displayed, usually ending in 3 dots, to show that the text has been truncated for display purposes. These truncations were sometimes unduly harsh (i.e. overly short). The truncated versions are now longer.
  • The built-in function LeftText now takes an optional third parameter ‘ELLIPSIS’, which causes an ellipsis to be added if the function will truncate the text.
  • When importing a GEDCOM file, several Media records could sometimes be generated unnecessarily for a single imported media image. This happened particularly with imports from RootsMagic. Fixed.
  • The built-in function TextPart has been enhanced so that it now removes trailing spaces within a text part (section within commas) and reduces a sequence of multiple spaces to a single space.
  • It is now possible to prevent the Family Historian installation program from installing PDF support. To do this, download the file fhinstallconfig.ini and place it in the same folder as the installation program. When this file is present, the installation program will prompt you to ask if you want to install PDF support.
  • When you select a row in the Column table of the Columns tab of the Query Window, previously you had to click on the text in the first column and only the first column showed as selected. Now you can click on any text and all text shows as selected. The equivalent change has also been made to the Rows tab.
  • The FhUtils.fh_lua module has been updated. The IsSet function now returns false if you pass in a boolean which is false.
  • A new Lua plugin module FhFileUtils has been added to support extended character set names for files and folders. See FhFile Utils documentation for more information.
  • When you apply a minor upgrade, the default project setting was being cleared (i.e. you no longer had a default project).  This no longer happens.
  • Fixed two bugs which could cause Family Historian to crash in rare circumstances.
  • Fixed bugs relating to inserting and working with OLE Objects.
  • Various corrections have been made to errors in the Help.


  • Following a Windows 10 update (KB5000802), report printing and PDF generation stopped working. This problem is now fixed in 7.0.3. Apparently Microsoft have also released a fix for this issue, KB5001567, as the problem did not just affect Family Historian; however there is no need to either apply KB5001567 or avoid KB5000802 once you have upgraded to 7.0.3.
  • The ‘External File Links’ tool (accessible from the tools menu), sometimes reported ‘no broken links found’ incorrectly. Also, the Refresh button did not work correctly if displaying broken links only. Both problems now fixed.
  • Some users reported problems with large reports or books. The problem could affect the display of reports or books. The problem was due to the way that images were being handled. The method for handling images is now more efficient. An option to “Enable Smooth Scrolling” in Preferences has been removed. Instead there is an option in Advanced Preferences (see below for how to access this) called “Report/Book Image Caching” with 3 options: “Cache on load” (the default), “Cache on view”, and “Don’t cache”. Use “Cache on view” for slightly faster load performance. Use “Don’t cache” only if you need to – that is if, despite the changes, you continue to have problems with large reports or books.
  • Some users reported problems with printing reports and books and also with the generation of PDFs from reports and books – especially from large reports or books. Reports and books sometimes didn’t print correctly. Generated PDFs sometimes showed blank pages. These problems may in some cases have been due in part to the previous issue relating to image handling. But there was also a separate issue due to the way that printing was handled, and PDFs were generated. There were also 2 additional issues specific to PDFs, which were that generated PDF files tended to be very big, and you couldn’t select text in them, using your PDF reader. Related to the latter issue was the fact that you couldn’t use your PDF reader to search the PDF files for specific text. A new method of handling printing and generating PDFs is now supported which should solve all of these problems (whether or not you can search for text will depends on which PDF reader you are using – but at least you can now do it if your PDF reader supports it). The new method of PDF generation is now used for Windows 10 and Windows 8 users. Windows 7 users do not automatically get the benefit of these changes. If you are a Windows 7 user, the old method of handling printing and generating PDFs will continue to be used by default. If you want to get the benefit of these changes, please read the section Windows 7 Users Only below.
  • Books which contained a large number of charts and diagrams could sometimes be slow to load and if you had enough of them, or if they were sufficiently big, could in some cases fail to display or print. Charts and diagrams are now handled more efficiently in books, to resolve this problem. You may notice slight differences in display. If, for example, lines connecting boxes appear to be be faint, try zooming in to inspect them. If the lines are still faint when zoomed in, or when printed, consider making them thicker. The thickness of lines around boxes can be set in the Boxes tab of Diagram Options. The thickness of connecting lines is set in the Lines tab of Diagram Options. If you can enlarge the chart as a whole, consider doing that. Note: Windows 7 users who have not installed the Platform Update for Windows 7 should benefit from doing so, with respect to this issue, in addition to other benefits mentioned elsewhere. See Windows 7 Users Only below.
  • If you inserted multiple fan charts into a book, they could all display the same fan chart ‘root’. Fixed.
  • The ‘Use Note as Caption’ option for images was not being correctly honoured in the Media tab of the Property Box. Fixed.
  • If you clicked on a table row in the Note Window using the right mouse button, and then clicked on ‘Delete Row’ in the ‘Modify Table’ submenu, this could cause Family Historian to crash in some circumstances. Fixed.
  • Most of the standard diagrams printed in black-and-white by default. Now the default for all of them is to print in colour. Previously a few of them also printed the background by default. Now, the default is that they do not print the background.
  • Various cosmetic improvements have been made to the display of text in the Plugin Window.
  • If you changed the “Sources for” value in the Property Box’s yellow Citation List pane, and then tried to add or paste a citation, it did not work correctly. Fixed.
  • During an upgrade to version 7 from an earlier version (i.e. version 6 or earlier), Family Historian automatically changes the extension of files with a .fh_lua or .dll extension in the installed plugins folder, to make them distinguishable as potentially out-of-date versions. Now it also does the same with files with a .lua extension. This relates to version incompatibilities between Lua 5.3 (used in version 7) and Lua 5.1 (used in version 6).
  • You can add any record to a named list, but if you added Research Notes or Source Template records to a named list, they were not stored persistently between sessions. Fixed.
  • When you add an Adoption event in the Facts tab of the Focus Window, you should be able to select the family that the person is being adopted into. The Family selector button was not working. Fixed.
  • When displaying names in the Focus Window, using certain fonts (e.g. MS Trebuchet) could cause names to be displayed in a truncated form (with 3 dots on the end) even when there was no need for this, because there was space for the whole name. Fixed.
  • Colour-selection dialogs allow you to choose up to 16 custom colours. Previously, the custom colours were only remembered between sessions with some of these dialogs and not all. Now custom colours are shared between all colour selection dialogs, and always saved between sessions.
  • If you edited the note for a Place record, in certain circumstances the edit got lost and was not saved. Fixed.
  • The “SetLabelledText” function (Family Historian API for plugins) caused a whole note to be cleared if the label did not exist and the value was NULL. Fixed.
  • If you chose custom contents for Pedigree charts, you couldn’t previously include family facts (such as marriage or divorce). Now you can.
  • The “GetFact” built-in function could cause Family Historian to crash if the referenced fact owner was NULL. Fixed.
  • Copy-and-paste, and drag-and-drop into the Note Window, did not work correctly when running Family Historian 7 under Windows 7. Fixed.
  • Various corrections have been made to errors in the Help.
Accessing Advanced Preferences

