Create Family Tree CD/DVD or Website Content

  • Skill Level: Intermediate and New User
  • FH versions: V4, V5, V6, and V7
  • In Topics: Creating a website 


The processes for creating either a website or a Family Tree CD/DVD within Family Historian are essentially the same, and are well documented in the Help file. This article complements the Help file by highlighting key features that are often overlooked.

See Member Websites for examples of websites built using Family Historian.

Version 7

The ƒh Publish > Websites & Family Tree CD/DVDs… command wizard builds both Website and CD/DVD browser packages and supports multiple alternative packages. The initial dialogue allows the packages to be managed.

The output is saved in the Project data ….fh_data\Packages\ subfolder. A further subfolder holds each named package, which holds the settings for the package and a \data files\ subfolder for the browser files.

Important note: You can only create a website using ƒh within the context of a project; it will not work for a standalone Gedcom file.

Versions 5 and 6

The two Family Historian features Publish > Make a Family Tree CD/DVD and Publish > Create a Website are almost identical

Make a Family Tree CD/DVD places its output in the Project …\Public\FH CD-DVD\ folder for burning to a CD/DVD. This includes autorun.inf and load.exe and start.html files, and a \data\ subfolder holding all the other files.

Create a Website places all its files directly in the Project …\Public\FH Website\ folder for uploading to a website.

Important note: You can only create a website using ƒh within the context of a project; it will not work for a standalone Gedcom file.

Version 4

The two Family Historian options Tools > Make a Family Tree CD and Internet > Create a Website are almost identical but they store their output in different places.

Make a Family Tree CD places its output in the Project …\Public\FH CD\ folder for burning to a CD. This includes autorun.inf and start.exe files, and a \data\ subfolder holding all the other files.

Create a Website places all its files directly in the Project …\Public\FH Web Page\ folder for uploading to a website.

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 1 – Choose Privacy Options

The policy you adopt for privacy depends on the target audience for your information. A CD/DVD may not be widely distributed, whereas a website may be accessible worldwide. So when creating a website, it is usually advisable to hide all information, except possibly for basic details, about people who are still alive.


Initially the default settings should be used until a clearer understanding of what details need to be hidden has been established.

It is important to set the Private Flag and Living Flag on all appropriate Individual Records creating a website or CD/DVD. Otherwise it will not be possible to make use of these important options.

The article on how to Delete Data For Living People suggests ways of setting the Private and Living Flags on Individual Records, and other more advanced processes for achieving your privacy policy.

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 2 – Select Featured Individuals

Each selected Individual will be featured on the CD/DVD or Website either with their own page, or a page shared with their spouse, unless their inclusion would violate the Privacy Options you defined at Step 1. You will get a warning message about Records excluded by your Privacy Policy.


Either Add All records or Select those required. The selection can be performed on an ad hoc basis, but if the data needs to be reconstructed from time to time, then it is recommended that a Query or a Named List is used to ensure the same criteria are used each time.

During initial experiments, only add a few representative individuals, otherwise the time taken to create the output may become excessive.

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 3 – Choose Report Template

The Primary Page Type report template determines whether Individuals have their own page, or share a page with their spouse. If an Individual Report type is chosen then each Individual has their own page. If a Family Report type is chosen then couples share a page. In this case a Secondary Page Type report template must be chosen for unmarried Individuals with no Spouse Family Record.

Example individual page
Example Family Page
Example Family Page










The Individual Summary Report (for Web, CD or DVD) (V5&V6) /(for Web or CD) (V4) and the Family Group Sheet (for Web, CD or DVD) (V5&V6) / (for Web or CD) (V3&V4) are meant for use as these templates, but any listed report may be used. If you intend to produce various CD/DVD or Websites with different report options, then create a Custom Report Type for each option.

Report Options

  • A convenient way to adjust Report Options is to use the Publish command (Reports in V4) to display the Report before using a Wizard. Select the desired Options, then use Save Report As and select Web Page (HTML), and view the new web page HTML Report in a web browser such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. When the settings are satisfactory, use Save Report As > Custom Report Type, and use that Custom Report as the chosen report template.
  • See the Report Content, Media, Format and Layout advice on customising Report Options. In particular, study the Pictures and Sources tab options for displaying and enlarging Multimedia images. Note that the Privacy tab duplicates the Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 1 – Choose Privacy Options and can be ignored.
  • Some Report Options, such as Picture Gaps, Page Layout, and V4 Format Fonts, do NOT affect HTML Reports, so the Family Tree Tips ~ Alter CSS Default Styles technique must be used.
  • A popular website feature allows an image thumbnail to be clicked in order to obtain a larger popup version. Family Historian V4 does not offer this feature.

