2018 Donald R. Snow

This page last updated 2018-11-11.   Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page or Don's Class Listings Page .
ABSTRACT:  There are many free or inexpensive computer programs that are very helpful for family history. This class will discuss four of them, EVERYTHING - free program that finds all files on your computer quickly and easily; FASTSTONE CAPTURE - screen capture program that even captures scrolling windows; Q-DIR - computer utility program that helps move, rename, delete, or copy programs in various ways;  and PDF-XCHANGE EDITOR - freeware program that reads and edits pdf's and does OCR (Optical Character Recognition) on them.   The notes for this class and related articles, all with active Internet links, are on Don's website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow of Provo and St. George, Utah  ( .
  2. Terms used
    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-$20) to the author at the address in the program and they usually have nag screens.
    3. "Portable" means the program doesn't have to be installed on the computer, so it can be run from a flash drive 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 use the "recommended" or "standard" installation options since those usually change your default programs and/or add bloatware to your computer; use the "custom" installation and read before clicking
  4. Helpful installation and updating programs
    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 -- -- This program on a flash drive can then run other programs from the flash drive 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 -- Many freeware programs listed on my  SUPPLEMENTARY FREEWARE NOTES  
    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 four programs - EVERYTHING, FASTSTONE CAPTURE, Q-DIR, AND PDF-XCHANGE EDITOR -- more details are in other notes and articles on my webpage -- -- could do an entire class on each of these, so we will only hit the highlights here 

  8. EVERYTHING is the name of the program; available from -- download and install it
  9. Very helpful to find and work with files anywhere on your computer, if you know anything in the name of the file 
  10. Search syntax (See Help Menu):  (space) means AND; | ("pipe") means OR; ! means NOT; < > means GROUPING; " " means EXACT PHRASE; Wildcards are * and ?
  11. Can find, run, rename, delete, form shortcuts, find duplicates, organize -- Number in lower left corner is number of files found for that search criteria
  12. Click on the title field at top of column to sort results by that column, e.g. name, date, size, or path; second click there reverses the sort
  13. From the results you can drag-and-drop files to move them to a folder in a file management program such as FILE EXPLORER or Q-DIR
  14. Preview Panel -- click on View > Preview  and you get a panel at the right that shows what's in the file without having to open it in another program -- very helpful in file management, renaming, deleting, etc.
  15. Can be used to move or delete a selected group of files into another folder; when moving them to a folder it checks for duplicates and asks what you want to do for dups it finds; very helpful for file maintenance  

  17. Free and shareware versions -- last free version was 5.3 available from ; latest shareware version is 9.0 for a one-time fee of $20 and available from 
  18. See my  Freeware Corner article for Dec 2017  on my webpage for more details
  19. Will copy and/or print anything that you can see on your computer screen, e.g. photographs, census records, websites, pedigree charts, family groups, etc.
  20. Will even capture scrolling windows, which is what makes it so much better than other screen capture programs
  21. When you run it, there is a "floating window" on your screen that has the selection icons and controls
  22. Can save in jpg, tif, png, and even pdf
  23.  Can print directly or save the capture; also has an editor so you can edit the screen capture before saving; many other features
  24. Q-DIR

  25. Available from -- Download button is in upper right corner -- FAQ's at 
  26. File maintenance program with up to four FILE EXPLORER-type panels in various configurations (The name may mean "Quad Directories".)
  27. Can use it to find, run, copy, move, delete, rename files; also has a way to copy the path of the file to your clipboard
  28. Each panel can be set to show different folders and sort in different ways; can drag and drop between panels; very helpful for organizing files
  29. Has a search feature, but it is so slow that it's not useful 
  30. Has a portable version, so you can run it from a flash drive at a FHC without installation on the computer

  32. Available from -- is a pdf editor and reader 
  33. Previous version was called PDF-XChange Viewer and is also still available; both are free for private use
  34. 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. 
  35. 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

  37. We have discussed freeware and shareware and four of the helpful programs for family history and for other computer uses; could say much more about each; more information on Don's webpage
  38. If you get the vision of what a programs can do, then when you need it, you can look up the details of how to use it.

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