Branches Genealogy
Your Roots Run Deep. It's time to Branch Out.

Can Branches be used on an Apple computer?
Yes. Branches Pro for the Mac computer was released 2/24/2016. Please visit us on the Mac App Store.
In addition, you can use Branches on a Windows computer with a XP or later operating system, and a viewer-only version, called Branches for iPad is available on the iPad App Store.

Where can I find the version number of the latest version of Branches?
The ‘News’ page of this web site shows the latest released version number, and describes the enhancements that are included in the current release.

How do I obtain updates to Branches?
Branches checks for updates every time you start it. If an update is detected, you will be prompted to install it the next time Branches starts.
If your copy of Branches is not at the latest version and you are not receiving the update prompt, please contact us at:
support@branchesgenealogy.com

How do I get technical support for Branches?
Email us your questions at support@branchesgenealogy.com and we will answer your questions. At present, we do not offer phone support.

How many different trees can I have in Branches?
You can have thousands of trees.

Does Branches support multimedia?
Branches supports photos, scanned document images, Word .doc, Excel .xls, Adobe .pdf, Text .txt and .rtf, Video and Audio files. In addition, you can see the location of any persons events using Google Maps from within Branches.

Can I print a wall chart with Branches?
No. Branches has a comprehensive report generator but it will not print books, wall charts etc. That is best done by specialized software packages. Branches allows you to see so much of your genealogy with its zoom feature, many of the charts and reports are obsolete.

How many events, sources, repositories and source citations can I have for each person?
As many as you like.

How many generations can Branches have?
Unlimited. But there are only about 300 + generations back to Adam.

How do I see marriage events?
All events are stored in one place in the database. Marriage events are accessed through the individual, either husband or wife. Thus, when individual events are listed below a individual, all the marriage related events are also visible.


How do I get started with Branches for Windows?
The best place to start, is to look at the following Help topics: (You can start Help by clicking on Help -> Branches Help on the main menu)
‘Learn to use Branches in just minutes’
‘Startup – Getting your information into Branches’
Then you could look at as many sub-topics are you like under the topic:
‘ How to perform basic functions in Branches’
Most of the Help topics serve as a reference to the toolbar, menu and context menu functions. You can look these items up if you get stuck.

How do I use Branches for Windows on a laptop computer with no mouse?
If your computer does not have a mouse, you can zoom in and out using the F and D keys, or the J and K keys.

What is the version of my Branches for Windows software?
Choose the Help -> About option on the main menu. The version of Branches you are currently using will be shown.
You can check the latest released version of Branches at www.branchesgenealogy.com in the News section.

What are the system requirements for Branches for Windows?
Windows XP or higher
1.5 GHz Pentium Processor or higher
Minimum 50 MB disk space

How do I transfer Branches for Windows over to a new computer?
On the new computer, download and install the latest version of Branches for Windows from the www.branchesgenealogy.com web site. Start Branches select ‘Activate Branches license’ on the File menu. When prompted, enter your license number. Copy all of your existing database files from the old computer to a flash drive. Also copy all photo, image and scanned document files that relate to these databases to the flash drive. Plug the flash drive into the new computer, and copy the database files into the ‘Branches Databases’ folder. Copy the photo, image and scanned document files into the ‘Pictures’ folder. You can also send these files to the new computer via Email, or copy them over a local area network if the computers are connected. You will probably need to run the Multimedia File Manager tool for each database on the new machine to link the photos, images and scanned documents to the database. The transfer is then complete.

How do I transfer my existing data to Branches for Windows?
Download and install the latest version of Branches from the www.branchesgenealogy.com web site. Using your old genealogy software, create GEDCOM files for each of your existing databases, using the old program’s Export GEDCOM function. Start Branches, and Import each GEDCOM file into a Branches database. You will probably need to run the Multimedia File Manager tool for each database to link any photos, images or scanned documents referenced in the new database. The transfer is then complete.

What is the easiest way to learn how to operate Branches for Windows? Is there a training video?
Yes, There are tutorial videos on the www.branchesgenealogy.com website. Also, refer to the help section: ‘Learn How to Use Branches in Just Minutes’. Then look at ‘How to do things in Branches’.

How many people can I have in Branches for Windows?
You can have up to about 40,000 people per database in this version of Branches. However, beyond 20,000 names, Branches begins to slow down due to its graphical nature. If you have more than that, it is better to have two databases.

Does Branches for Windows support multimedia?
Branches supports photos, scanned document images, Word .doc, Excel .xls, Adobe .pdf, Text .txt and .rtf, Video and Audio files. In addition, you can see the location of any persons events using Google Maps from within Branches.

Can I print a wall chart with Branches for Windows?
No. Branches has a comprehensive report generator but it will not print books, wall charts etc. That is best done by specialized software packages. Branches allows you to see so much of your genealogy with its zoom feature, many of the charts and reports are not needed.

How many events, sources, repositories and source citations can I have for each person?
As many as you like.

How many generations can Branches have?
Unlimited. But there are only about 300 + generations back to Adam.