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 4 – Add Items for Table of Contents

The home page has a Table of Contents that provides hyperlinks to a variety of items. It can include Links to featured individuals, any style of Report, any type of Image including Diagrams, any file to Download, and the Index.


Remember that each option can be selected as many times as you like to add different versions of the same type of item.

  • Link to page adds a hyperlink to the page of any featured individual, or their family couple.
  • Image adds a hyperlink to any Photographic Image or any Family Historian Diagram saved in JPEG File (.jpg), GIF File (.gif), PNG File (.png), or any other web compatible graphics file format.
  • Download adds a hyperlink to any downloadable file such as a copy of your GEDCOM file, or a compressed ZIP file of your Project Folder, or any Family Historian Report/Diagram in PDF File (.pdf) format. The Family Tree Tips ~ Diagram Hyperlinks PDF article explains how to create a Family Historian Diagram in PDF, where each Individual box has a hyperlink to the Individual’s page to assist with navigation.
  • Link to website adds a hyperlink to any Internet Website URL.
  • Report adds a hyperlink to any Family Historian Report selected from the list, including any Custom Report, which will be created in HTML format. Remove the tick from Show most commonly-used reports to list all Reports.
  • Index adds a duplicate of the Index hyperlink at the head of every page.

Example Home Page

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 5 – Create Home Page

This defines other Home Page details that appear above the Table of Contents such as a Picture and Welcome Text (as shown in the previous step).


The Home Page Picture can be any family photograph or other suitable image file in .jpg, .jpeg, .gif, or .png format.

Versions 5 & 6

The Picture Size option allows the size of the image to be selected.

Version 4

There are some corrections needed in the home page HTML otherwise the Picture is much too large. After completing Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 8 – Final Details, use a plain text editor to make changes about halfway down the index.html file as follows:

  • width=”50px” becomes width=”50” to correct a syntax error.
  • <img src= becomes <img width=”300” src= or any other numerical value for the width of the Home Page Picture.

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 6 – Additional Pages

This step allows an optional Contact Page and/or Statistics page to be added.

Example Family Page
Example Contact Page






Example Statistics Page
Example Statistics Page

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 7 – Presentation and Behaviour

This step adjusts the text of the header on each page, and the colours for the background, the text, and hyperlinks.


Click on the Colours button to select alternative text and background colours. For example, Menu Bar affects the broad toolbar across the top of each page, whereas Link and Link (cursor over) affect hyperlinks such as the names of Individuals.

Most text Fonts and Styles are determined by the Primary Page Type report template from Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 3 – Choose Report Template. However, some title and header text styles can only be altered by editing the fhstyle.css Cascading Style Sheet file as explained in Family Tree Tips ~ Alter CSS Default Styles.

Versions 5 & 6 Popup Picture Options

These options select the behaviour when a user clicks on Multimedia images in featured Individual or Family web pages. Various styles and sizes of popup or web page images are supported. See the Help for details.

In ƒh V5, if the None option is chosen, clicking on Multimedia images in web pages causes the browser to report Webpage/File Not Found, but a workaround is described in Forum posting This webpage has not been found. This problem is fixed in ƒh V6.

Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 8 – Final Details


The Advanced button allows snippets of HTML code to be added to every page. See Family Tree Tips below for more.

Click Finish to create the output files in the selected folder.

When complete either select View Website to open it in your default browser, or Close Wizard.

Tips and Tricks

In ƒh6 and later the Improve Website or CD DVD HTML plugin offers many features to enhance the web pages created by ƒh.

HTML Tips and Tricks

A particular snag is that ƒh V4 produces poorly formatted HTML, which is awkward to edit with a plain text editor.

ƒh6 and later produce much tidier HTML files and uses a Cascading Style Sheet CSS file.

The following may  be useful if you want to fine-tune your website in V4, or the Improve Website or CD DVD HTML plugin doesn’t do what you need.

All the features described here, together with a few others, are illustrated on the TATE & SCOTT Family Tree website.




Last update: 11 Dec 2021