2010 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes This page was last updated 2010-03-13.
Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page, or Don's Class Listings Page .

  • When connected to the Internet, highlight an individual in PAF and while holding down the ALT key, press S, then F, in that order
  • Takes you to http://www.familysearch.org , enters the name, does the search for you, and shows you the results
  • Can refine the search to narrow it down and/or log on with your FamilySearch user name and password to see the ordinance data -- will have to repeat ALT-S-F for the individual in order to see the ordinances

  • PAF will print blank calendar pages in various formats for any month of any year from 100 to 2100 -- to see these limits type in any year outside of this range
  • Go to Print > Calendar and set the options you want
  • Can also print birthday/anniversary calendars of any set of individuals in the database, e.g. your descendants for a family calendar
  • Date Calculator
    • Under PAF Tools > Date Calculator -- also under Edit Individual screen > Options > Date Calculator
    • You enter any two dates, beginning (birth date), elapsed time (age), or ending (death date), and it will calculate the third
    • Helpful for calculating things like exact age from birth and death dates or birth date when you know death date and age from tombstone
    • Accounts for leap years, changes in calendars, etc.

  • Edit Individual > Options > New Event/Attribute
  • Allows entering additional Events to have data fields to enter data for any individual
  • Can change the Template to contain additional events so Edit Individual screens for everyone shows the additional events or can just add events for one person
  • Additional Events can be things like Residences, Religion, Military Service, Missionary Service, Adoption, Links to Websites, etc.
  • Can select title, description, dates, things you want PAF to show, ways you want it to read in narrative books, etc.

  • Special symbols are things like the British pound sign
  • Symbols can be entered on Individual Edit screens using Options > Symbols and selecting any of the 35,000 unicode symbols (British pound symbol is on bottom row)
  • Symbols can be entered in notes by using the Unicode number, e.g. 00A3 for , and then pressing ALT-X.
  • Can find the Unicode numbers for symbols on websites such as http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/UFF00.pdf -- do a page search for "pound" to find 00A3 for near the bottom

  • PAF will export data to a text file for use in a spreadsheet, for example, with fields separated by commas -- csv format
  • Many other programs can use csv format as imports, e.g. Excel spreadsheets, so you can see and sort the data in ways that you can't do in PAF
  • Can export data for a group or the entire database this way
  • Go to Print > Custom Report tab, do the selection of columns, records, etc., and click on "Print to Comma Delimited File"
  • Click on Preview first to be sure you are getting what you want

  • PAF has the ability to write a book from your genealogical data, either ancestry or descendancy data
    • Ancestors (ahnentafel)-- a form of "compressed" pedigree charts -- father's number is twice that of child, mother's is twice that of child plus one
    • Descendancy -- Modified Register format (from the New England Historic Genealogical Society Register)
  • Go to Print > Books tab and select the options you want, e.g. Ancestry or Descendancy, starting person, how much of the sources and notes to include, whether to include RIN's and MRIN's, photos, LDS data, etc.
  • Can edit the Event wording for narrative reports by Edit > Individual Event List, highlight an Event, and click Edit -- can change wording for each way it is used in the resulting narrative book
  • Preview the result and go back and edit data, and do the Preview again to get it exactly the way you want it
  • Gives a good way of examining your data and, particularly, your notes and sources to see what needs correcting
  • Can use a freeware program like doPDF or PDF995 to print the entire book to pdf

