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Pastfinders Computer Users’ Group

February 20, 2013


At our regular meeting in January, our treasurer Carol Rosum, presented a very interesting program about her family history research. One of the products of her hard work was a family album full of family information. A similar product is what we will strive for here but we’ll make it on a CD that can be read on a computer so we can add many effects. We’ll make it entirely with free programs but you can use commercial programs that you already have as well.

The most important part of what has to be done is planning how you want to do it and where you want to start. Will this be just your family or will it be yours and your spouse’s? Will you include your immediate family or cover only your ancestors? How much do you alread have and what will require further research?

There are many options in creating such an album. One would be to duplicate what Carol did and create a page after page album of pictures, maps and data as though it were a hard copy and then transfer all of the data to a CD. One would press Next after viewing each page to get to the next. One could enhance that by adding a table of contents to make navigation easier, A somewhat similar approach would be to divide the CD into family sections with a table of contents leading to each family and links within the family to show all related items. One way to do that would be to copy each page of an existing album and enhance it where necessary, adding a table of contents and additional pictures, maps and text.

Having considered all of the options, I chose to base the CD on mine and Dotty’s grandparents as a basis for ancestor presentation and have a separate section for us, our parents, siblings and descendants. Links will guide you through the relationships and accompanying maps and certificates.The format that we use.will use is the HTML format that your browser reads so you can post this on the Web if you choose to. We’ll start by creating a page that I called “Title” which leads on to the separate sections. There are several ways that that can be done but I chose to start with a table using a free program called NVU that you can get at You could use almost any word processor as long as it supports saving as or exporting in HTML format. We’ll go step by step through using NVU and if you choose another program, find out from the Users’ Manual how to accomplish the same tasks.


Go here to see what our partially done album looks like.

Having decided what you want to do, you have to make available all of the data that you need to do it. That means gathering and organizing pictures and documents that you want to include. If you don’t have copies in your computer, you’ll have to either scan them in or copy them with your camera. Organize it all so that you know where to find it. If there are people for whom you don’t have images, you can try looking at all of the genealogical web sites to see if anyone posted pictures of your ancestors. Or if you’d rather have someone else do the searching so you don’t have to, let Google do it. Go here to Google Images and enter the name of an ancestor to see if someone has posted an image. If not a photo, you may get a painting so you may find images from before the photographic era. It’s worth a try, especially for some of the more important people in your family history.

Since I based my album on our grandparents, I made 8 folders, one for each surname and then copied pictures and data relative to that name into the folder. Other folders can be created as necessary such as for your kids’ families if they’re married and even for your grandkids’ families.

Those folders are to hold all of your data whether you end up using it or not. You also need to create similar folders that will hold only what you want to put on the CD. Create a folder called Family Album and in that, create a folder called CD and in that create folders similar to the ones you created above. Put the file Title in the Family Album but outside of the CD folder.

One source of my data was a 74 page photo album that Dotty had created many years ago. In most cases there were three or more pictures on each page. To make them useful for you project, scan each page and when you’ve done all that you want, open each page in Paint, use a rectangular select to outline each document, and copy it to the appropriate folder that you created above.

After downloading and installing NVU, start the prgram, click on Table and then use your mouse over the filled in squares until you get the number of cells that you want and then Click to insert them onto the open page. The width should be the maximum number of columns that you need; cells can be combined where a larger column is needed as for the title. Then click on Table again and then on Select and choose Table. Then right click on the table and select Table Properties. Under Width, overwrite the 100 with 90 and click on the down arrow after Pixels to choose % of window. Under Table allignment, click on the down arrow and select Center. That gives you a table that covers 90% of the page width no matter how wide the screen, You may choose other numbers or even choose to have a fixed page width. If you go that way, assume that a full screen is 1080 pixels wide. You can add or delete rows and cells as you go so start with your best guess at to what you’ll need. If you need a table an even number of columns wide in part and an odd number in another part, create a second table for the odd number. At each step in the process that produces a menu, look the menu over so you’ll know what other things you’ll be able to do if you need to.

Once you’ve created the table, you have to enter the data that you want. To create a full width title box, point to the top left cell, click and drag across to the right cell. All top cell should show that they are selected. Right click in one of them and select Join Selected Cells. Right click again in the now full width cell and select Table Cell Properties and choose where you want the text to appear. I chose Top and Centered for a title. Now that you know where it’s going to go, you have to choose how large the type will be. In the upper left, in the box that has body text in it, click the down arrow to choose the size that you want, I started with Heading 1 for the main heading. If the text that you enter wraps around, the size that you chose will continue; if you use Enter, then you will have to select the text size that you want again.

In the second row, I selected the two left cells and combined them and the same with the two right cells. In each, I centered the text at the top of the cell, used Heading 2 and entered text.

In the third row, I did the same but I didn’t center the text and I used Heading 3.. The surnames entered here need to be linked to the document that covers that family. If you don’t have that prepared yet, come back here and include the link. Do that each time that you complete the documentation for another surname. The document that you use to start that surname can be an image through which you select supporting documents, an html file that leads to other documents or a file in PDF format.

Before you enter a link to any data, move that data into the appropriate folder in the CD folder. Now when you put everything on a CD, the program will know where to find the data that you’ve linked to. To enter the link, swipe over the surname to select it. Click on Insert at the top left and then Link (or you can just press CTRL L) and then click Choose file, scroll through the files until you come to what you want and click on Open. And then on OK. It will search only for HTML files unless you select Image or Other Files in the search box.

You can then plan on how you want to present your immediate family and descendants. Plan it out. You know enough now about using NVU to process what you want any way that you want it. Your parents, yours and your kid’ weddngs, full pages of pictures, biographies, documents.

