* Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

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Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 28 Dec 2019 08:21

I am new to Family Historian but have been working on my Family tree research using Ancestry and MyHeritage, each coupled with their respective local PC programs, for over five years now.

I have come to Family Historian because I was recommended to the product through a post that I made on the bulletin board StackExchange: Genealogy & Family History Beta, which I reproduce below.

**************************

I have a spreadsheet, of my own creation, which I call Custom_Lines_Chasing, which, in its essence, is a pedigree chart.

I paste below a screen shot, of a small part, so that you can see its format.

Image

Extract of spreadsheet named Cousin_Lines_Chasing

I find this to be an invaluable tool to manage my research.

In connection with a publication project, for which I am the lead author, I am, hopefully soon, to be receieving many GEDCOMS regarding extended families who are linked, at at least one point, to the extended family of my paternal grandmother, from each of which I will want to create a similar spreadsheet.

I am wondering whether anyone might be aware of a program that could 'extract', from a GEDCOM, a spreadsheet pedigree chart, which is akin to what I have posted above.

**************************

In response to the last sentence a suggestion was made that a query report, within Family Historian, might be helpful to me and, yes, the query "Descendant Outline" has certainly produced a report that looks akin to what I have on my spreadsheet.

I cannot, though, find, within the 30 day trial, a facility to do such a conversion. Maybe it is within the Family Historian Plugins, which are not available through the 30 day trial.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 28 Dec 2019 08:24

My attempt to include an image link does not appear to have worked, so I have attached the jpg instead.
Cousin_Lines_Chasing_Extract_Snapshot.jpg
Cousin_Lines_Chasing_Extract_Snapshot.jpg (153.56 KiB) Viewed 3132 times
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by Jane » 28 Dec 2019 09:30

If you use the View>Standard Query>Descendants this will give you a full list of all descendants with the relationship to root, this can be saved as a CSV file to load into Excel, you could probably use a pivot table to push the data out into your columns using the Generations column. You might need to customise it to add the Gens up and Gens down values as well.

I thought your spreadsheet looked a lot like a left right descendants diagram so you could also try creating one of those which would be "live" and work out of the box without moving it to excel, but obviously I don't know the rest of your process using the spreadsheet.
2019-12-28_093011.jpg
2019-12-28_093011.jpg (99.64 KiB) Viewed 3118 times
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by tatewise » 28 Dec 2019 11:40

Welcome to the FHUG Philip.

As a newcomer, I thought a little more detailed explanation may help you.
There are three potentially useful features under discussion: Queries, Reports, Diagrams.
You mention a Descendant Outline Query but it is not clear exactly what feature you are referring to.

As Jane said, there is a View > Standard Queries > Descendants command (but not Descendant Outline).
In the Query Result Set tab, the top right cog Query Menu offers Save Result Set As > Comma-Separated CSV File (ANSI) that will load into Excel. The floppy disk icon to left of cog offers shortcuts to the same options.

There is a Publish > Outline Reports > Descendant Outline Report but probably not in the format you want.

As Jane says, a Descendants Diagram from toolbar, or View > Standard Diagram Types > Descendants command, may display what you want without exporting to Excel.
To obtain the style of display illustrated by Jane, first display Diagram, then use the Diagram > Options command and set the following:
General tab Orientation: Left-right.
General tab Relationship descriptions: On the left side (they appear at top because of Left-right orientation).
Text tab Select Text Scheme: Names, Dates, How Related to File Root to get box text details.
Pictures tab Preference: None to hide personal photos.
Boxes tab bottom right Presets > Minimalist to get plain white boxes.
You can click Apply after each selection to see the effect, and finally click OK.
If that is a useful diagram style for you then it can be saved, and the Installation Settings restored for normal Diagrams. That can be explained later if you are interested.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 29 Dec 2019 05:02

Dear Jane and Mike

Thank you for your useful suggestions. I apologise for confusing the terms query and report. The 'output' that I was referring to in my original query was that produced by Publish > Outline Reports > Descendant Outline.

Thank you Mike for your patience in setting out some hints regarding the structure of FH.

I am exploring your suggestions further.

Best regards

Philip
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 29 Dec 2019 05:19

Dear Mike

The View > Standard Diagram Types > Descendants, with customisation to a minimalist level, is, on the screen, precisely what I am looking for, or at least close thereto.

My follow-up questions, at this time, would then be -
  1. Can I exclude the marry-in spouses from the diagram, and only show the direct bloodline individuals from the ancestor, upon whom one is basing the diagram?
  2. Is there a way of exporting that diagram to a CSV / Excel?
I look forward to receiving your reply.

