Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.11 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Released on Windows, Mac release coming soon.

  • In previous releases, when using endnote (vs. footnote) style sources, facts with multiple citation superscripts would often appear unordered. For example:

    John Doe was born 1 Oct 1924.7,4,9
    In release 3.1.11 they are ordered:

    John Doe was born 1 Oct 1924.4,7,9
  • If a GEDCOM had multiple identical sources for a fact, Ancestral Author Plus used to duplicate the source. So, the AA Plus output document might have a sentence like this:

    John Doe was born 1 Oct 1924.7,4,9,4
    In release 3.1.11, duplicate superscript(s) are removed and the superscripts are sorted:

    John Doe was born 1 Oct 1924.4,7,9
  • Source citations for endnote style sources are now optionally hyperlinked to the source text in the 'Sources and Endnotes' section of the document. This makes it easy to read the source text - just click the link on the superscript, read the text, then click the 'Back' button in the PDF reader, LibreOffice or OpenOffice. To enable source citation links, press the 'Options' button on the front dialog, select the 'Citations' tab, then click the 'Include Sources', 'Endnotes', and 'Create Link to Endnotes...' checkboxes.

  • Multiple changes have been made to improve the handling of GEDCOMs generated by RESI, CENS, and EVEN event/attribute records are processed in a way that better represents the intent of GEDCOMs exported from Ancestry. DATA records in source citations (heavily used by are better supported. Previously they were ignored.

  • A new phrase called REPLACEMENTS has been added to the phrases file. While technically not a phrase, REPLACEMENTS allows users to remove (or replace) strings of text in a GEDCOM that are not meant to appear in the PDF or ODT output document. For example, some genealogy programs emit XML tags that Ancestral Author Plus cannot process. REPLACMENTS provides a mechanism to remove these, or replace them with alternate text. See the help article under 'Introduction' with title 'Ancestral Author Output Phrases.' This has proven useful for processing GEDCOMs generated by

  • Several other bugs have been fixed.

  • Notice: A new phrase has been added to the phrases file (REPLACEMENTS). If you have modified your phrases, you will need to update the phrases before creating a PDF or ODT file. To do so, select menu item Phrases - Update.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.10 Release

Updates in this release:

  • The ability to read Ancestral Author Classic scripts has been added. Select menu item Script - Import Classic. This will make it easier to transition from Ancestral Author Classic to Plus.

  • Blended families support has been overhauled to include all marriages for a spouse. Previously, only marriages prior to the subject were included.

    For example, if John Doe is a numbered entry in a descendant report, and he married Mary Smith, then with Blended Families enabled - all other marriages of Mary Smith will be shown. In previous releases, only marriages of Mary Smith prior to her mariage to John Doe would be shown. If John Doe died and Mary Smith remarried - the marriage would not have been included in the report. Showing all marriages is more consistent with current genealogical standards.

    Children by those marriages can also be optionally included.

  • An option has been added to include the marriage number for a spouse. For example:

    "John Doe married as her second husband Mary Smith."

    This option can be found in the Options dialog of any genealogy report (Descendant, Ancestor, Every Person) under the Output tab.

  • The default descendant report format (ODF) has been modfied to include all spousal notes before any children. This makes for a more readable report if the Blended Families option is enabled. See the forthcoming blog article on how to modify the formatting of an output report.

  • Bookmarks can now be entered in the help window (on Windows only). This allows a user to bookmark frequently visited help pages.

  • A help button has been added to the AA Plus opening screen.

  • The registration button is now greyed out if Ancestral Author Plus is already registered. You can see (and change) the registration code by selecting menu item Help - Registration.

  • Some bugs involving font support on Macs have been fixed.

  • Numerous other minor bugs have been fixed.

  • Notice: New phrases have been added to the phrases file. If you have modified your phrases, you will have to update the phrases before creating a PDF or ODT file. To do so, select menu item Phrases - Update. Also, a phrase (STEP_CHILDREN_PREFACE) has been deprecated and is no longer used starting in release 3.1.10. If you have modified your phrases, please remove STEP_CHILDREN_PREFACE from your phrases file.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.9 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Date filters have been added. If a date matches a certain user supplied phrase (such as "Date Unknown"), Ancestral Author Plus will ignore the date. The result is that Ancestal Author Plus will not emit an event such as "born Date Unknown," or "died Date Unknown in Raleigh, Virginia." Instead it would exclude the date from the phrase, emitting "died in Raleigh, Virginia."

