Web Publishing for Genealogy

Genealogical Tools

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Genealogy Software without Web facilities

If your current genealogy database does not itself provide HTML output, you should still be able to turn its reports into Web pages without necessarily using a GEDCOM converter. Indeed, other ways of creating Web pages could be useful even if your genealogy software has got Web publishing facilities, as these are often restricted to a single form of output, i.e. a set of linked pages for a single line of descent, or for the ancestors of an individual, whereas ideally it would be possible to turn any report into a Web page or pages.

Exactly how you do this will depend on a number of factors: the sort of computer you are using; your genealogy package's reporting/printing/exporting facilities; the type of report or export option you are using; and the Web editing software you have got. This means it is only possible to give general guidelines here and not specific instructions.

Here are some examples of the possibilities

Pedigree Chart as an image

This pedigree chart (click on it to see it at full size) was originally created in EasyChart (the charting program that comes with Generations). It was saved as a graphics file (in .BMP format), and then converted to JPG format with a graphics editor.

A Surname Frequency List "printed" by Personal Ancestral File. This indented descendants chart originated in Reunion, from which it was saved to disk in RTF format. It was imported into WordPerfect. It could have been saved unchanged as a plain text file, but in this case, the essential HTML tags were typed in before the file was saved as an ASCII text file.

Normally, the browser will collapse multiple spaces and wrap lines that run off the edge of the screen. When you are importing text where the original layout needs to be preserved, as here, you can achieve this by putting it between <PRE>…</PRE> tags. The browser will use a monospaced font (e.g. Courier) for such text.

Indented Descendants Chart from RTF File. produce this page, the PAF (for DOS) printer was changed to "DOS text printer". Then the "Select Printing Option" (in Forms & Reports) was changed to "Print to Disk File" and a file name chosen. When the report was selected, it was automatically created on disk rather than sent to the printer. The plain text file can be displayed by a browser without modification.

If your package has a facility to export data to a file in a word-processor format - for example, Generations can save reports in both Word and RTF formats - then it should be a simple matter to convert the output to a Web page. If this does not seem to be possible, you should be able get the data printed to a text file rather than to the printer. This may be an option within your genealogy package (as with Personal Ancestral File) or it may need to be set up as a general option on your computer as a whole (as for any Windows software, for example). If you can select from a range of printers, choose one that looks as if it will produce plain text output without any printer control codes (something like "generic text printer" or "ASCII printer"). You will need to consult your documentation to see how to do this for your computer or software.

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3. Genealogical Tools