Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF)


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Any computer user can read Adobe PDF files. You don't need Word, Wordperfect, or a genealogy program to read them. All you need is the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, which many people already have on their computers.

The Adobe Acrobat Reader must be installed to view the PDFS below.

  GreenBullet.gif (1084 bytes) PDF files can easily be printed, creating nice looking hardcopy with high quality fonts, graphics, and a layout that is identical to what you see on the computer - regardless of what computer or printer was used to print it.

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Sample PDF

  GreenBullet.gif (1084 bytes) PDF files can be read on Apple Macintosh computers, Microsoft Windows computers, Linux and Unix computers, etc. PDF is the universal portable document standard, used by businesses, governments, and private individuals around the world.

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Sample PDF

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PDF files are hyperlinked. It is easy to follow genealogical relationships. Just click on a hyperlinked name and you are immediately brought to the page for that person. Flipping pages to get from parents to children to grandchildren is unnecessary. Just click on the children, and you are instantly brought to the page. Click on a name in the index, and you are brought immediately to the page for that person.

Ancestral Author



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PDF files can be put on the internet and viewed by anyone with a web browser; they can be sent by email to anyone interested in your genealogy. With one file you can:
  • print a high quality genealogy document,
  • conveniently read and browse your genealogy on your computer,
  • publish your genealogy on the internet, and
  • email it to a fellow researcher.

The same file serves multiple purposes.

In some resepects, PDF files are safer to distribute than GEDCOM files. They are less subject to abuse. It is not possible to automatically upload them to,,, etc. Nor can they be imported into somebody else's genealogical database. And they can't be editted or changed. This gives a degree of control that is not available with GEDCOM files.