The most important thing to do when you start with V4 or above is to "read the help", just follow the Tips for New & Upgrading Users link at the bottom of the Project Window, and subsequently the Notes for Upgrading Users link at the bottom of the Family Historian Help window.
Introducing the Project Window
This tutorial is based on fh 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
- Internet Data Matches added in V6
- Some Plugins added in V5 need a Project structure
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 will 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 - Family Historian Gedcom - for a standalone Gedcom file. Furthermore, a Project will be listed in the File > Project Window but a standalone Gedcom will not, and only a Project will support all three modes of Backup/Restore.
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. The content of this file is identical for each Project.
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 your multimedia files.
To reiterate, it is crucial to maintain this folder & file structure, otherwise the Project will no longer be recognised by Family Historian.