Frequently Asked Questions

Installation

No, Ahnenblatt is a Windows-only program.
But I have been told by Linux users who use Ahnenblatt with the help of a Windows emulator (e.g. wine).
Under MacOS there are also emulators to run Windows programs (e.g. WineBottler).
In the end, the user has to make certain compromises, because the emulated Windows program may behave differently in terms of file paths, screen layout, display and performance.
However, I have no practical experience with this.
If you already have your family data in Ahnenblatt, you can save them in GEDCOM format, which can then be imported into any other genealogy program – whether Linux or MacOS. This saves the re-entry of all data.

Ahnenblatt runs exclusively under Windows and is therefore also executable on a Windows tablet – as long as it is not Windows RT.
However, Ahnenblatt does not run on the much more common tablet under Apple iOS (iPad) or Android. The same applies to smartphones.
Alternatively, you can create PDFs of tables and lists on the PC, copy them to the tablet or smartphone and view them with a PDF app.
Or save the family data on the PC in GEDCOM format (“File / Save as… / GEDCOM file”) and view it with an appropriate app on the tablet or smartphone.
You can find a corresponding app by searching for the term GEDCOM in the Playstore or AppStore. However, you can’t compare these apps in the range of functions with genealogy programs on the PC. Very few of them offer the possibility to edit the data and are therefore only suitable as pure apps for presentation the family data.

Licensing

Yes, you can find a current demo version of Ahnenblatt 3 on the download page.

This installs itself parallel to an already existing version 2 – thus no data are lost and an existing version 2 remains further usable.
Both program versions are file compatible, i.e. existing ancestor files can be opened as usual via the “Open” icon or via “File / Open… / Ancestor file”. Also vice versa, ancestor files that were saved with version 3 can be opened again with version 2.

You can try out the Ahnenblatt 3 for an unlimited time and check whether it meets your requirements (functionality, usability). Files of any size can be opened. Printouts contain watermarks and it is not possible to manually enter more than 50 persons.

First you install the demo version of Ahnenblatt, which can be downloaded for free on the download page. This functionally limited Ahnenblatt version allows you to try out Ahnenblatt for an unlimited period of time.
You can purchase the license key on the purchase page and will receive an email with the license key and a download link to an exclusive version of Ahnenblatt.
No matter if you have installed the demo version or the exclusive Ahnenblatt version, you still have to unlock it.
To do this, click on the “License” icon in the toolbar or select “? / Activate license…” from the main menu and enter your first name, last name and mail address in the license dialog, as you entered them when ordering, and the license key that you will receive by e-mail from Digistore24.
Keep this email or better print it out, because it contains all the information for licensing Ahnenblatt. If this data is lost and you have to register Ahnenblatt again due to a new installation, this data cannot be obtained later.

The license key is a number/character code consisting of 4 blocks separated by hyphens. The license key can be transferred directly from the email to the license dialog of Ahnenblatt by manual marking and copying.

When entering the license data manually, the name, surname and e-mail must be case-sensitive. Also the hyphens must not be omitted. The license key, on the other hand, can only be entered with capital letters.

The entry of the license data is generally a one-time process per computer.

This version differs that it contains additional backgrounds, person frames and profile images for charts. That’s why the installation file is three times bigger.
This version can be easily installed over an existing demo version without losing any data or program settings. The download link is only included in the email from Digistore24, which you receive after purchase. You can use this download link also at a later time and also several times – but the maximum number of downloads is limited to 10 within a period of 6 months from purchase. So it would be better to keep the installation file of the exclusive Ahnenblatt version elsewhere.

You license Ahnenblatt for your own private use for an unlimited time on as many computers as you own. So no passing on of the license data to third parties, so that they can also license Ahnenblatt.
All charts, lists or other graphics are for your own use only and may not be used commercially. Thus, the creation of graphics to give away to relatives would be permissible. Also the production of lists, in order to pass these on in form of a book in your family is also Ok. Likewise the data may be presented also free of charge on the own web page.
However, commercial use, e.g. to create or sell charts or lists for a fee or as part of a paid service, is not permitted. In this case the program author (see imprint) has to be contacted to make a special agreement.
The commercial use of the demo version in the context of a training project (e.g. an adult education center) would be permitted, but the use of a license key for all course participants would not. Alternatively, all course participants may participate with their own computer and a licensed version of Ahnenblatt. In case of doubt, please contact the program author (see imprint).

The license data will still remain valid and you can also license a new Ahnenblatt version with it. While it is important to enter your email address correctly when purchasing the license (because that is where the license key will be sent to), it is no longer important when licensing later on. You can enter even an outdated email address that was used when purchasing for licensing, even if it is no longer working.

If you have purchased a license key for version 3, then all updates, which Ahnenblatt automatically find, are free of charge as long as they belong to the same major version. An update to e.g. version 3.50 costs nothing – to version 4.0, however, a new (discounted) license key would have to be purchased.
After an update, license data does not have to be entered again. Once a version 3 is licensed, it remains licensed after an update.

