Ancestral Author Plus is a desktop application that creates documents from GEDCOMs, images, text, and other source material. Documents can be created in Portable Document Format (PDF), or Open Document Text (ODT) format. For a full explanation, click here.
Ancestral Author Classic is a desktop application that creates PDF documents from GEDCOMs, images, text, and other source material. For a full explanation, click here.
AA Plus is the next generation of AA Classic. It
- has a better user interface
- produces documents either in PDF format or Open Document Text format. Open Document Text format documents can be edited, modified, extend, and easily converted to PDF
- gives the user much more control over the format of the output,
- and supports international character sets (which AA Classic has problems with).
AA Plus can generate PDF directly. But it can also generate output in the the Open Document Text format (ODT) international standard. To view and edit ODT documents, a word processor that uses ODT must be installed for AA Plus to work well. LibreOffice and OpenOffice are the two most widely used (free) applications that use ODT directly; and we recommend installing one of those. From either of these word processing apps, the output document generated by AA Plus can be edited, and/or easily converted to PDF.
Because AA Classic still has some functions that are not implemented in AA Plus, AA Classic will continue to be maintained and supported, with two planned releases a year, more if required.
For a detailed matrix showing the differences between AA Plus and AA Classic, see here.
ODT is an international standard, developed and maintained by an independent standards body. ODT is independent of any single company, and it's survival as a document standard does not depend on the economic health of any particular company. In this sense, it is a more durable standard than the Microsoft Word proprietary document format.
ODT is widely supported by open source (and commercial) products such as LibreOffice, OpenOffice, KOffice, Google Docs, Corel Wordperfect Suite, Sun Microsystems StarOffice, and many others. Even Microsoft Word can import ODT documents (though sometimes imperfectly).
Because of it's non-proprietary nature, ODT is sometimes preferred by governments and agencies around the world, primarily as a policy issue.
For more info, and links to technical specs, standards bodies, and organizations that promote the Open Document Format (superset of ODT), see here.
Both applications (Plus and Classic) allow users to change words and phrases used in the output text. The Ancestral Author Plus user interface allows you to do this directly within the application. Classic requires you to edit a file outside of the application. Both achieve similar results, though Ancestral Author Plus is easier to use.
Ancestral Author Plus gives you the additional flexibility to rearrange where categories of information appear in the output document. For example, some people prefer to see notes before the list of children. Others would rather see notes afterward. This is easily accomplished in Ancestral Author Plus.