If you are new to using Family Historian an/or migrating from another product, it is advisable to read and understand what projects are and why they are useful.
The most important thing to do when you start with ƒh or above is to read the Help. In particular, see Upgrading from Version 3 or Earlier that applies to importing standalone GEDCOM files from any products including ƒh.
Introducing the Project Window
This tutorial is based on ƒh Version 4 but the features are much the same for later versions.
Simon’s Explanation of Projects
There are several advantages in using Projects, and few (if any) draw backs.
The following features are only supported within Projects:
- Family Historian Chart style Diagrams from V4 onwards
- Create a Website and Make a Family Tree CD/DVD from V4 onwards
- Book style Reports added in V5
- Backup/Restore of Medium/Full Backups added in V5
- Revert to Snapshots of GEDCOM, an acronym for GEnealogical Data COMmunication, is a specification for exchanging genealogical data between different genealogy software. It is a file format that most genealogical programs and online trees recognise. file added in V6
- Internet Data Matches added in V6
- Some Plugins are small programs that allow new features to be added without upgrading Family Historian itself; some plugins are written by Calico Pie and others are written by users. added in V5 need a Project structure
- Some settings are saved in the Family Historian Project file (.fh_proj) since V6
- Project specific local A Fact Set is a defined list of types of Facts – that is types of Events and Attributes. added in V7
- Import report Log Files retained in Project
- On startup ‘Display the Last-Used Focus Person in the Focus Window’ added in V7
You can Copy Project folders and change the Location of Projects without breaking Multimedia file links. However, this only works if the media files are stored within the Media subfolder of the Project, and Relative File Links apply throughout. To check for Relative File Links, use Tools > Work with External File Links and ensure all links are listed within the Project Data Folder and no lettered drives such as C:\ are mentioned.
When a Project is created, a folder & file structure is formed. If this structure is disrupted then Family Historian may not recognise it as a Project. The title bar at the top of the Family Historian window will either say – Family Historian Project – for a Project, or – Standalone GEDCOM File (LIMITED FUNCTIONALITY) – for a standalone GEDCOM file. Furthermore, a Project will be listed in the File > Project Window dialog but a standalone GEDCOM will not; and only a Project will support all three modes of File > Backup/Restore
The folder & file structure of the Family Historian Sample Project is shown below, and this can be created by using File > Project Window > More Tasks > Samples > Reset Sample Project.
By default the master Family Historian Projects folder is created within the Windows My Documents folder, but any Location may be chosen from within the Project Window by clicking the blue link next to Location: or using More Tasks > Project List > Choose Location for Projects.
Within this master folder is the root folder for each Project, and each such folder has the same name as the Project, which is Family Historian Sample Project in the example above.
Each such root folder holds the Public folder and the .fh_data folder, which is prefixed with the Project name. It also holds the Family Historian Project File that has the Project name as its file name, and .fh_proj as its file extension.
Finally, the .fh_data folder holds the .ged GEDCOM file that contains your family history data, and a series of folders such as Books, Charts, Media, etc. Most importantly, the Media folder holds all the multimedia files that are automatically included in ƒh Backups and automatically migrate if the Project is moved.
To reiterate, it is crucial to maintain this folder & file structure, otherwise the Project may no longer be recognised correctly by Family Historian.
The following abnormal displays may appear in the File > Project Window dialog and you should ask for advice in the support forums.
If a Project is listed with a Last Updated timestamp of 01/01/1971 00:00 then the GEDCOM file is probably missing or corrupted and will need to be recovered from Snapshots or Backups. The only other possibility is that a recent import from another product contained no record Updated timestamps.
If a Project is listed with the suffix (Folder: <name of folder>) then the Project folders, the .fh_proj file, and the .ged file are inconsistently named in some way. That will need investigating using File Explorer and may need to be recovered from Backups.