2016 Donald R. Snow -- This page last updated 2016-08-14.

These notes are online at Don's Family History Notes webpage .  Additional details and many other free programs are on my SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE FOR FAMILY HISTORY notes and my FREEWARE CORNER articles there
  1. INSTRUCTORS are Donald R. Snow of Provo and St. George, Utah  (  and his daughter 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 small donation (usually $5-$10) to the author at the address in the program and they ususally have nag screens.
    3. "Portable" means the program doesn't have to be installed on the computer, so it can be run from a flashdrive anywhere, e.g. on a computer at a FHC; but some organizations set their computers so you can't even run portable programs on them.  
  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 frequently change your default programs and/or add bloatware to your computer
    1. Ninite -- -- you select the freeware you want from the hundreds it has available and it sets up an installer so you don't have to do each program separately; will also check for updates for those programs 
    2. Glary Utilities -- -- includes a program to check for updates for all your installed programs and has a safe place to download updates without getting viruses -- 
    3. Portable Apps -- -- Put this program on a flashdrive and you can then run other programs from the flashdrive without having to install them on the computer, so they become portable for you to use anywhere, e.g. at a FHC
  5. CATEGORIES OF FREEWARE FOR FAMILY HISTORY -- See my  SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE NOTES  for more than 70 free programs in these categories
    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. CLASS TODAY -- will discuss five programs; more details are on my SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE NOTES and in FREEWARE CORNER articles on my webpage -- .
  7. EVERYTHING -- that's the name of the program --
    1. Very helpful to find and work with files anywhere on your computer, if you know anything in the name of the file 
    2. Search syntax (See Help Menu):  (space) = AND; | = OR; ! = NOT; < > = GROUPING; " " = EXACT PHRASE; Wildcards * and ?
    3. Can find, run, rename, delete, form shortcuts, find duplicates, organize -- Number in lower left corner is number of files found for that search criteria
    4. Can sort results by name, date, size, path, etc. , by clicking in title field at top of column
    5. From the results you can drag-and-drop files to move them a folder on desktop or in a file management program such as File Explorer or Q-DIR
  8. Q-DIR -- available from -- Download is in upper right corner -- FAQ's at 
    1. File maintenance program with up to four File Explorer-type panels in various configurations 
    2. Can use it to find, run, copy, delete, rename files
    3. Each panel can be set to show different folders and sort results by title, size, type, date, etc.; can drag and drop between panels; very helpful for organizing files
    4. Has a portable version, so you can run it from a flashdrive without installation on the computer
  9. 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, filling out pdf forms, rotating images, posting "sticky notes" on the pdf, etc.; free version does not include merging pdf's, but other freeware programs will do that, e.g. 
    3. Has OCR (Optical Character Recognition) for pdf's that will OCR pages, articles, or entire books, e.g. can OCR a pdf book downloaded from Google Books
  10. GOOGLE DOCS -- available from -- uses your (free) Google account in any browser, but works best in Chrome
    1. Go to Google > Apps (3x3 square in upper right corner) > Docs and sign in with your Google account -- if you have a Gmail address, you already have a Google account
    2. Can write, edit, save, and share documents online and is available to you through your Google account on any computer connected to the Internet 
    3. Stores your files on Google Drive "in the cloud"
    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. Can work with others simultaneously on the same document and everyone sees all the changes made in real time with the changes labeled by who made them
    6. To share a document you send others an email with the link
    7. Also has a Calendar program to keep track of your appointments and other calendars you can also see
  11. OURTIMELINES.COM -- website online at 
    1. To start click on Timeline (top left) and enter the name, birth, and death years, 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 events are links to further info about that event
    3. Can enter up to 10 Personal Events for the person, e.g. birth, marriage, military service, etc.; including death year on a Personal Event, such as Marriage, shows a color bar for their lifetime and not just a vertical bar in the marriage year
    4. Shows person's age in parentheses at that event, but depending on when the person was born during the year personal events may be computed to be at the wrong age, e.g. for Joseph Smith, since he was born in Dec 1805, it computes his age at First Vision (Spring of 1820), as occurring when he was 15, instead of 14. 
    5. Website also has additional features such as famous people born that year and famous people born on that birthday, regardless of year
    6. Can save the colorful timelines in various ways, e.g. save the html file (right click and save page) or do a screenshot of it and save it as a pdf; there are helps on the website About page for saving in html; some screen capture programs will save the entire scrolling window, e.g. the freeware program FastStone Capture 5.3, but only on some browsers
    7. Gives you ideas to check for the person, e.g. if there was a war during person's lifetime, maybe check for military records, or if a natural disaster, see how it might have affected them
    1. Have discussed only five of many freeware programs and websites; many more on Don's  SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE NOTES  and FREEWARE CORNER articles on  
    2. If you get the vision of what can be done, then when you need it, look up the details of the program.

Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group (UVTAGG) Home Page  or  Don Snow's FH Class Notes Page .