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Upgraded Personal Ancestral File available

Anew release of Personal Ancestral File - the Church's home computer software for compiling and organizing genealogical information - is now available, according to the Family History Department.

Release 2.3 of the program, for MS-DOS computers, is being announced in a letter sent to registered users of release 2.2, explaining how they can obtain the update package.The $4 maintenance release package for registered users includes 3.5-inch and 5.25-inch diskettes containing all of the Personal Ancestral File 2.3 programs and a README file explaining the enhancements and improvements.

Also included in the package is Features Added to Personal Ancestral File Since Release 2.2, a four-page document. The Personal Ancestral File Reference Manual is not included because it is the same manual used with release 2.2. Registered users should use the special order form they will receive. Release 2.2 users who have not sent in the 2.2 registration card will receive the Release 2.3 upgrade package by mailing or taking their 2.2 registration card, together with $4, to the Salt Lake Distribution Center (1999 W. 1700 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104).

Users of Personal Ancestral File 2.0 or 2.1 will be required to send or bring the title page from their manual to the Salt Lake Distribution Center to purchase the program diskettes, manual and other materials. The Distribution Center will retain this title page and instruct the purchaser to send in the 2.3 card.

Those who are not registered users may purchase the complete Personal Ancestral File 2.3 package for $35 from the Salt Lake Distribution Center. The toll-free number for the United States and Canada is 1-800-537-5950.

Users of Personal Ancestral File 2.3 should have computers with 640K of RAM and a minimum of 530K available to run the program. Release 2.3 includes all functions of release 2.2 plus the following enhancements:

  1. Church members who use Personal Ancestral File 2.3 will find it to be compatible with Temple

Ready, the FamilySearch program which allows members to verify Church information for their ancestors and prepare diskettes for use at LDS temples. Personal Ancestral File 2.3 uses the same rules as Temple

Ready to check and qualify names. Personal Ancestral File 2.2 should no longer be used with TempleReady.

  1. Family Records Program improvements:
  • Improved printing capabilities. These include the ability to designate beginning and ending points for sorted names lists by letter of the alphabet and to print separate pages for names on this list that begin with the same letter of the alphabet, the option of printing family group records while printing the related descendency and cascading pedigree charts, and the ability to print a three-generation-per-page chart.
  • "Focus/Design Reports" is more powerful. Users can focus on empty fields, perform "wild-card" searches and narrow their search to the focus list itself. Focus lists can be saved to disk. They also can be used to create a GEDCOM file. In designing reports, users now can designate "father," "mother," and/or "spouse" as separate fields.
  • In "Pedigree Search," users can perform all functions listed on the "Main Menu." Also, command characters are highlighted.
  • Additional "Match/Merge" options. They include performing a match/merge for individuals with or without matching ID numbers, using less-restrictive rules to generate a list of possible matches, saving the automatic merge list if the user does not finish a match/merge, and printing a report which lists all records merged.
  • GEDCOM program improvements, including the ability to select a range of families in a GEDCOM file, select up to 250 generations of an individual's ancestors and descendants for a GEDCOM submission, and use the same key strokes to mark or unmark individuals in a GEDCOM file for addition to Family Records information.
  • A Conversion Program enables Church members to convert the old two-letter temple codes to new five-letter codes.

Stakes in English-speaking areas where FamilySearch is authorized will soon receive a copy of the Personal Ancestral File 2.3 update package for Church-owned computers in the stake (including family history center computers and ward administrative computers.)

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