I am vision impaired. How do I use Branches for Windows?
Branches is designed to use many of the Windows accessibility features which help the vision impaired. To see larger type, simply press and hold the Control (Ctrl) key down while you move the mouse wheel. The type on the screen will become larger and you can use all of Branches functions in this mode. You can also change the type size inside of Branches.

Can I import and export from Branches for Windows?
Yes. Branches supports importing and exporting using the standard GEDCOM file format. See Importing GEDCOM or Exporting GEDCOM. The Branches for iPad view also uses GEDCOM files to import your personal data.

How do I put a document in Branches for Windows?
Scan the document and add it to your multimedia folder. Then pick the place in Branches where you wish the document to go. Right click and select Add image to individual (or Add image to event). Select the scanned document, and it is attached to the individual or event you selected. For example, you can scan a birth certificate and add it to a birth event. You then have complete documentation of the event without having to type in all the information.

Can I have men married to men and women married to women?
Yes. Many times in genealogy research, the gender of the individual is not given or unknown. Branches handles all these situations.

How many spouses or parents can I have?
You can have as many as you want.

How do I add children and marriage events in Branches for Windows?
You can right click on one of the parents to add children or family related events.
You can also right click on the vertical line between the parents to see the ‘Family’ context menu.
In Branches, vertical lines represent families and horizontal lines represent individuals.

Does Branches for Windows tie into LDS Family Search?
At the present time Branches does not interface with Family Search. The development team is working with the FS team to design and implement an effective solution for tying the two together.

How do I clear names for LDS temple work in Branches for Windows?
Create a GEDCOM file and upload it to FS to clear names. Branches makes the process of creating a GEDCOM very simple. See the Export GEDCOM help topic.


How many people can I have in Branches for iPad?
Branches for iPad will support up to 20,000 names. If you have more than that, you would need to create two or more databases and view them separately.

How do I get my data into Branches for iPad?
Make a GEDCOM file using your PC or Mac genealogy software. Attach your iPad to your computer using a USB cable. Open iTunes on your computer. Open the iPad screen in iTunes, and select APPS on the top bar. Scroll down to ‘File Sharing’ and click on Branches. Move (drag or copy) your GEDCOM file to the file sharing window. Also drag or copy any linked photos or multimedia files to the file sharing window. SYNC the iPad with your computer. (This is not always necessary) Open Branches on your iPad and select the ‘Import GEDCOM’ icon (a folder with a download arrow on it). Note: if it is a large GEDCOM file, it may take a few minutes for Branches to process the file. Once loaded, your Branches tree will appear.

Can I add persons, and other data, including photos to Branches for iPad?
Branches for iPad is simply a GEDCOM viewer or visualizer. Additions and changes in your data must be made using your primary family history program on the PC or Mac.

Can I access external databases through Branches for iPad?
Presently, Branches for iPad does not have connections to outside databases like Family Search, etc.

Tips for making Branches for iPad draw faster
Make your GEDCOM files smaller. Export into a GEDCOM only the parts of your tree you wish to view. You can have a large number of GEDCOM files, depending on your iPad’s memory. GEDCOM files are usually quite small. About 10,000 or fewer people per GEDCOM file is optimum.

Turn off details and events until you reach an area you want to focus on, then turn them on again.

Make another person the root person. It is easy to change the root person, so make a person the root person in the area you wish to study.

Save views in areas of interest. You can then return to that area quickly

When viewing multiple occurrences of persons, don’t activate the feature until you have zoomed into the area of interest.


Branches for Mac
How do I add, edit and delete information in a Branches tree?
You can add, edit and delete information in your tree by clicking on an item in your tree (name, event, note etc.) to select it. The selected item will be shown in green to indicate it is selected. Next, click the ‘Actions’ menu on the main menu bar, and select the command you would like to perform.
Alternately, you can add, edit and delete information in your tree by right clicking (or control clicking) on an item (name, event, note etc.) and selecting a command from the context menu that appears.
Note: the vertical line between a father’s and a mother’s names can be selected. It represents the family for these parents.

How many people can I have in Branches?
In theory, you can have unlimited number of people.  However, beyond 30,000 names, load times may become slow.  If you have more than that, it is better to have more than one database.

How many different trees can I have in Branches?
You can have thousands of trees.

Does Branches support multimedia?
Yes.  You can attach photos, documents, videos and many other types of media links to individuals, events, and source citations. Family multimedia items are shown below both the father and mother.

Can I print a wall chart with Branches?
No. Branches has a comprehensive report generator but it will not print books, wall charts etc.  That is best done by specialized software packages.  However, Branches allows you to see so much of your information on the main screen that many of the old charts and reports are not needed.

What is the most recent version of Branches?
The news section of our website will give you the current version number.

How can I upgrade my present Branches program to the latest version?
Upgrades are available from the Mac App Store at no charge.

How do I transfer my data into Branches from another program?
Simply create a GEDCOM file (See: Getting your information into Branches in the Help system) and then import the GEDCOM into a new database (or add the data to an existing Branches database).

How many events, sources, repositories and source citations can I have for each person?
As many as you like.

