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Before Using Gedcom Publisher

Before using Gedcom Publisher, create a GEDCOM file using the export feature in your genealogy project manager program (Family Historian, Legacy, RootsMagic, etc.).

To account for differences between GEDCOM files exported by different applications, Gedcom Publisher has been designed and implemented to support application-specific data import rules. See the list of applications help page for more information.

Family Historian

For Family Historian, you may use the main data file, which is a GEDCOM file. However, I recommend that you use the Export Gedcom File plug-in for Family Historian. See the Family Historian page for details.

The Master Genealogist (TMG)

TMG users should not export a GEDCOM file from TMG. In the instructions that follow, select your TMG project where users of other applications would select a GEDCOM file. See the Direct Import section of the TMG help page.

First-Time Process

Each of the step names in this section is a link to a more detailed explanation which appears below.

  1. Start the program
  2. Create a Gedcom Publisher file

    Use the File > New... command to make a new Gedcom Publisher file (".gpfile"). If you already have created a Gedcom Publisher file and saved it, then use the File > Open... command to open it.

  3. Give your book a title

    Key a title in the Title textbox in the Main section.

  4. Choose a data file

    Click the [Choose Data File...] button in the Main section, then use the File Open dialog to navigate to your GEDCOM file or TMG project, select it, and then click [Open].

  5. Save the Gedcom Publisher file

    Use the File > Save command to save your Gedcom Publisher file. Saving the Gedcom Publisher file means you do not have to re-enter the settings you make after editing the book properties.

  6. Make the book

    Use the File > Make Book command to make the book. When Gedcom Publisher is making the book, a progress window will open in the lower-right hand corner of your display.

    After the Make Book process completes, you will have two new files in the same folder as the Gedcom Publisher file (".gpfile"). The first file is an EPUB file you can use with any e-book reader. The second is an EPUB file you should use if you want to convert your EPUB book to a MOBI file.

    See the details below for important notes about the output files created by Gedcom Publisher.

  7. Browse the book

    You may use the File > Browse Book command to open the book in an EPUB viewer.

    See the details below for important notes about using an EPUB viewer.

Update Process

After you make the book once, you do not have to repeat all the steps above to update it.

If you exported a GEDCOM file from your genealogy application and you have updated your genealogy data, then you need to export the GEDCOM file again. It's usually best to use the same filename and location each time you export the GEDCOM file. After exporting a GEDCOM file to update it, if your .gpfile is open in Gedcom Publisher, use the File > Reload Data File command to load the updated data.

When you have a Gedcom Publisher file (saved in Step 6 above), you follow these steps: start Gedcom Publisher, open your Gedcom Publisher file, make changes to the properties (if desired), make the book, browse the book.

Details

1. Start Gedcom Publisher and enter your registration information

When you start the program for the first time, you will be prompted to enter your registration information. Enter the information that has been sent to you. After entering your registration data, you will not have to re-enter it when starting the program.

2. Create a Gedcom Publisher File

To use Gedcom Publisher you must create a Gedcom Publisher file (".gpfile"). Gedcom Publisher writes the settings associated with your book to the Gedcom Publisher file. By default, the file will be stored in your "Documents" folder under the "Gedcom Publisher" subfolder. Use the File > New... command to create a new Gedcom Publisher file. When you use the File > New... command, Gedcom Publisher will prompt you to save the new file. Gedcom Publisher needs to know the name and location of the file because it creates folders that are associated with the file.

Save the file periodically so you do not have to re-enter the settings you have already specified. To re-open a Gedcom Publisher file, use the File > Recent files sub-menu which includes a list of recently used files.

A Gedcom Publisher file has multiple sections. When Gedcom Publisher opens a Gedcom Publisher file, it starts in the "Main" section. This section includes several important properties that you should edit to suit your preferences including the book Title. It also includes a button to choose the data file from which Gedcom Publisher will read your genealogy data.

3. Give Your Book a Title

Key a title in the Title textbox in the Main section.

