Once GEDCOM Viewer has started, you will see a window
that looks like
To load a GEDCOM file, select
Open URL from the
Open item pops up an Open File dialog to
allow you to open a GEDCOM file stored on your computer.
Initially the filter is set to show files ending in
Files ending in
.ged are assumed to conform to the
GEDCOM 5.5 standard
(see also an
Files ending in
.xml are are assumed to conform to
encoding of GEDCOM into XML.
You can also set the filter to
All files to show
all files, regardless of the extension.
Open URL item pops up a dialog asking you to
enter the URL of a GEDCOM to be retrieved.
If you don't have a GEDCOM handy, you can enter the following
Open URL dialog:
Load demo item under the
menu is preprogrammed to load this demo GEDCOM.
As the GEDCOM file loads, a progress indicator may appear to display
the progress in reading the file.
Once the GEDCOM has been read, there is a "mapping" phase in which
the contents of the GEDCOM are mapped in order to facilitate random
access. If the GEDCOM was read in from a file on your computer,
GEDCOM Viewer will attempt to create a file whose name
is the name of the GEDCOM file with the extension
appended. This file caches the results of the mapping phase,
and can help GEDCOM Viewer load this GEDCOM faster the
next time. It does not matter if a
.map file cannot
be created. The map files are a speed optimization only, and can
be deleted at any time.
When the GEDCOM has been read and mapped, the information from the GEDCOM header record will appear in the main information window. You should at least see the name of the GEDCOM file and an indication of the number of records of various types that were read from it. Aside from that, GEDCOM files vary on how much information is actually present in the header record. To the left of the main information display will appear two index windows with scrollbars. Surnames from the GEDCOM are displayed in the top window, and full names of individuals are displayed in the bottom window. If you click on a surname, the bottom window will scroll until individuals with that surname are displayed. Clicking on the name of an individual will cause the information displays to show that particular individual. For example, scrolling the surname window to "Tudor" and then clicking on "Henry_VIII Tudor" results in this display.
The main information display area has several tabs, which correspond
to different ways of presenting information derived from the GEDCOM.
Details tab displays formatted information about
the GEDCOM record (header, individual, family, note, source,
etc. that is the current focus of attention).
HTML tab shows the unrendered HTML source code
from which the formatted display is derived.
GEDCOM tab shows the GEDCOM record currently in
focus. Note that much of the information that shows in the other
windows will not appear directly in the
because this information is derived from links between the current
record and other records in the GEDCOM.
Ancestors tab shows a graphical display of the
ancestors of the individual currently in focus, and the
Descendants tab shows a similar display of the descendants
of the individual in focus.
Note that these two tabs only contain an active display when
the focus is on an individual (INDI) record in the GEDCOM.
All the tabs except for the main
Details tab can be
"undocked" from the main window and displayed in windows of their
own. To do this, select the particular tab to be undocked from the
Windows menu. Once undocked, the display can be
moved, resized, and iconified independently of the main window.
If you close an undocked window, it reverts to being docked as a
tab in the main window.
Above the information display windows is a row of buttons
Depending on the current focus, some of these buttons will
be active and some will be greyed out.
The active buttons can be used as shortcuts to move the focus
to GEDCOM records related to the currently displayed record.
Home button takes the focus back to the
GEDCOM header record.
Navigation through the GEDCOM can also be performed using the
items in the
Go menu. Most of these items are
the same as the navigation buttons discussed above.
There is one additional item:
by Gedcom ID.
This item allows you to move to a record in the GEDCOM specified
by its ID number in the GEDCOM. To use this, you have to know
the ID number. Sometimes you will know the ID numbers of
individuals or families of interest from having edited the GEDCOM
file using another genealogy program. A way to find out ID numbers
if you don't already know them is to use the
to display records in raw GEDCOM format. The ID numbers appear
@@ in the GEDCOM code.