    To add a date filer, press the 'Options' button on the AA Plus front dialog, and select the 'Date' tab.
  • Extended the 'Blank Pages' document item to insert up to 64 blank pages. Prior to this release, it would insert only a single blank page.
  • Added support for capitalizing surnames in the output report. So, for example, if the following surname appeared in the GEDCOM file:


    It would be emitted into the output document as:


    Names can also be forced to lower case if they are upper case in the GEDCOM file.

    To modify name capitalization, press the 'Options' button on the AA Plus front dialog, and select the 'Names' tab.
  • Fixed a bug with the 'Blank Pages' document item. It sometimes did not insert a blank page in Open Document Text (ODT) files. Version 3.1.9 fixes this problem. Note that PDF files are unaffected.
  • Several other bug fixes and usability improvements.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.8 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Upgraded the 'Import File' document item so that it can import image files in addition to text files. This allows images to be merged with text in a very straight forward way. Useful for chapters in your document that have images associated with them. For a full explanation, read the help topic for 'Import Files', and take a look at the Using Images blog article.
  • Added support for file names with non-ANSII (international) character sets. This includes GEDCOM files, image files, text files, script files - any file that Ancestral Author Plus reads or writes. So, files with names like: Σαμαράς.ged, Jürgen-Köhler.jpg should now be precessed correctly. Prior to this release, Ancestral Author Plus would get 'confused' by files names with characters that were not part of the standard American Windows-1252 character set.
  • Document Items can now be added by clicking the document item buttons in Ancestral Author Plus, in addition to dragging the buttons onto the layout panel. When a document item button is clicked, it will be added to the end of the document. When it is dragged, it can be put in any position in the document, depending on where the document item is 'dropped.'
  • Fixed a macOS bug that prevented the progress bar from displaying when a GEDCOM file was read in. While not noticable for smaller GEDCOM files, Ancestral Author Plus would appear to 'hang' when attempting to browse larger GEDCOM files.
  • Numerous other bug fixes and usability improvements.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.7 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Added more user control on how GEDCOM images are organized in the output document. Images can now be optionally forced to start on a new page, rather than underneath the text on the current page. In addition, the number of images per page can be controlled. Previously, four images were always placed on a page, as long as they would fit. This resulted in smaller images. In this release the user can choose to put fewer images on a page, resulting in larger images. Images can be placed two to a page, or even one per page, resulting in a full page layout for all images in the GEDCOM.

    To view these settings, go to the 'Options' button on an Ancestor, Descendant, or Everyperson report, and select the 'GEDCOM Images' tab.
  • Many usability improvements were added to this release, including improved warning messages for missing images, streamlined dialog for viewing warning messages produced during document creation, warning messages for empty image galleries, and many others.
  • Multiple bug fixes.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.6 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Macintosh support has been added, for macOS versions 10.13 (High Sierra) and later. Download the Mac version here. Purchase here.
  • Support for Page Sizes has been added to 3.1.6:

    U.S. Standard Sizes:

    LEGAL (8.5in x 14in) - Legal pads
    LETTER (8.5in x 11in) - Standard printer output

    Rest of World Standard Sizes:

    A4 (210mm x 297mm) - Letters, printer and copy machine output
    A5 (148mm x 210mm) - Notepads, books
    A6 (105mm x 148mm) - Postcards, books
    B5 (176mm x 250mm) - Books
    B6 (125mm x 176mm) - Books

    To change the page size, press the the 'Options' button in Ancestral Author Plus, then select the 'Page Size' tab. Press 'Help' for more detailed information about page sizes.
  • Ancestral Author Plus sessions will now reread a GEDCOM file if it has changed. This is handy if you change a GEDCOM file while AA is open.
  • Improved the appearance of GEDCOM image galleries in the PDF output. Images now fit better on the page, with less unused page space. Images with larger captions are placed on a full page.
  • Improved font handling in Open Document Text output. Caption fonts are now proportionally smaller than the document text font. Index, Table of Contents, and page number fonts are now the same as the document text font, sized proportionally. List indents are smaller, and are based on the number of items in the list.
  • Other performance and usability improvements.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.5 Release

