GEDitCOM II 1.6 has been released and it is a massive update.

Among the changes – an upgrade to the GEDitCOM Editor, which is part of an effort to make it an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for genealogy interfaces and scripts. This was a major undertaking.

There was an enhancement to family trees and the data display and customization, a new memo/note feature which allows you to attach a quick note to any field, along with many more changes.

Changes and Updates in GEDitCOM II 1.6
* Tree charts were upgraded to be more powerful and have more customization:

    o The boxes that display each individual now dynamically adjust in height to accomodate the text for each person. This change fixes the previous overflow of long text that did not fit in a box with the specified width. It also provides more compact trees because those with little information can optionally display in smaller boxes.
    o Trees have some new preferences to set line styles and colors for the lines around boxes and between boxes and a new preference to select to preferred height for portraits in boxes.
    o Trees used to always be centered; now the alignment uses the alignment setting for each column in the outline view. A new preferences sets the alignment for the name.
    o Tree boxes for those with unknown sex are now filled with a gradient of colors between male and female fill colors.
    o The rulers were improved to align better with cells in horizontal trees.

* A new “Memo” feature lets you add a short note to any text editing field:

    o To add a memo, click in a field and use “Tree?Attach?Memo…” command (or control click on field and choose “Attach/Edit Memo.”)
    o A field with a memo while show a pencil icon that a memo is available and you can hover the mouse over the field to see the memo in a pop-up window.

* User experience changes (including minor bug fixes):

    o When navigating between records that have multiple panes (e.g., individual, events, multimedia, etc.), GEDItCOM II does a better job of keeping you in the expected pane.
    o New expressions created to get firstname, surname, and middlename for any name. These expressions can be used in index window columns or in searches.
    o You can comment any date field by following the date with text in parentheses.
    o The span expression (for life span in years) has been changed to work directly on an individual. Previously it was used as DEAT.DATE.span and only worked for those that had a death date.
    o You can open any script for editing by selecting it in GEDitCOM II with the option key held down.
    o Two new commands in the html editing menu (by control clicking while editing web content in notes) will insert links to a selected individual or family record.
    o Sorting of children in a family will look for baptism or christening dates for children that do not have birth dates.
    o Multimedia drops on records (particularly when dropping files from the Finder) are much better and work where ever the drop occurs.
    o Attaching multiple notes, sources, etc., would sometimes go in an arbitrary order. The new attachments now always go to the end of the list.
    o Sheets to attach data would sometimes start with more then one item selected. It is now fixed.
    o Controlling clicking to detach a link while in the middle of editing other data could lose the most recent edits. It is now fixed.
    o The two buttons in the “Welcome Panel” will now let you open your two most recently opened files rather than the default sample files.
    o Fixed bug in the “Find Field” in the index window that used to open windows at the wrong time (under certain event sequences).

* User Interface Formats and Template Language Improvements:

    o A new user interface format called the “Chart Format” provides some charts for printing. It prints 4 generation pedigree charts for individuals, a family group chart for family records, and a complete summary of research log records. It can also print note records.
    o The “Default Format” has been improved.
    o The “GEDCOM Tab View” format was updated to display new memos (in a _MEMO line)
    o Expression fields that display web content did not always size correctly for the content. They now get the correct size.
    o Some windows that resized for content did not resize correctly. They now do.
    o “Unknown Spouse” links would not update when the spouse was attached. They now update correctly.
    o New special variables: #paperWidth$, #paperHeight$, #today$.
    o New soundex() function to get SoundEx codes for names.
    o IfDef and IfNDef can check if a variable is defined.
    * Enhancements to scripting features:
    o All scripts have been organized into folders to group them by function. In addition many more scripts are included in the standard install package.
    o You can open any script for editing by selecting it in GEDitCOM II with the option key held down.
    o “Find Similar Surnames” script to find names that sound the same by comparing their SoundEx code.
    o “US-UK-Canadian Census Report” updated from a prior script for new features and to have built in options for three countries.
    o “Move Memos to Notes” script can move all new memos to notes for exporting to other software that does not recognize memos.
    o “Descendants Generations Report” (all versions) fixed a bug that did not output “(daughter)” correctly.
    o “Create Web Site” script improved.
    o “Export vCards” script is now twice as fast.
    o “Add or Remove Keywords” had a bug removing keywords; it is fixed.
    o New properties for objects were added: buildNumber, memo, first name, middle name, surname, and surname soundex.
    o New commands are available: runScript (to run a script), refresh scripts (to refresh the scripts menu), bulk reader (to read lots of data in a single command), and can link (to determine if one record can link to another).
    o Fixed error in description command that might get wrong spouse name (SN option) in a same-sex couple.

* The built-in “Media Browser” (from Karelia Software) has been undated to the latest version; a few people had crashes and hopefully the update will fix them.

* The “Date Calculator” would not start in some MacOS 10.4 systems. It was recompiled and now seems to work in all systems.

* Many improvements were made in the GEDitCOM Editor. The hope is that the GEDitCOM Editor will be viewed as an integrated development environment (IDE) for developing genealogy tools such as user interface formats for GEDitCOM II and for writing scripts to create genealogy reports or manipulate genealogy data:

    o The editor has a new “Script Editing Workplace” for editing python and ruby scripts. You edit the scripts and click a button to run them in GEDitCOM II. The current scripts you have opened are remembered for the next time you run the GEDitCOM Editor and open the “Script Editing Workplace.”
    o You can open any python or ruby script in the GEDitCOM Editor by selecting it in GEDitCOM II with the option key held down.
    o The template and script editing window has context-senstive coloring to help in reading the code.
    o A new menu command will indent user interface templates for logical blocks of code.
    o Each template and script remembers the line you were editing and returns there the next time it is opened for editing.
    o When viewing any browser window in GEDitCOM II, you can select the command to open the current format in the editor and it will open the template for that window.
    o If an error occurs while developing a user interface format, the error window that appears in GEDitCOM II will have a button to open the template with the error in the GEDitCOM Editor.

It is a free upgrade to existing GEDitCOM II users. It requires Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).

If you are not an existing user, you can download a trial version of GEDitCOM II which will function as a GEDCOM reader/viewer. You won’t be able to edit anything, but you’ll be able to import your existing genealogy information and get a feel for the program.

You can download it from

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