Ancestral Author

Ancestor Reports

Descendant Reports

Every Person Reports

Title Pages

Tables of Contents

Name Index

Source Citations

Hyperlinked Names

Import Text Files (w/Images)

Phrase Control

Margin Control

Page Number Control

Alternating Margins

Context Sensitive Help

Chapter Headings

Hyperlinked Index

Generation Headings

Page Sizes

Footnote Style Sources

International Characters

Embedded Fonts

Font Selection

PDF Generation

Output Text Reordering

Image Galleries

GEDCOM Browser

Drag & Drop Editing

Editable Output Document

Import Formatted Text

Multiple GEDCOMs



one time fee

By Drag and Drop Only

As Endnotes Only

2 Levels





one time fee (includes AA Classic)

As Endnotes or Footnotes

3 Levels

PDF Only

Direct, or Indirect Through LibreOffice/OpenOffice


Explanation of Features


Ancestor (or Ahnentafel) reports show the ancestry of a person, following parents, grandparents, etc. - as far back as is known. Descendant reports show the descendants of a person, showing all children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. Every Person reports show all people in the GEDCOM, regardless of their relationship to each other.

These reports have various options that control how many generations of ancestors or descendants are put into the report, how the information is presented, in what order, etc.

Note that multiple of these reports can appear in a single document. Ancestral Author Plus allows each report to be based on a different GEDCOM. Ancestral Author Classic requires all reports in a document to be based on the same GEDCOM.

Ancestral Author Classic and Ancestral Author Plus both automatically generate an 'Every Person' report when a GEDCOM is dragged onto the desktop icon. In addition Ancestral Author Plus allows 'Every Person' reports to be inserted into a document via the user interface, in a manner similar to Descendant and Ancestor reports.

Document items are units of content that can be placed into a report. They include:

  • Title Page - Usually appears first in the document, and contains the name of the document, an optional graphic (e.g. a family crest, or a photo of a person), and an optional byline identifying the author of the report.
  • Table of Contents
  • Name Indexes - Usually appear at or near the end of the document. It's organized by surname, and lists all people with that surname, their birth and death dates. Ancestral Author Classic has links back to the page on which they appear. Ancestral Author Plus does not.
  • Headings - Chapter, Section, and Subsection headings. Ancestral Author Plus has three levels of headings. Ancestral Author Classic has two.
  • Sources and Endnotes Section - This is usually placed near the end of the document. It consists of a numbered list of all sources cited in all genealogy reports (e.g. Ancestor, Descendant) included in the document.
  • Imported Text Files (with graphics)
  • Image Galleries (Ancestral Author Plus only)
  • Genealogy Reports (Ancestor, Descendant, and Every Person)

Ancestral Author Plus allows sources to be cited in two formats:

  1. As Endnotes - Usually at the end of the document.
  2. As Footnotes - At the bottom of each page on which the citation appears.

Ancestral Author Classic supports endnote style source citations only.

Hyperlinked names make it easy to traverse relationships. By clicking on a name, you are brought immediately to the page on which that person appears. This makes it easy to find parents, grandparents, children, etc. Ancestral Author Plus places hyperlinks in the output document, which can be viewed, edited, printed, and converted to PDF with LibreOffice or OpenOffice. Note the hyperlinks are preserved in the conversion to PDF.

Ancestral Author Classic places the hyperlinks directly in the PDF output file.

Ancestral Author Plus and Classic both allow text files to be imported into your document, and both allow images to be embedded in the text files. Text file import is usually used to provide the textual content of a chapter, and is usually placed in the document directly after a chapter heading. Ancestral Author Plus allows certain types of formatted text including:

  • italicized, bold, and underlined text
  • lists
  • superscripts
  • internet links
  • citations (footnotes or endnotes)
  • entries in a name index (e.g. placing a person that appears in the text in the index)
  • page break and line breaks

Ancestral Author Classic allows only plain text.

Both Ancestral Author Classic and Ancestral Author Plus allow all phrases used in the output text to be changed by the user. Ancestral Author Plus has a builtin text editor to make changing the phrases a little easier. Ancestral Author Classic requires the user to use an external text editor to make the changes.

Left and right margins can be changed to any reasonable value, and they can alternate from odd to even pages, which is useful for double sided printing.

Page numbers can be placed in the top center, top right, bottom center, or bottom right. In addition, they can be set to alternate from right to left for double sided printing.

Margins can be set to alternate on odd and even pages for double sided printing.

Ancestral Author Classic has links from the index back to the page on which that person appears. Unfortunately, a way has not yet been found to create index links in the Open Office Document format, so index links are not supported in Ancestral Author Plus. We're looking for ways to do this, though, so if you know of a technique, let us know.