Bugfix Release

This release fixes a bug that could cause Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.4 to terminate unexpectedly, without an error message, while reading the GEDCOM file. This would happen specifically if a multimedia object existed in the GEDCOM (for example, a picture) with an empty TITL record. The TITL record is used to hold the caption. Normally, if there is no caption, the TITL record will be omitted; but some genealogy programs, such as My Heritage Family Tree, will emit an empty TITL record, which would cause Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.4 to terminate unexpectedly, without warning.

This bug has been fixed in release 3.1.5.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.4 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Ancestral Author Plus will now process images referenced by a GEDCOM, and place them into the PDF or ODT output document. Users are given control over how the images should be placed:

    1. either as a gallery at the end of the genealogy report,
    2. or as a gallery after each person in the report. In this case, images associated with that person are placed in a gallery immediately after the genealogical text, notes, etc. for the person.

    Images can also be placed directly next to the person - useful for photos of the individual. For an example PDF with a photo next to the person, and a picture gallery after the text for that person, see here.
  • Bug fixes and other minor updates.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.3 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Added enhanced support for GEDCOMs exported from The enhancements center mostly on interpreting HTML tags embedded in NOTE and SOURce records of exported GEDCOM, including:

    1. HTML links are now recognized and interpreted by AA Plus, and will appear as links in the output document,
    2. HTML italics, bold, underline, and paragraph tags are recognized.

    The result is a better looking document that more closely preserves the HTML formatting of the text.
  • Bug fixes and other minor updates.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.2 Release

Updates in this release:

  • Support has been added for reports that include every person in the GEDCOM. This is an easy way to capture all the information in a GEDCOM into a single report.
  • Dragging a GEDCOM file onto the Ancestral Author Plus desktop icon now generates a report that automatically includes every person in the GEDCOM. Prior to this release, the report included only the descendants of the person with the most progeny.
  • Headings in PDF reports are now much less likely to be stranded at the bottom of a page. In previous versions of Ancestral Author Plus, headings were occassionally emitted at the bottom of the page, with subsequent text starting at the top of the next page. This looks odd, and makes it difficult to see the relationship between the heading and related text. The Ancestral Author Plus PDF generator now employs special algorithms to prevent this from happening. Also, similar algorithms are implemented in LibreOffice and OpenOffice to prevent the stranding of headings.

    Note that headings include offspring and note prefaces, such as

    "Children of John Doe and Mary Smith:"


    "Notes for Mary Smith:"

    In addition, headings include the standard Level 1 through 3 headings that can be inserted directly into a document via the AA Plus user interface.
  • Multiple usability improvements, including the ability to retry if Ancestral Author Plus cannot write an output report because the user is viewing it in LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or a PDF viewer. It is no longer necessary to completely regenerate the report.
  • Numerous bug fixes.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.1 Release (PDF Support for Drag and Drop)

New features and bug fixes:

  • Ancestral Author Plus now generates PDF files by default during drag and drop - when a GEDCOM file is dragged onto the Ancestral Author Plus desktop icon.

    To cause Output Document Text files to be generated, open Ancestral Author Plus, select menu item "Script - Preferences - Cause Drag And Drop To Generate ODT".