    • Go to Edit Individual > Multimedia (camera icon) or else highlight an individual and click on camera icon on toolbar
    • Click Add > Photo > Browse (by clicking on the "...") and select the file you want -- check Preview so you see a thumbnail copy of photo there
    • Click on Modify Photo to edit or add caption or description to show in Scrapbook
    • Click on Edit Photo to flip, crop, select for Slide Show and/or Scrapbook (see details for Slide Shows and Scrapbooks below)
    • Same photo can be used in several places with different croppings for different individuals
    • Cropping keeps same outside frame size, but expands a part of the picture so you can select one individual out of a group picture -- easiest to crop by clicking on photo and dragging the rectangular box to size wanted, but can also do it by setting margin numbers
    • Default photo to show has an * by it -- change default photo by highlighting another and clicking on Make Default
    • Can make a sound clip to describe each photo
      • Requires a sound card and microphone -- mike plugs into a jack in the sound card, usually at back of the computer
      • Windows has a built-in Sound Recorder program, but freeware programs such as Audacity are much better
      • When saving the file, include its length in the name, e.g. "Don's Study-7 secs.wav" -- this helps in setting up a Slideshow later
    • PAF can run these narrations while changing slides to have a narrated Slideshow
    • To link to a pdf, html, or other type document on your computer select either Sound Clip or Video Clip option (even though they are not sound or video clips) and enter the path, name, etc.
    • When ready to show these, double click on name or click Play and PAF will open the pdf reader, browser, or other program and show the file -- assumes that your computer has the file extension associated with the right program, e.g. .pdf associated with Adobe Reader
    • Can set up slideshows and scrapbooks with photos and sound clips for any individual in the PAF database
    • Go to Edit Individual > Multimedia Collection (camera icon) or else highlight an individual and click on the camera icon on the toolbar
    • Click on Add Sound Clip and enter the path and name of sound clip -- note length of sound clip from the name you gave it
    • Click on Add Photo and put in corresponding photo immediately after sound clip, so you have sound clip, photo, sound clip, photo, etc., in the order you want them to be shown
    • To include a photo and/or a sound clip in a slideshow and/or the scrapbook click Edit > Include in Slideshow and/or Include in Scrapbook -- For slideshow set length of time to show it -- helps to have length in name of clip
    • To include sound clip with photo in Scrapbook enter path and name of sound clip in Attached Sound (at bottom of screen)
    • Click Save before you exit or you will lose all your work
    • To view Slideshow go to Multimedia Collection screen and click Slideshow -- can adjust the time a slide is shown, if it doesn't quite match the sound clip time
    • To view Scrapbook go to Multimedia Collection screen and click Scrapbook
    • Shows all the photos you included for that person and scrapbook may contain other photos and sound clips that you didn't include in the Slideshow
    • In the Scrapbook click on small speaker in upper right corner of photo to hear the sound clip for that picture
    • Print Scrapbook by Print > Scrapbook and set options you want, including numbers of rows and columns, box styles, borders, background, colors, what to include, etc. - Preview it on screen before printing
    • Can use a freeware program like doPDF or PDF995 to print the scrapbook to a pdf

    • PAF forms a web page with your data and shows it in a browser, e.g. Firefox or Internet Explorer -- doesn't need to be posted online
    • Click on World icon on toolbar (right side) or on Tools > Create-Web-Page -- select the options you want
      • Type of web page -- Ancestors, Descendants, or Selected Persons -- to get everyone use Selected Persons and choose All
      • Embedding vs Linking of Individual Notes means whether the notes will be displayed with the person (takes up space) or linked to the person so you have to click on the link to see them -- looks neater, but then you don't see the notes without clicking
    • Viewing the webpage in a browser will show you things you will want to edit in your data, sources, or notes -- very helpful view
    • Can include active links in the web pages PAF generates in several places, e.g. events, sources, and notes
    • To include a link in an Event go to the Edit Individual screen, click on Options > New Event-Attribute > New to form a new Event
    • Give it a title such as Title: html-Information, Short Title: html-Info, Abbreviation: HI, and check only the Use Description box
    • In the No Date or Place box enter: "For information about this person click here <a href= "%6">%6</a>." (without the beginning and ending quotes) -- This can be modified for male, female, or unknown gender later when you see how to do it
      • The %6 refers to Item 6 shown below that will be substituted in the satement later, that is, %6 means it will be replaced with the Description later -- and that's where you will put the URL later
    • Click OK and Select the html Event from the list
    • In the Description field for the html Event for a person enter the URL you want, e.g. http://earlylds.com
    • Now when PAF generates the webpage there will be a link in the individual's notes that says, "For information about this person click here http://earlylds.com " and this will be an active link, so clicking on it it takes you to that URL
    • The website URL can be replaced by a link to any html file stored on your computer, for example, a timeline saved as an html file from http://www.ourtimelines.com -- replace the URL with the location and name of the file on your computer
    • To save an html file from a website click on the File > Save Page As and save it as an html file (wording may be slightly different) with a name like "DoeJohn-Timeline.html" in a folder called "html Files"
    • In PAF follow the same steps as above to enter an active Event link, but in the Description field, instead of the URL, type "../html Files/[name of html file]" (without the quotes) -- this tells PAF where to find the html file on your computer later for the link in the generated webpages
    • Move the "html Files" folder so it is a subfolder in the same folder as the web folder generated by PAF for the webpage, since that's where the wording in the Description field tells it to look for it -- you can change that later, if you know how
    • Now, in the PAF-generated webpage, clicking on the link in the notes will show the stored html file, e.g. the timeline
    • With this method you can link into your PAF database any file that can be put into html format, e.g. text files, images, PowerPoint files, video clips, sound recordings, etc.

  • PAF is a powerful genealogy program and most of us use only a small number of its features.
  • Viewing your data in other formats helps to find errors and clean it up.
  • Knowing what PAF can do gives you a vision for further work, analysis, and uses of your data.

  1. Try the ALT-S-F trick on some name in your database. You must be connected to the Internet for it to work
  2. Do a narrative book, Ancestry or Descendancy, of everyone in your database to see what the format looks like. You don't have to print it, just look at it on screen.
  3. Make a webpage of everyone in your PAF database and see what the data looks like in this format. You don't have to post it on the Internet, just generate it and look at it in a browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc.) on your computer.

Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page , or Don's Class Listings Page .