On the title page, I listed links to our ancestors above and information about our descendants below. While that is good for us and our family, it doesn’t help any cousins that may be interested. I have shown a couple of tables where a descendant cell is provided where I list our grandfathers descendants. Since this is a work in process, I will do that for all of our grandfathers. The Dill family may be the way that I will set up all of the others. But you can choose the approach that you want.

The interactive Photos were covered by the CUG on Feb 16, 2005 that you can get here And again on Nov 16 2011. It involves a process called a “Mouse Over” You can copy and paste the text below into a text processor such as Notepad, replacing name whereever it appears with the appropriate name, adding or deleting lines as necessary to cover the number of people in the picture. (The text in Bold is what has to be copied. Name numbers are only to help the user.) Save it with the html file extension. In Notepad you have to change the Save As from txt to All Files For each person, you have to create an html file that you can do with a Word Processor or with NVU. It’s best to create a centered file in a box or one cell table. You can save files with either the htm or html file name. I try to use html because NVU only understands that name when searching for files.

Open the image you want to use in Paint and point to the center of the face of the first person that you want to identify. Note at the bottom of the page, the coordinates (x and y) and write them down. Move the mouse to the left or right to the edge of the face trying to keep the y coordinate constant. Read the new x coordinate and then subtract the smaller x coordinate from the larger x of the ones that you recorded. Use that value for the Radius ( r ) that will be used in the program listed below. Repeat for all faces but you only need to record the center point of the face; you have the radius. If the numbers don’t show at the bottom of the page, at the top of the page click on View and then on Status Bar and the numbers will appear. The map name and the id name can be the same as the image name.

Copy this text by sweeping across it and pressing CTRL-C. Paste it into Notepad with CTRL-V.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">



  <meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1"





<map name="name" id="name">

<area title="name1" shape="circle" coords="x,y,r"


<area title="name2" shape="circle" coords="x,y,z"


<area title="name3" shape="circle" coords="x,y,z" href="name3.htm">

<p align="center"><img style="border: 0px solid ;" alt=""

 src="name.jpg" usemap="#name"><br>





You can wait until you are totally finished before creating a CD or you can create one at any time by using a Re-Writable CD. Each time you create a new CD it will overwrite the old one on the CD so you can see how it looks and feels.

In order to make the CD self starting, you need a program that will start when the disk is installed. Go here to read about and download Autorun Pro. Once you/ve downloaded it, click on it to open the folder. Drag Autorun and Autorun Pro to your Family Album folder. Click on Autorun to open it. Move your cursor to just after the = after Run1 and hold the left mouse key down and drag across everything after that and delete it. Then type in Title.html.

Insert the CD that you want to use and if you have a CD burning program, you can use that to burn the CD. Otherwise, you can drag the files that you want to burn to the CD/DVD drive in your computer. There are 4 files that have to go on the CD; the CD folder, the file, Title.html and the 2 autorun files. When you drag them to the CD, you will be told to wait while the disk is formatted. That could take a few minutes. Once eveything has been burned to the CD, you can open the disk drive and then close it again and the autorun should start with the Title folder. If your system security asks if you want to run the Autorun file from an unknown source, say yes. The program is safe. Check out that everything works and note what doesn’t so you can have a lot of fun finding out why.


Windows 8. Suggestions from Lisa Beni.

On a new computer with Windows 8 installed you should do the following: Read the Users’ Manual. Then decide what programs you want to install. Find the disks for them or if you downloaded them, copy the items that you want from the download file on your old computer. Start you new computer and the first thing will be creating a password. You will be told that you must open an account at Microsoft and the password that you create will work at the Microsoft site. Then look through all of the tiles to see what programs may have been pre-installed that you would like to keep. Try to sort out the Free from the Paid. And keep any free ones that you find useful. It’s not a One Time Task so don’t plan on getting everything perfect the first time but try to devote a few minutes a day to sorting out what you want and what you want to dump. Spend time learning how to navigate from the Metro Screen (Tiles) to the desktop. See the handout from our last meeting for some navigation tips.

Upgrade an Existing Computer:

Windows 8 System Requirements:

    1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor

    1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)

    16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

    DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

    Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

If Win 7 runs on your computer, Win 8 will. Get the Win 8 Upgrade Compatibility Guide as described last month to see if your system qualifies and if it does, follow last month’s instructions on upgrading.

Copying and Moving Files: In principle, if yhou arrange to have the Source and Destination file location visible, you drag the file from the source to the destination. If you do it by holding down the Right mouse key, you get a choice of whether to Copy or Move the file. If you drag with the Left mouse button, Bill Gates has already made the decision for you. You can open a file by clicking on the desktop Icon in the lower left of the desktop and selecting a file. To open a second one, hold the shift key down and repeat the above. Position them so you can see the origniating file and the destination folder.

Flash Drive: Copying or Moving from the computer to the Flash Drive: Plug in the Flash Drive and when a box opens asking what you want to do, just click the X in the upper right to close it. Open the folder containng the file that you want, click on the file and drag it as above to the flash drive If there’s a specific folder in the flash drive that you want the file to go to, locate that folder by clicking on the tiny arrow next to the flash drive Letter and navigate through the list of folders to get the one that you want solely by clicking on the tiny arrows. Clicking any other way will open the folder in the space in which the file you want to move exists. If you prefer, you can open it that way and reduce both folder to reside side by side. Either way, drag the file in question from the source to the destination. It can be from the Flash Drive to the computer or the Computer to the Flash Drive. But there is a simpler way. Install the Flash Drive. Right Click on the file in question, click on Send To and select the destination that you want.

For a Hard Drive, plug the Hard Drive into the USB port and proceed as above. If you are using it for a backup, go through the backup procedure in the backup program that you are using and select the Hard Drive as the destination, selecting a folder therein as appropriate.