    To switch back, select menu item "Script - Preferences - Cause Drag And Drop To Generate PDF".
  • Fixed a bug related to selecting predefined Output Document Format files. Any choice other than the default would cause errors after pushing the 'Create PDF' or 'Create ODT' buttons.
  • Fixed several other bugs relating to GEDCOM drag and drop.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.1.0 Release (PDF Support)

New features and bug fixes:

  • Author Plus now supports direct PDF generation, in addition to Open Document Text (ODT) format. Simply press the Create PDF button to create a PDF document, viewable with the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader; or press the Create ODT button to create an Open Document Text document, viewable and editable with LibreOffice or OpenOffice. To view PDF files, you will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader or some other PDF viewer installed. To view and edit ODT files, you will need to have LibreOffice or OpenOffice installed.
  • Improved the GEDCOM reader so that it is more tolerant of common GEDCOM errors.
  • Fixed several bugs.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.0.14 Release

New features and bug fixes:

  • Ancestor reports now include hyperlinks to the spouses. In previous versions of Ancestral Author Plus, spouses in an ancestor report were not hyperlinked.
  • Ancestor reports no longer include vital information (birth, death, etc) for a spouse, since the text for the spouse is already included elsewhere. To illustrate the point: in previous versions, Ancestor report entries would have looked like this (with spousal information in italics duplicated):

    2. John Doe was born 1 Jan 1901. He married Jane Smith 18 Apr 1923 in Hartford, CT. Jane Smith was born 17 Dec 1903 in Hartford, CT.

    3. Jane Smith was born 17 Dec 1903 in Hartford, CT. She married John Doe 18 Apr 1923 in Hartford, CT. John Doe was born 1 Jan 1901.

    Starting in release 3.0.14, the report would look like this (without spousal information duplicated):

    2. John Doe was born 1 Jan 1901. He married Jane Smith 18 Apr 1923 in Hartford, CT.

    3. Jane Smith was born 17 Dec 1903 in Hartford, CT. She married John Doe 18 Apr 1923 in Hartford, CT.

    NOTE: The spousal information is included if the spouse does not appear elsewhere in the Ancestor report. This happens frequently when an individual in the direct ancestral line marries more than once.
  • The appearance of hyperlinks within the document has been modified (improved) to mimic the appearance of hyperlinks in AA Classic. With this change, hyperlinked documents can be printed in black and white, rendering the hyperlinks invisible in the printed document. Prior to this change, any printed document produced by Ancestral Author Plus had hyperlinked names underlined - which is not very useful on the printed page, and would look a little strange.
  • A bug has been fixed that caused extra punctuation to appear in some source citations.
  • Another bug was fixed that caused children to be listed too close together in an Ancestor or Descendant report. In the list of children for a couple, children would appear on a line immediatly after the previous child, making it difficult to distinguish one child from another at a glance. With this release, a little extra spacing has been added between children, making it easier to distinguish one child from another.
  • A few minor graphical user interface bugs have been fixed.
  • Note that Ancestral Author 3.0.13 was never released. Most of the work in AA 3.0.13 was related to software infrastructure and porting to new development environments - changes not visible to users.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.0.12 Released

Fixed a bug that caused register numbers in a descendant report to appear out of order when the global date sorting option was enabled.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.0.11 Released

Several new features and a few bug fixes have been added to Ancestral Author Plus:

  • Added support for altnerate birth, baptism, christening, marriage, death, and burial events. These can be output as a list of alternate dates after the primary (i.e. first) date, or as separate sentences. See descendant, ancestor options dialogs, 'Output' tab.
  • Added support for PROP GEDCOM tag (see descendant, ancestor options dialogs, 'GEDCOM' tab).
  • Implemented support for angle brackets in titles and headings.
  • Fixed a bug in the GEDCOM browser - it now respects CONC, CONT user settings specified in the descendant and ancestor report options dialog. Extra blanks, and run-together words should no longer appear.
  • Implement more graceful handling of unmatched, unrecognized, and illegal XML tags that appear in GEDCOM notes, sources, events, and other contexts. For example, an improperly closed list item tag, <li>, should no longer result in garbled text in the output document.
  • Fixed several other bugs to improve stability and performance.

Ancestral Author Plus 3.0.10 Released

The following changes have been made to Ancestral Author Plus:

  • Generation headings are now supported in both Ancestor and Descendant reports. These headings are placed before each new generation in the report. For example:

    Generation Number 1

    There are options to place the heading in the table of contents (or not), and force a page break before each generation heading, so that each generation is started on a new page. The actual text of the generation heading can be modified by selecting the 'Phrases' menu item. The font and point size can be changed by pressing the 'Options' button on the main dialog.
  • A few minor bugs have been fixed.