©2015 Donald R. Snow -- BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference, Jul 2015 -- This page was last updated 2015-06-01

These notes are in the Syllabus and online at Don's Family History Notes webpage .  They contain details for the five programs we will discuss today.  The full notes  SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE FOR FAMILY HISTORY  on that webpage list more than 60 additional freeware programs for FH and both sets of notes there have active Internet links.
  1. INSTRUCTORS are Donald R. Snow of Provo and St. George, Utah  (  and Linda Snow Westover of Orem, Utah  (
    1. "Freeware" refers to computer programs that you can use freely and give copies to anyone else; there are usually no "nag" screens.
    2. "Shareware" refers to programs that you can try out and use and, if you like them and plan to use them regularly, you should send a specified donation (usually $5-$10) to the author at the address given in the program.
    3. "Portable" means the program can be run from a flashdrive and doesn't have to be installed on the computer, so you can use it anywhere, e.g. at a FHC.  
  3. CAVEATS -- Be careful when downloading and installing freeware; read before clicking; don't normally use the "express", "standard", or "recommended" installation options since those usually add bloatware or tool bars and frequently change your default programs 
    1. Ninite -- --you select the freeware you want and it sets up an installer for the whole collection; will also check for updates for your programs 
    2. Glary Utilities -- -- includes a program to check for updates for all your installed programs and has a safe place to download the updates -- 
    3. Portable Apps -- -- First run this program on a flashdrive; then you can install other programs on the flashdrive so you can take them with you to run anywhere, that is, they will be portable, even if they weren't portable originally 
  5. CATEGORIES OF FREEWARE FOR FAMILY HISTORY -- See a list of more than 70 freeware programs on  SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE NOTES -- Today we will discuss five programs from this list. Some of these have more information on Don's Freeware Corner Notes posted on his webpage also.
    1. Record Management Programs
    2. Other Genealogy Programs and Databases
    3. Computer Utilities
    4. Graphics Programs
    5. Sound and Video Programs
    6. Text and Office Programs
  6. EVERYTHING -- available from
    1. Finds files anywhere on your computer, if you know any words in the name of the file-- shows total number of files found in lower left corner
    2. Very helpful for finding, running, organizing, renaming, deleting, forming shortcuts, finding duplicates, etc.
    3. Search syntax (See Help Menu):  (space) = AND; | = OR; ! = NOT; < > = GROUPING; " " = EXACT PHRASE; Wildcards * and ?
    4. Can sort files by any label by clicking in title at top of column, e.g. sort files by name, date, size, path, etc. 
    5. Sorting files by path shows where they are stored and allows you to highlight and move them by drag and droping to a folder in Windows Explorer or Q-DIR
  7. Q-DIR-- available from -- Download is in upper right corner -- FAQ's at 
    1. File maintenance program with up to five Windows Explorer-type panels open and set in various configurations 
    2. Allows each panel to be set differently to run, move, delete, rename, organize files by type, size, etc.
    3. Can drag and drop files between panels, do searches for files, make listings of file names in directories, and much more
    4. Q-DIR is also portable, so you can run it without installation, e.g. from a flashdrive at a FHC  
  8. PDF-XChange Editor -- available from
    1. Older version was called PDF-XChange Viewer and is also still available, both are free for private use
    2. Freeware reader and editor for pdf's with many features including extracting and inserting pages, rotating, posting "sticky tabs" and other notes on pdf's, filling out pdf forms, etc.; free version does not include merging pdf's, but there are other freeware programs that will do that  
    3. Has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for pdf's that will OCR entire books, e.g. pdf of a book downloaded from Google Books
  9. GOOGLE DOCS -- available from -- uses your (free) Google account on any browser
    1. To set it up go to Google > Apps (3x3 square of dots in upper right corner) > Docs and sign in with your Google account
    2. Can write, edit, save, and share documents online; can work on any computer and work with others on the same document
    3. Stores your files on Google Drive along with whatever else you have stored there
    4. Includes programs to handle text files ("docs"), presentations ("slides"), and spreadsheets ("sheets"); if using the Chrome browser, download the extension "Office Editing for Docs, Sheets, and Slides" to edit documents
    5. Allows writing and sharing files, so you and others can work on the file at the same time and everyone see all the changes; to share a document you send others an email
    6. Google Docs is available to you through your Google account on any computer connected to the Internet 
    7. Google also has a Calendar program there to edit and see your own and other calendars
  10. OURTIMELINES.COM -- online at
    1. To start go to bottom of home page and click Click Here; you enter the name, birth, and death dates, and it generates beautiful color-bar timelines of world events during the person's lifetime -- time period is from 1000 AD to present year
    2. Color coding shows the type of event, e.g. technology, disaster, personal historical, etc., and underlined titles are links to further info about that event
    3. Can also enter up to 10 personal events for the person; for some personal events, e.g. marriage, it helps to include death year too, so it generates a bar covering their lifetime and not just as an event in the marriage year
    4. Depending on when the person was born during the year personal events may be computed to be at the wrong age of the person, e.g. for Joseph Smith's First Vision which occurred in 1820, since Joseph Smith was born on 23 Dec 1805, it computes the First Vision as occurring when he was 15, instead of 14. 
    5. Website also has additional features such as other famous people born that year and other famous people born on that birthday, regardless of year
    6. Can save the html file or do a screenshot of it and save it as an image file in various formats, e.g. pdf; for html there are helps on the About page on the website; the freeware program FastStone Capture 5.3 will scroll and capture the entire file as pdf, but only on some browsers, e.g. Opera and Windows Explorer  
    1. These are only five of many other freeware programs and websites for FH on Don's   SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE NOTES .
    2. Once you have the vision of what can be done, you can find the program and learn to use it.

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