Record Flags


Record Flags are simple markers that you can attach to an Individual Record to indicate something about that individual that is useful for you to know when you are researching, or displaying the results of your research.

Simon Orde of Calico Pie envisaged these as ‘B&B-Style’ symbols – the analogy being to ‘catalogs which tell you whether the room has a TV, or en-suite shower, etc’. Some have used Record Flags to show that there is a Census entry, and Ancestral Sources recognises this. Others use them to show that a person is Living and should be treated as such — the usage is endless.

Named Lists provide another means of marking or grouping records, which may be more suitable for your purposes, but they are not appropriate for every need.

How Do I Create, Add or Remove a Record Flag

Two default Record Flags are included with the program, namely Living and Private. These are intended be used in privacy filters when generating reports, books, websites etc. to ensure that inappropriate where information is not shared.

However, you can create as many additional flags as are meaningful to you.

To add or remove a Record Flag for an Individual, the easiest way is:

  • Select the Individual (in the Focus Window or the Records Window and then use Edit > Record Flags….
  • You’ll be presented with a check list of flags for that individual, where you can tick or untick the flags you want to associate with them.
  • There’s also a New… button which allows you to type in a new flag name, made up of letters numbers and spaces. Once you’ve done this, the new flag appears in the checklist.
  • Click OK when you’re happy with your changes, and Cancel to abandon them.

Flags can also be added, removed or created by right-clicking the Individual name in the Records Window or the All Tab of the and using the Set Flag option.

Deleting a Record Flag

This isn’t so simple as adding a flag. You have to ensure the flag you’re going to delete isn’t in use anywhere, and then remove it from the Record Flag Lists. See How to Delete a Record Flag for exact details.

What Can I Do with Record Flags

Displaying Record Flags in the Property Box

If you want to see and edit the Living and/or Private Flags in the Property Box:

  1. In the Customize Property Box dialogue, choose Living & Private on left and add to items on right.
  2. That displays the standard Living Flag and Private Flag on the Main tab.
  3. The box in the Main tab can be ticked/unticked to add/remove the flag.

If you want to see in the Property Box who has another Record Flag:

  1. In the Customize Property Box window, first make sure the Main tab is selected at the top left.
  2. Untick Show most commonly-used items only at the bottom left.
  3. Select <Custom Item> in the list of Available items, and click > in the centre to add the new item.
  4. Click OK for the Main area for Individual.
  5. Enter an Item Name for the flag, then click Part 1.
  6. Enter a Label (this is what will appear in the Main tab of the Property Box).
  7. To find the Data reference, click the <<Select button and then click + beside Flags and choose your flag, then OK.
  8. Click OK again at top right.
  9. The Flag will now be in the list of selected items. Its position in the main tab can be adjusted using the up/down arrows.
  10. The box in the main tab can be ticked/unticked to add/remove the flag.

You can of course choose a different tab.

Using Record Flags in the Individual Records Window

If you want to see in the Individual Records Window who has a particular Record Flag, you can add a column:

  1. Right-click on the column headers, and choose Configure Columns…
  2. Scroll down the list of items in the left hand pane until you come to the items of type ‘Flag’.
  3. Select the Flag you want to show, and use the > button to add it to the list of displayed columns.
  4. Use the move up and down  buttons to place it where you want within the columns list.

Using Record Flags in Queries

If you want to show a list of all the individuals with a specified Record Flag, use View > Query > Flags and Named Lists >  Has Flag .

(Note: in ƒh6 you need to look in the Menu under View > Standard Queries.)

If you want to create or modify another individual Query to display or filter on a flag value, then:

  1. Open or create the query you wish to modify.
  2. In the Columns Tab, find the Flags list and expand it.  Choose the flag you want to include and use the > button to add it to the query.
  3. Use the move up and down  buttons to place it where you want within the columns list.
  4. If you want to configure the Query to include or exclude records based on the flag, use the Rows Tab.

Individual Queries based on Record Flags may be useful when selecting individuals in the Split Tree Helper and when Exporting a file for use in another program.

Using Record Flags in Diagrams

Using Mark and Hide in Diagrams demonstrates a technique to show or hide boxes in a diagram based on Flags.

Using Record Flags in Reports

The Private and/or Record Flags can be used to exclude particular records from a report, website etc.

See Delete Data for Living People for more information.

Working with Flags and Named Lists

Tools > Named Lists and Flags… provides a number of options for modifying the contents of Named Lists based on a Record Flag value, or for changing the state of a Record Flag based on the content of a Named List.

Animated Tutorial

This animated tutorial for using Flags was written for ƒh version 3 but much of it is relevant in later versions:

Last update: 24 Feb 2024