How do I get started with Branches?
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.

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 use Branches 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.

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:

What is the version of my Branches 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

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

Can Branches be used on an Apple computer?
No. At this time, Branches only works on a Windows computer with a XP or later operating system.

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

How do I transfer Branches over to a new computer?
On the new computer, download and install the latest version of Branches from the 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?
Download and install the latest version of Branches from the 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? Is there a training video?
We have designed Branches so that anyone can learn the basic functions in a very short period of time. Refer to the help section: Learn How to Use Branches in Just Minutes. Then look at the Help Section: How to do things in Branches. We don’t think you will need a long training video to learn Branches. And after you have used Branches for a few minutes, you will see why.

How many people can I have in Branches?
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.

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, unless you count those before Adam, but most of them didn’t leave records.

I am vision impaired. How do I use Branches?
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?
Yes. Branches supports importing and exporting using the standard GEDCOM file format. See Importing GEDCOM or Exporting GEDCOM.

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 put a document in Branches?
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?
Right click on the vertical line between the parents to see the ‘Family Events’ context menu. In Branches, vertical lines represent families and horizontal lines represent individuals.

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

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

Are LDS ordinance reports standard in Branches?
Yes. Branches has a powerful print designer that you can use to print ordinance reports.

I get a “Setup.exe is not a valid Win 32 application” error when I try to install Branches.
This is caused when the downloaded setup.exe file becomes corrupted during the download. Usually this occurs when Windows Internet Explorer is used to download the file. Try downloading the file again. If Branches fails to install, then download the Branches using the Firefox, Safari or Chrome browsers. Notify Branches support if you have any further download problems.

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