Program updates are displayed automatically by Ahnenblatt or you can manually initiate them via the menu item “? / Search for update…”. If a new update is found, it is offered to download from the Internet and installs it automatically.

Program

If you have opened an Ahnenblatt file, you can add a second file using the “File / Add…” function. If duplicate persons are recognized, the merging of these pairs of persons is offered automatically. I always recommend to save the data under a new file name afterwards using “File / Save as…”, because it is difficult to undo the merging of two files afterwards.

The way Ahnenblatt works is similar to a word processor. If you want to save only the pages 20 – 50 of a 100-page document, then delete all unwanted pages and save under a new name.

In Ahnenblatt there is the function “Edit / Delete group…” with which you can select certain groups of persons for deletion. After deleting, you only need to use “File / Save as…” to save under a new name and you will have a selected group of people in a separate file.

Alternatively, you can also save the displayed persons directly from a chart preview in a separate file.

Just use the function “File / Save as… / GEDCOM file”.

When you get a new PC, it is not enough to just install all the old programs, you have to copy the created data from the old PC to the new one. Ahnenblatt does not behave any differently than other software.

Downloading Ahnenblatt again from the Internet and installing it on the new PC is done within a minute. You don’t have to worry about the program version, because Ahnenblatt can always open files from older program versions.

Actually, all you need to do now is to copy your Ahnenblatt file (or several files) from the default directory of Ahnenblatt (“Ahnenblatt” directory under “Documents”) to the new PC in the same directory. However, Ahnenblatt remembers assigned images only as references to the original files. Images or other files must therefore also be copied.

The following procedure for transferring the ancestor file and all pictures to the new PC has proven itself:

Start Ahnenblatt on the old PC, open your Ahnenblatt file and then save the data to a USB stick using “File / Save as…”. You may be asked whether all the images should also be copied to the USB stick. This should be answered with ‘Yes’.

Now start Ahnenblatt on the new PC and open the data from the USB stick using “File / Open / Ahnendatei”. Then use “File / Save as… / Ahnenblatt file” to save the data on your own PC. You may be asked again if you want to copy all images as well. Again, this question would have to be answered with ‘Yes’.

Ahnenblatt only stores references to the original picture files when assigning images. Images are therefore generally not part of an Ahnenblatt (.ahn) or GEDCOM file (.ged). If the images are later renamed, moved, or deleted, then they will not be found afterwards. Also, when copying an ancestor file to a new computer, you must always make sure that you copy the images as well. Otherwise the images will not be found on the new computer either.

Ahnenblatt stores internally not only the “absolute” file path (i.e. including the drive letter), but also the “relative” file path (in relation to the location of the Ahnenblatt or GEDCOM file). If, for example, you have your Ahnenblatt file in one directory and all the images in a subdirectory, then the images will still be found if you move the ancestor file and image directory to another directory, another drive, or another PC.

To reassign images, you can use the function “Extras / Files/Remap images/files…” in Ahnenblatt. So you can copy all images or files into a common directory and select this directory with the mentioned function, so that Ahnenblatt searches for images with the same name and remembers this new directory. Provided that the image files were not renamed in the meantime.

Charts

Yes, this is possible with version 3 (at least all persons related to each other) – but not with the version 2.

Ahnenblatt avoids crossing connection lines, which can lead to the fact that due to parent or sibling lines no representation of the relatives is possible at the same place. In such cases the persons are doubled at another place, in order to continue there the still missing connections to relatives. These doubled persons receive small “drops” with equal numbers (consecutively beginning with 1), whose “drop” points in the direction, where the second person is to be found. This helps with orientation.

The prerequisite is that you create an ancestor or family tree in the style “complete relationship tree” and select as starting person a person of the youngest or oldest generation (best via “Suggest person…” – then a suitable person is suggested).

Then all persons related to each other will be displayed. Persons from other “islands” are not shown. To check whether all the persons entered are related, call “Extras / Show islands…”.

Ahnenblatt has to cope with all family constellations, no matter whether persons have more than two partnerships or close relatives marry and thus double ancestors result. Especially with more than two partners it was necessary to find a compromise between representability and clarity. Therefore the partner lines are always led ‘behind’ the person frames starting from the third partnership. This has the additional consequence that in such cases the marriage date is omitted and you no longer have lines to both parents for some children. This may not look so nice anymore, but it remains halfway comprehensible.

Such representation is often reported to me by users as “error”. But how else would a constellation like the one shown in the figure still be representable? In the example, Theo Tester has more than three partners, one of whom has another partner.

This marking in the top right corner of a person frame (in a kind of yellow ‘drop’) always occurs when this person appears more than once in the chart. This can be the case, for example, in a chart, if two cousins marry – then the grandparents are identical. Identical persons receive the same number (from 1 consecutively numbered) and only one person shows further relatives (ancestors or descendants). In the preview of a chart, this is also indicated by the text ‘x persons in y frames’ in the status line at the bottom.