Adding Photographs and Other Multimedia


The animated tutorials below will help you get started with adding pictures to your tree.

It is highly recommended not to use embedded images, even though they are supported. Linked files offer more flexibility and avoid problems with over-large GEDCOM files.

Remember: When you link photographs into Family Historian, the photos must stay in the place you have chosen. See Organise Your Files for more information and suggestions.

Family Historian V6+

This video tutorial illustrates the new drag and drop options in version 6 and the new "Media Link Tool". See the Copy & Paste and Drag & Drop advice for further details. See Index for related topics.

Family Historian V4+

This video tutorial illustrates how to use Add Pictures and Add Link to Face.

See also Adding Multimedia to a Fact.

Family Historian V3

This tutorial is for Version 3 on Windows XP, but despite different layout & colours, most concepts are valid for later versions.

Adding Pictures to Family Historian

In later versions the menubar command Insert is Add, and before using Add Link to Face the View Thumbnails option must be disabled.

Adding Other Media

See Index for related topics.

Scanned or downloaded document Image Files such as JPEG or PNG can be added in a similar fashion to photographs, but would typically be linked to the Media tab of Source Records. See menubar option Add ⇒ Pictures….

Document Files in textual formats such as PDF or DOCX can be added, but will not be automatically displayed within Family Historian nor included in Diagrams or Reports or Books. However, clicking the triangular Open in Editor/Player button in a Multimedia window will open any document in its default viewer such as Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. See menubar option Add ⇒ Document….

If the document is predominantly an image, it is best to convert it to an Image File format using one of the Graphics Packages or copy & paste each image within a document to a separate image file. For text within such documents use copy & paste to copy to Text From Source or similar transcript text fields.

It is possible to similarly add Video and Sound media files, which will play by clicking the triangular Open in Editor/Player button. See menubar option Add ⇒ Other Media….

Also Internet hyper-links may be added. The Format field should be set to url, and File set to a Shortcut URL file; for example Media\FHUG.url with a URL of Then the triangular Open in Editor/Player button will open the web page in your default browser. Add Media URL Shortcut

The Plugin Add Media URL Shortcut offers an easy way to add a Shortcut URL file, via a new Media record, to the Media tab of a selected record.

Sometimes, when browsing to add files, the Windows file-type option bottom-right, may need to be set to All files (*.*) to show all filenames.

It is best to avoid using Add ⇒ OLE Object… unless you fully understand the concepts involved, and that the triangular Open in Editor/Player button only seems to operate in the Media Window.

Regarding all of the above Media types, only Image Files are displayed in Diagrams and Reports.

See Multimedia File Formats for further details.

The Plugin Improve Website or CD DVD HTML allows hyperlinks for non-image media to be added to fh published website/CD/DVD family trees.

Related Forum postings:

Photo Orientation

Some Image Files, such as digital camera JPEG photos, include Exif Orientation to say they should be displayed Landscape, Portrait, Inverted, etc. See Index for related topics.

Unfortunately, this Orientation is sometimes ignored, so photos may be incorrectly rotated. The best solution is to use an image editor to rotate the image to its desired orientation and reset the Orientation to its top-left value, which is consistent with being ignored.

Many Windows versions have Windows Photo Viewer or Windows Live Photo Gallery that with the image open allows right-click Rotate left/right, or in File Explorer right-click the file and choose Rotate counter/clockwise.

Alternatively, one popular and free image editor is the Utility ~ IrfanView with all its Plugins, and after installation this is what to do:

  • In IrfanView Open the image file to be orientated.
  • Use Options > JPG Lossless Rotation… (Plugin) ~ which avoids degrading the image.
  • Choose a Transformation, review the other options, then click Start to rotate image and reset Orientation in the original file.
  • If the associated thumbnail image is incorrectly orientated then:
    • Use Options > JPG Lossless Rotation… (Plugin) again.
    • Set Transformation to None, tick Rebuild EXIF thumbnail, then click Start.
  • Use File > Exit to close IrfanView.

A bulk file conversion utility recommended by some users is JPEG Autorotate that is a packaged version of the Exif Jpeg header manipulation tool jhead and performs lossless rotation of all JPEG files in a folder.

Related Forum postings:

See Also