To access Advanced Preferences, click on Preferences on the Tools menu, and then click the Advanced button on the General tab

Windows 7 Users Only

As mentioned above, a new method has been added for handling printing reports and books and also for the generation of PDFs from reports and books, and this solves a number of problems (see above). This new method is used for Windows 10 and Windows 8 users. It is not automatically used for Windows 7 users. By default, when Family Historian is run under Windows 7, it will continue to use the old method. If you are a Windows 7 user and you wish to benefit from the enhanced printing and PDF generation, you need to do two things: first, you need to install a Microsoft update called Platform Update for Windows 7. To install this update you must be on Windows 7 SP1 (Service Pack 1). At time of writing, the update is available for download at Once you have installed the upgrade, you then need to open Family Historian and tick a new option called “Enhanced Print/PDF” in Advanced Preferences (see above for how to access this). Ticking this option if you do not have the Platform Update for Windows 7 installed, will have the effect that the Report and Book windows will be blank if you try to display a report or book. However, if that happens, you can simply untick “Enhanced Print/PDF” in Advanced Preferences to correct the problem. Note: an alternative to installing the Platform Update for Windows 7 (if you want the enhanced printing and PDF generation), is to upgrade to Windows 10. You could also upgrade to Windows 8, but if you are upgrading from Windows 7, Windows 10 is the recommended operating system upgrade.