How many generations can Branches have?
Unlimited.  Usually even large trees will not have more than 300 generations.

I am vision impaired.  How do I use Branches?
Branches is designed to use many of the OS X accessibility features which help the vision impaired.  To see larger type, simply press Command+Option+8. The type on the screen will become larger and you can use all of Branches functions in this mode. To adjust the amount of text zoom use Command+Option+= and Command+Option+-

Can I have alternate names for people?
Yes.  You can create an AKA (Also Known As) event for an individual that can show aliases and other names.

Can I import and export from Branches?
Yes.  Branches supports importing and exporting using the standard GEDCOM file format.  See: Import a GEDCOM file  or Export to a GEDCOM file.

How do I see, add and edit marriage events?
Family events are shown beneath both the husband’s and the wife’s name. Thus, when a person’s events are listed below their name, all of the marriage related events are also visible.
Family events (Marriage, Divorce etc) can be added by clicking on the husband’s or wife’s name to select them and then clicking the ‘Actions’ menu on the main menu bar. Then select the ‘Add’ sub-menu and choose ‘Family event’.
You can also click on the vertical line between the husband’s and wife’s names to select it, and then click the ‘Actions’ menu.
Alternately, you can right click (or control click) on the husband’s or wife’s name, or the vertical line between the names, and select the ‘ADD Family event’ option on the context menu that appears.
To edit or delete a family event, simply select the event by clicking on it and use the ‘Actions’ menu. Alternately, you can right click on a family event and choose ‘Edit family event’ or ‘Delete family event’ from the context menu that appears.

I break a link in my tree but it does not separate into two trees.
Many trees have intermarriages between lines. When you break a link in one place, there may be another link somewhere else.  You can use the “Dups” (Show multiple occurrences of the same person) button on the toolbar to help you find the other links.

How do I put a document into Branches?
If the document is not already in a digital format (such as pdf, doc, txt, rtf etc.) you will need to first scan the document. We suggest you create and use a multimedia folder to hold multimedia items related to each of your Branches databases.  Then pick the place in Branches where you wish the document to go. This could be an individual, and event, a source citation or a source.
Click on the item to select it, then click the ‘Actions’ menu on the man menu bar. Select the ‘Add’ sub-menu and choose ‘Multimedia’.
Alternately, you can right click on the item and select “ADD Multimedia item” on the context menu that appears.
Use the “Browse” button to navigate to the document in your multimedia folder and select it. You can also add a title and description for the document if you wish.  For example, you can scan a birth certificate and add it to a birth event.  You then have complete documentation of the event without having to type in all the information.

Can I move my Branches database to a different folder?
Yes. Branches uses Apple’s Core Data databases to store your information. These files can be copied, moved and deleted like any other files. This also allows you to use USB thumb drives, external disks, etc. to hold your Branches data.

The data on the screen overlaps other data.  How do I see it clearly?
The easiest way is to pick the person you are interested in and make them a temporary root person. This will open a new window with the selected person as the root person.

What if the root person is not the root person I always want?
Make the desired person the permanent root person and then renumber the database.  The new root person will be assigned RIN (record identification number) number one.

Some of the pedigree lines are very small horizontally.  How do I make them longer?
When viewing some secondary lines which contain a lot of people, the horizontal lines become too small to view easily.  Simply come backwards on the line to some descendant and make that person a temporary root person.  A new window will open, and the horizontal lines will be normal.

I can hardly see the green focus rectangle in the Mini-Map.
The Mini-Map does have some limitations, particularly with large trees.  When you have drilled down deeply into a line, the green focus box becomes very small. You can wheel mouse out several clicks until you see the outline and then wheel mouse back in to the view you had. This will give you an idea of where you are looking in your pedigree.

What do the arrows on a horizontal line mean?
They indicate that the line continues, and that this is a duplicate line.  To find the primary line, either use the “Dups” (Show multiple occurrences of the same person) button on the toolbar and follow the green line, or better yet, just make that person a temporary root person and the whole pedigree from that point will be filled in and shown in a new window.

My tree draws slowly because I have a lot of people in my database.  How can I speed up the drawing?
The best way is to turn Detail Off until you get to approximately where you wish to look and then turn the Detail back on.  The tree will draw much faster. Then create a saved view where you are working so you can return to it very quickly by opening it from the tree list.

When I use rectangle zoom, the area I select does not exactly equate to the full screen.
Branches does a best fit for the selection you make while preserving the correct aspect ratio on the screen.  It will not be exactly what you select, but it will be close enough for you to see the area of interest.

Can I have men married to men and women married to women?
Yes. Many times in genealogy research, the sex of the individual is not given or unknown.  Branches handles all these situations.

How many spouses or parents can a person have?
You can have as many as you want.

How do I replace an UNKNOWN person with a real person?
An UNKNOWN person is shown if a family is created with only one parent, or if a spouse in a family is deleted or unlinked. When you right click on an UNKNOWN person, a context menu will appear which allows you to replace the UNKNOWN father or mother. You can either enter information for a new person, or use the “Find” button to replace the UNKNOWN person with a person already in your database.