It's often useful to put each generation of an ancestor or descendant report in their own section or subsection, with a section heading. This is supported in both Ancestral Author Classic and Plus. Ancestral Author Plus gives you control over the font and text size. Both give you options to start each generation heading on a new page, and to choose whether you want the headings to appear in the table of contents. In addition, both allow you to change the text of the generation heading. For example, instead of "Generation No. 1", you could change it to "Generation 1" or "Generation Number 1".

Every dialog has a Help button which explains what the dialog is for, and how information should be entered into the dialog. Help is always at your fingertips.

Ancestral Author Plus supports footnotes style source citations, as well as source citations in the endnotes. Ancestral Author Classic supports only endnote style source citations.

Ancestral Author Classic supports only the ISO-Latin-1 character set. While this includes all English as well as some European language characters, it does not support international characters in general. Ancestral Author Plus supports all international characters, including European, Eastern European, Asian, and Middle Eastern characters. If a character can appear on a computer screen, it can appear in a document produced by Ancestral Author Plus.

Genealogists often want to submit their work to be printed by a book binding service. Many of these services will take PDF files, as long as the fonts are embedded directly in the PDF file. This makes it easier to reproduce the original intent in the final printed pages. Ancestral Author Plus supports embedded fonts. Ancestral Author Classic does not.

Ancestral Author Plus allows the use of any font that is installed on your computer. Fonts for document text, headings, title, and byline can all be individually selected. Ancestral Author Classic is limited to a few builtin fonts.

Ancestral Author Classic generates PDF directly, without going through a LibreOffice or OpenOffice intermediary. This is great if all you want is a PDF file, unchanged. But if you want to edit the file, add content, or make any changes at all, you're out of luck.

Ancestral Author Plus produces files in the Open Document Format. To create PDF, you open the document in LibreOffice or OpenOffice, expand the name index and table of contents (via Tools/Update/Update All menu item), then export the PDF (via File/Export As PDF menu item). It's very straightforward. Many more options for generating the PDF are supported through LibreOffice and OpenOffice, including digital signatures.

Ancestral Author Plus supports changing the order in which information appears in the output file. The list of children can be output before or after the notes, events and facts can be placed before or after the children - in fact there is almost complete flexibility to place information in the output document in any order that you like. This is done through the Format menu item.

Ancestral Author Classic has fixed format output.

Ancestral Author Plus supports the automatic creation of image galleries, i.e. chapters in the output document that consist solely of images (with captions), placed one per page, or multiple per page. This makes it easy to add collections of pictures to a document.

Ancestral Author Classic requires you to place the images manually, one at a time.

Users usually have to supply a root person for genealogical reports (e.g. descendant or ancestor reports). The report starts at the root.

Ancestral Author Plus has a GEDCOM browser that makes it easy to browse through people in the GEDCOM, to find the root of the report. Various types of searches are supported, including wildcard searches, date searches, and so on. The browser is hyperlinked, so that people in family group sheets can be visited simply by clicking.

The browser is a handy tool for exploring relationships in a GEDCOM.

Ancestral Author Classic does not have a browser. You can search names by wildcard, but you can't see relationships. So if you find a name, and want to find the father, you'll have to know the father's name. In Ancestral Author Plus, you just click on the father.

Ancestral Author Classic has a wizard style interface for constructing a document. This makes it difficult to rearrange or delete items once they've been added to the document. Ancestral Author Plus has a Drag & Drop style interface that makes it easy to add document items, reorder them, or delete them.

Ancestral Author Plus creates documents that can be viewed and edited by LibreOffice or OpenOffice, both free open source word processing applications. New chapters can be added, styling can be changed - any change at all can be made to the document produced by Ancestral Author Plus. The Table of Contents and Name Index can easily be updated to reflect the new pages. PDF files can be created in a very straightforward manner.

Ancestral Author Classic generates PDF files that cannot be modified (at least not easily).

Ancestral Author Plus allows certain formatting options on imported text. For example:

  • italicized, bold, and underlined text
  • lists
  • superscripts
  • internet links
  • citations (footnotes or endnotes)
  • entries in a name index (e.g. placing a person that appears in the text in the index)
  • page break and line breaks

Ancestral Author Classic allows only plain text.

Both Ancestral Author and Ancestral Author Plus can create multiple genealogical reports in a single document. But Ancestral Author Plus allows each report to be based on a different GEDCOM. So, for example, if your mother's ancestry is documented in one GEDCOM, and your father's ancestry in another, both genealogies can be included in a single document.

Ancestral Author Classic allows users to set the page size to LETTER, LEGAL, A4, A5, A6, B5, or B6. Ancestral Author Plus does not yet support this feature, but documents generated in ODT format can easily have their page sizes changed within LibreOffice or OpenOffice.