HtmlPedigree is a new Windows program that produces Web pages from genealogical data in a GEDCOM file. The Web pages combine hyperlinked textual information with an interactive pedigree chart.
Almost all modern genealogy programs are capable of creating GEDCOM files. You can use your present genealogy program to record your data, and then create a GEDCOM file at any time you wish. With this GEDCOM file, you then can use HtmlPedigree to create new files that can be uploaded to almost any personal homepage that you may have.
A "test drive" version of HtmlPedigree may be downloaded directly from the program's Web site. I downloaded the 1.3 megabyte file, double-clicked on it, and followed the on-screen instructions. The rest of the installation was completed in less than a minute.
I found HtmlPedigree to be a simple program to use. To produce Web pages from an existing GEDCOM file:
Start up the program, click on the "Create from GEDCOM" icon, find the GEDCOM file on your hard disc, and open it.
At this stage there are options to customize the contents and appearance of the Web pages or to add links to images or other files. You can experiment a lot with various format options. If your GEDCOM contains non-standard "tags", you may wish to specify how they should be interpreted in the web pages. The information that will appear on the home page can also be edited. I simply used the program's default settings.
When completed, the files are saved in the same manner as most other Windows programs: click on FILE and then SAVE. This produces a complete set of Web pages, ready to be transferred to your web server. However, you will probably want to add some extra information to the very brief home page produced by the program.
The method of uploading the files varies, depending on the options available from your Web hosting service. Most allow for FTP (File Transfer Protocol) transfers. For details, refer to the information available from your Web hosting service.
To see examples of a number of Web pages created with HtmlPedigree, look at http://www.htmlpedigree.com/examples.htm.
I was very impressed with the speed of HtmlPedigree. On my three-year-old Windows XP system, everything happened almost instantly. The program also seemed easy to operate at all times. I did not need to use the built-in Help pages. However, I did take a look at them when writing this article, and the built-in Help seems to be extensive. You can also see much of the Help information before downloading the program if you open a Web browser to http://www.htmlpedigree.com/proghelp. You might also want to look at http://www.htmlpedigree.com/webhelp.
HtmlPedigree requires Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT 4.0, ME, or XP. It also requires 3 megabytes of disk space. The memory requirements depend on the size and contents of the GEDCOM file. For files larger than about 1 megabyte, you will need 56 megabytes or more of RAM memory. In short, this program will operate on most any Windows computer purchased in the past three or four years.
HtmlPedigree for Windows systems sells for $25.00 (US funds). You should download the trial version first and experiment with it for a bit. You will note, however, that several features are disabled in the trial version. If you are happy with the program and wish to purchase the full version, go back online and purchase a registration key (a series of numbers). When you enter those numbers into the trial version of HtmlPedigree, all features are enabled.
Why use HtmlPedigree? With one notable exception, almost all modern genealogy programs already have the capability to create Web pages for uploading to your personal Web site. The exception is Family Tree Maker. It does not create standard HTML files that can be used on any Web site. Instead, Family Tree Maker creates Web pages in a special format that can only be hosted at the producing company's Web servers. You cannot host pages created with Family Tree Maker at any other Web hosting service. This limitation is only in Family Tree Maker. Almost all other programs can produce pages suitable for any hosting service.
With HtmlPedigree or other GEDCOM-to-HTML programs, you can create a GEDCOM file with Family Tree Maker and then convert that file to standard HTML, suitable for any Web hosting service.
You should first check out the capabilities of your existing program. However, if you use Family Tree Maker, or if you are not satisfied with the capabilities of the other program that you are presently using, you may wish to investigate HtmlPedigree. I would suggest you first look at a number of the examples shown at http://www.htmlpedigree.com/examples.htm and compare those to the files created by your present genealogy program. If the HtmlPedigree results seem better to you, download the trial version and experiment with it for a while. You can find more information and download HtmlPedigree at http://www.htmlpedigree.com.