Mr. Genealogy logo, depicting a shield, typical of those used in family tree coats of arms.
Mr. Genealogy logo, depicting a shield, typical of those used in family tree coats of arms.
Mr. Genealogy logo, depicting a shield, typical of those used in family tree coats of arms.
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 Pedigree Forge

Request for Beta Testers

I'm contemplating releasing a version of the software I utilise for crafting professional family tree charts, tentatively named "Pedigree Forge."

Presently, I'm seeking a select few individuals who might be interested in serving as beta testers for the program. While there's no compensation for testing, beta testers will receive a complimentary copy if the software progresses to a commercial release.

Please note that the system is compatible with Windows 10 or 11 only, and currently, I am only considering beta testers residing in the UK. You needn't be a computer expert, but since the program is still in development, you should be a confident computer user.

If you're interested in participating, kindly reach out to me via my contact form to express your interest.

Background

I started developing the software that forms the core of Pedigree Forge about ten years ago. I wasn't happy with the output of the other programs available and as I was working professionally, found that they were hard to add things like source citations, which are vital for a professional genealogist's report. In addition to attractiv output of charts and reports, the other design goals were to make common task simple, repetitive tasks efficient and to try and reduce the cognitive load of using the program, so I could focus on the research.

For the last eight years, I have used it as the only family tree software in my work flow. It manages the full process from research to reports. Over this time, the program has had more features added, included an integrated web browser.

The first release candidate for Pedigree Forge is a somewhat simplified version of my main program. As a minimum viable product, the main use-case for Pedigree Forge is creating family charts. It this is successful, other features might be enabled later.

The Charts

Most other programs that I have used don't give you much control over the charts---at least not the kind that is useful. In particular, Pedigree Forge starts with a page size of your choice, and gives you the tools to make a chart fit that page. The results are more pleasing. For example, if space is tight, children can be stacked on top of one another, or drop lines made to drop down two generations, so as to save horizontal space.

The standard type of chart is the descendant chart. This usually starts with one person and includes their descendants, also known as a drop-line pedigree. There is the option to allow this to start from more than one route person, and the two or more lineages to meet.

Ancestor charts (starting with someone and working back through their ancestors) are also supported. There is both a flexible ancestor chart which matches the standard descendant chart, or a slightly different "birth brief" chart, which is good for seeing ancestors at a glance.

The is also a hybrid chart that starts from someone and includes both their ancestors and their descendants.

Several fixed styles can be applied to the charts, which change the fonts and colours used. More of these will be added in future.

Technical Information

Pedigree Forge uses files with the extension ".ped", for "pedigree". Internally a ".ped" file has the same structure as a modern GEDCOM file (usually with the extension ".ged"), but makes use of many extensions. Theoretically, Pedigree Forge should open a relatively modern GEDCOM file, however some data might be lost depending on what extensions the input GEDCOM file uses.

Charts can be exported as PDFs, SVGs, PNGs, JPGs and BMPs. There is also an option to create a HTML chart, which can speak, as a possible future extension to make an accessible type of family chart for visually impaired users. The most reliable type of export is as a PDF, and is what is recommended.

Pedigree Forge requires Windows 10 (updated to at least version 1809) or Windows 11. It is a traditional desktop application written in c++ and uses the Win32 API. The only version supported is 64-bit.

The integrated web browser is Microsoft's Webview2, which is based on their Edge browser, and is distributed as part of the Windows operating system.

Pedigree Forge has no other external dependencies beyond the Win32 API, and can be used just by running the program. However, an "MSI" installer is also available that will allow it to be properly setup in the system. This has the benefit of adding links to the desktop and start menu, as well as registering the ".ped" files to be opened with Pedigree Forge.

 Contact Form

07568 563211
 info@mrgenealogy.co.uk
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