  • The installation program for previous versions could sometimes cause a PC restart at the end of the installation, without prompting the user first, or even if the user was prompted and took the ‘No’ option. Fixed.
  • Added a fact definition for the “Residence (family)” fact (new in GEDCOM 5.5.1).
  • Diagram icons include number labels for 2 digit numbers, from “01” to “99”. Have now added number labels for “00” (these numbers are often used as year identifiers – e.g. for census years).
  • If you had 2 or more citation notes, you couldn’t re-order them in the Notes tab of the Citation Window. Fixed.
  • In the Citation List pane of the Property Box, you could change the size of the second column (Source record), but the size change was not remembered or preserved. It now is remembered (but a minimum column size is enforced).
  • If, in the Note Window, you used the ‘Delete Row’ command to delete a row in a table (using the right-click menu) in a note which contained an ’empty’ record link (that is, a link to a record that no longer exists), this could cause Family Historian to crash. Fixed.
  • Corrected some spelling errors in the Advanced collection of source templates.
  • Fixed various layout and font style issues with reports. Also fixed related issues when reports were saved as web pages or in word processing (RTF) format.
  • In some cases, tables in notes did not have borders when displayed in reports. Fixed.
  • Various corrections have been made to errors in the Help.

  • The ‘Blood Relations Only’ checkbox on the How Related dialog was not being correctly repositioned if you resized the dialog. Fixed.
  • The option to include embedded images when exporting a GEDCOM file was not working correctly. Fixed.
  • When you import a GEDCOM file into a new project, embedded images are now automatically converted to project media files.
  • If you open a project that contains embedded images or local media objects, you will be prompted to run Validate (e.g. File > Validate). The Validate process now checks for media issues and has an extra option to correct media issues found. ‘Media issues’ means local media objects or embedded media. The Validate process will report on both. If the option to correct media issues is ticked, local media objects will be converted to use media records, and embedded media will be converted to project media files.

  • If a GEDCOM file contained invalid characters (characters that are not allowed in a text file), this could cause the file load to be terminated prematurely. The load process has been made more robust so that it can now cope with invalid characters.
  • Where the date field for media is stored in a field that uses the _DATE tag (leading underscore), it was not being handled correctly. Fixed.
  • URLs were not being included when you copy-and-paste from a source in Rich Text Format. Fixed.
  • During the conversion to GEDCOM 5.5.1, the ‘Title’ field for local media objects was not included within the conversion. Fixed.
  • During program startup, the words “LIMITED FUNCTIONALITY” could sometimes be briefly seen in the title bar. Fixed.
  • Some accent characters were not handled correctly in notes. Also, in some cases a question mark would be inserted after certain accent characters. Fixed.
  • Embedded images were not always loaded correctly. Fixed.
  • In certain circumstances it was possible for lines to overlaps boxes in All Relative diagrams. Fixed.
  • When you generate a ‘package’ using the Websites and Family Tree CD/DVDs tool, vertical gaps between paragraphs in the ‘Welcome Text’ were lost, and any leading spaces on each line were also lost. Fixed.
  • The “Save Diagram” command, which was the first menu command on the Diagram in version 6, has been reinstated, and works as before.
  • In Family Group sheet reports, size specifications for child pictures was being ignored. Fixed.
  • If you formatted boxes in a saved chart (e.g. to change the box background colour), you weren’t prompted to save changes when you closed the chart. Fixed.
  • The Lua UTF8 library has been updated for Lua 5.3.
  • The fhutils library now has the ability to handle multi-line fields in data entry assistants.
  • Various corrections have been made to errors in the Help.

  • Lua socket files were not being installed in the correct folders. Now fixed.
  • In rare circumstances, a Text from Source field could wrongly be created as a second instance, instead of a first instance. Fixed.
  • In rare circumstances, you could get an error message when trying to add a source citation to a new fact. Now fixed.

  • The sentence template code <para> did not start a new paragraph. Also <br> did not break a line. Fixed.
  • The sentence template code {note} inserted a note, but removed all formatting. Fixed.
  • The button for adding a data reference to a research note (for example, when customizing columns) did nothing. Fixed.
  • It was sometimes possible to get pictures and tables to overlap in some reports. Fixed.
  • When logging in your Family Historian account, or when creating a new Family Historian account, if an error occurs, the program now provides much more detailed information about what went wrong.
  • Opening and closing a note could result in a prompt to save changes when you close an unchanged project. Fixed.
  • Note-only source citations could cause a GEDCOM export to fail. Fixed.
  • The ‘Marriage’ heading in the Individual Summary report was not being translated into other languages, if you enabled a language pack. Fixed.
  • Various corrections have been made to errors in the Help.
  • In certain circumstances, data references for custom events and attributes were not being handled correctly in diagram text schemes. Fixed.
  • When you change the name of a fact set, the program was not correctly taking into account the project-specific flag when validating the name. Fixed.
  • The dialogs used for adding and editing names and titles in the “Names and Titles” dialog, did not use the main Property Box font. Fixed.