Ancestral Author is an easy
program to use. It guides you step by step through a procedure that
transforms your genealogical research into an Adobe PDF document.
Why PDF? Click here.
The PDF format is ideal for
distributing your genealogical data. Distribute through email, on
the internet, or print it out and use postal mail.
PDFs are less easily abused
than GEDCOMs. They can't be indiscriminately uploaded to Rootsweb,
FamilySearch, or other websites; and they can't easily be imported
into somebody's genealogy database.
Easily transform a downloaded
GEDCOM into a PDF. Just drag the GEDCOM onto the Ancestral Author
desktop icon, and in a few seconds you'll have a fully hyperlinked
and indexed PDF document. This makes it easy to view GEDCOMs
downloaded from FamilySearch, Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, Genealogy.com,
Or use the Ancestral Author
wizard to create more elaborate PDF documents with title pages,
chapters, sections, indexes, source references, table of contents,
etc. See a small sample PDF document created by Ancestral Author here.
You can add pictures to your
titles pages, such as a family crest, an old picture of the
homestead, or a picture of your great-grandparents. Click here
for more info.
You can embed pictures within
the text of your document. For example, if you've written a
biography of your ancestor, you can import a picture of him or her,
give it a caption, and place it on the page containing the
biography. For a sample, click here.
You can also use this capability to import scanned images of
old documents. For a sample of this, click here.
(It may take a while for the PDF file to download. You'll need have
Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.)
You can automatically extract
descendant reports from your GEDCOM, starting with any individual,
including any number of generations. Any number of descendant
reports can be extracted. For example, you can extract your father's
ancestry in one descendant report, and your mother's ancestry in
another. Each descendant report can be placed in the PDF document
with its own chapter, and its own title: "Ancestry of My
Mom", "Ancestry of My Dad".
Names are hyperlinked to
pages. This makes it easy to navigate the genealogical
relationships. Click on a hyperlinked name, and you are brought
immediately to the page on which that person appears.
The index is fully hyperlinked
too. Once you find someone in the index, just click on the page
number, and you are brought immediately to that page.
Creates PDF documents up to
72,000 pages long, with 4.5 million hyperlinks. Extra capacity beyond these
limits is also available. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to write a chapter that
describes your research? Or acknowledge help from other researchers?
No problem. Just write the chapter in an ordinary text file, using
your favorite text editor, and import it into Ancestral Author. You
can give it a chapter heading like "Acknowledgements",
"Research Notes", etc.
Want to create an appendix
that includes wills, deeds, and other research documents? Again, use
the text file import facility, and give them chapter headings like
"Appendix A - Wills", or "Appendix B - Deeds".
You can import scanned images of these documents, too; giving your
readers the opportunity to see the original documents.
Names can be output in
uppercase or lowercase, depending on your preference.
You can format notes in a
variety of ways, or suppress them altogether.
Two levels of chapter heading
are supported. LEVEL 1 headings are used for chapters, LEVEL 2
headings are used for sections within a chapter. Any number of
headings can be specified.
Headings are placed in a PDF outline
view. Like a table of contents, it allows you to see the
structure of the document at a glance, and to quickly jump to any
chapter or section in the document. If you've included a table of
contents in your document, the headings will appear there too.
Once you've set up your PDF
document exactly the way you want, with the right chapters,
headings, title page, and descendants reports, you can save the
settings in a script file. From that point forward, import
the script file into Ancestral Author and it will automatically
regenerate your PDF document with hardly any effort on your part.
Source references are shown in
the PDF file with a numerical superscript next to birth, death,
burial location, and marriage events. If the PDF file is long, it
can be cumbersome to scroll to the Sources And Endnotes
chapter at the end of the document. To avoid this problem, you can
insert source annotations (post-it notes) in the left
margins of the document. Double click on the post-it note, and
sources for the individual are displayed in a popup window.
Ancestral Author and give it a try. The trial version emits a
watermark across each page. Register Ancestral Author to eliminate