4. Choose a data file

Click the [Choose Data File...] button to choose a data file. You may choose a GEDCOM file or a TMG project. Gedcom Publisher will present a standard "open a file" window. You can use the controls in that window to navigate to the folder that contains the data file. Click the file name to select the file, then click the [Open] button to open the file.

When you select the file, Gedcom Publisher will read the data file in a background process and display a small progress window in the lower-right of your display. For very large data files, the load progress may take several minutes. For most data files, the process will complete in a few seconds.Note 1

Gedcom Publisher converts the GEDCOM data or TMG data to an internal form that is designed to make it easy for Gedcom Publisher to create your book. In normal operation, you won't see the contents of the data file except in your book.Note 2

Gedcom Publisher writes a log file as it reads a GEDCOM file. You can review the log file using the Utilities > Logs > Open GEDCOM Log command. Gedcom Publisher saves five generations of the GEDCOM log file. The current log file, i.e., the most recent, has no number. The next most recent has the suffix "-1", next most-recent has "-2.log", etc.

5. Save the Gedcom Publisher File

Use the File > Save command to save your Gedcom Publisher file. Saving the Gedcom Publisher file means you do not have to re-enter the settings you make after editing the book properties. It's good practice to save the Gedcom Publisher file after you make enough changes that you wouldn't want to redo them. Saving before using the Make Book command is usually a good idea.

6. Make the Book

Use the File > Make Book command to make the book.

When Gedcom Publisher is making the book, a progress window will open in the lower-right hand corner of your display. Gedcom Publisher makes the book using a background process, so you can continue to edit the Gedcom Publisher file using the controls in the main window. Changes you make to the file while Gedcom Publisher is making the book will not be reflected in the currently-running Make Book process because Gedcom Publisher takes a snapshot of the property settings before making the book.

After the Make Book process completes, you will have two new files in the same folder as the Gedcom Publisher file (".gpfile"). The first file is an EPUB file you can use with any e-book reader. The second is an EPUB file you should use if you want to convert your EPUB book to a MOBI file.

Both new files use the same name as your Gedcom Publisher file. If your file is "MyBook.gpfile", Gedcom Publisher will make:

  1. MyBook.epub – This is your book in EPUB3 format.

    You can use it with any modern e-book reader. It uses some EPUB3 features that are not compatible with conversion to the MOBI format.

  2. MyBook-mobi.epub – This is your book in EPUB3 format, but this version avoids using features that are not compatible with conversion to the MOBI format.

If you submit your book to Amazon or any other publisher that converts to the MOBI format, submit the -mobi.epub version of your book. Also, if you use Kindle Viewer or the KindleGen tool from Amazon, use the -mobi.epub version. For all other purposes, use the other version without the -mobi suffix.

7. Browse the Book

After the Make Book process completes, use one of the subcommands in the File > Browse Book submenu to open the book in an EPUB viewer.

When Gedcom Publisher starts, it attempts to locate EPUB viewer programs on your PC. Each viewer that it finds is added to the File > Browse Book submenu.

If there are no entries in the submenu, then Gedcom Publisher did not find any EPUB viewers. If you have an EPUB viewer, you will have to open the EPUB file from within that program. If you do not have an EPUB viewer, you should consider using calibre.

See the Tools help page for more information about using third-party programs with Gedcom Publisher.

Notes

  1. An extremely large GEDCOM file may cause Gedcom Publisher to fail. Under normal conditions, a GEDCOM file would have to include 500,000 or more people to pose a problem for Gedcom Publisher. If a GEDCOM file fails to load, there is no recourse except to use a smaller GEDCOM file. While Gedcom Publisher should fail more gracefully when the error occurs, it's unlikely that Gedcom Publisher would succeed in building a book for such a large file so there's really no point in loading it anyway.
  2. Gedcom Publisher includes a record browser that may be useful in some situations, but is not intended as a GEDCOM viewer. It shows the GEDCOM data after converting the data to Gedcom Publisher's internal form. To access the record browser, key Ctl-Shift-B from the main window. Enter the ID number of a person to see the person's data records.
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