Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Using custom report features of your genealogy program

I recently received the following query from a reader:
We are new to Genealogy and have and Family Tree Maker.

This is a question that I am sure must have been answered a million times but we have not been able to find a solution doing Google searches. We would like to use Excel to help sort out what we know and don't know from the tree that we have built so far.

Is there any software that will download an existing gedcom file onto an Excel spreadsheet?
The best answer is no, although technically it is possible to import the information, but it would just be too unreadable. Ol' Myrt here understands you wish to use your experience with Excel to sort and filter the data. It is a powerful program, and I enjoyed teaching it in the post secondary setting for many years.

Every genealogy management program includes default reports (name-sorted, place-sorted to list a few). But there is also the ability to create custom reports where you specify things like:

  • people in a given time period
  • names in a certain alpha range
  • people where the birth field is blank, etc.

So my best advice is to look to your existing program to create reports on the data  you've entered. Folks tend to have two or three genealogy management programs for the ease of creating reports varies among them.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)
Your friend in genealogy.