Best regards

Philip
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by tatewise » 29 Dec 2019 11:39

  1. Yes, exclude spouses using Diagram > Options > General tab Spouse display options: No spouse info.
  2. No, I think exporting to CSV would need a custom Plugin to be written. I don't think a Query can do it.
    ( Especially the inclusion of columns for the child counts of each parent. )
BTW: By using the Movement Control Box and the Box & Bar option, you can manually drag the entries in each column down until the first child of each family is horizontally aligned with their parent, similar to your CSV screenshot.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by Jane » 29 Dec 2019 12:12

On Mike's "BTW" point you can also right click on the oldest child and select "Keep with Parents"
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 30 Dec 2019 05:50

Thank you Mike and Jane for all your help. I have now produced, on the screen, 98% of the way there. The one issue, from my requirement, was that the box for a person with no children, who was the next child after a person with children, appeared, on the screen, alongside the list of the children of the immediately older sibling. It would be nice if such a person's box dropped down below the level of the boxes in the next column to the right. I illustrate this 'issue' through the attached 2 screenshots; one of which shows the display as I currently receive it, including the use of the Keep with Parents and No Spouse Info 'options', and the second showing what I would prefer.
Family_Historian_Descendants_Display_As_Is.jpg
The display of the Descendants Diagram as FH does it with Keep with Parents and No Spouse Info 'options' chosen.
Family_Historian_Descendants_Display_As_Is.jpg (201.01 KiB) Viewed 2935 times
Family_Historian_Descendants_Display_What_I_Would_Prefer.jpg
The display of the Descendants Diagram as I would prefer with Keep with Parents and No Spouse Info 'options' chosen.
Family_Historian_Descendants_Display_What_I_Would_Prefer.jpg (203.21 KiB) Viewed 2935 times

Anyway, I now come to the nub of the issue. How, and by whom, could a custom plugin be written? I am a retired programmer and familiar with many different computer languages, and always willing to learn another, and also happy to buy any necessary handbook/primer etcetera.

I am in the process of obtaining a boxed version of the product, through Gould Genealogy (Christmas/New Year break is causing a short delay in communications), so will, soon, have access to the plug-in features of the product.

Finally from Mike's first reply -

"If that is a useful diagram style for you then it can be saved, and the Installation Settings restored for normal Diagrams. That can be explained later if you are interested."

Please do now explain how I may save this 'custom' setup that I have 'created'.

I look forward to receiving further feedback, please.

With thanks in anticipation.

Best Regards and Happy New Year
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by tatewise » 30 Dec 2019 11:05

It would help to know what you did to convert between screenshots, but presumably used Movement Control Box in its Fixed Point mode and Set the older sibling before dragging the younger sibling down?
That can only be performed manually.

There are two ways to save such customised Diagram settings:
  1. Diagram > Save Diagram or Diagram > Save Diagram As > Family Historian Chart with a Chart Name.
    Such saved diagram charts can be retrieved via View > Saved Charts.
    That saves all the Diagram Option settings, the positions of all the boxes, and the Diagram Root person.
    However, it is NOT frozen. As new data is entered &/or people are added, that chart will update and thus may need re-adjustments using all the tools available to any Diagram before saving again.
  2. Diagram > Save Diagram As > Custom Diagram Type with a Custom Diagram Name.
    Such saved digram types can be retrieved via View > Custom Diagram Types.
    Essentially that just saves the Diagram Option settings, so they can be applied for example to a new Descendant Diagram with a different Diagram Root person.
Regarding Plugins, see Knowledge Base > Family Historian Plugins especially under the Developer Guide and we can use this task as a tutored introduction.

BTW: Did you consider buying FH directly from Calico Pie? It is often cheaper, and they can help if you lose the installation media or your licence key, but often cannot help if you buy a boxed set elsewhere and lose the CD or licence key.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 31 Dec 2019 09:49

Dear Mike

I used Photoshop, to modify the display that I received out of FH directly. I was simply trying to illustrate what I would like, and, not being sufficiently familiar with the product yet, I simply used what I am familiar with to create an image of what I would like.

I just liked the idea of having an actual boxed product. I am in Australia, so that is why I am in the process of seeking to use the Crossgrade offer from Gould Genealogy, at $AU59.95. If there was someway I could buy a download but still then receive a follow-up CD and 'manual' I would be interested, but it seems, to my current findings, that that is not possible. That way of selling software is common among many other software producers but it does not appear to be available for Family Historian.

I would welcome your further responses.

Best regards
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 31 Dec 2019 09:59

Dear Mike

Further to your words -

" By using the Movement Control Box and the Box & Bar option, you can manually drag the entries in each column down until the first child of each family is horizontally aligned with their parent, similar to your CSV screenshot."

AND

" Movement Control Box in its Fixed Point mode and Set the older sibling before dragging the younger sibling down?"

I should be grateful for some nice pointers, like you have been doing, regarding this Movement Control Box, please, as I have been unable to find it.

With thanks in anticipation.

Best regards
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PeterR » 31 Dec 2019 10:34

2019-12-31_103027.jpg
2019-12-31_103027.jpg (32.55 KiB) Viewed 2852 times
If you click on the button with four arrows, labelled Enable Moving/Resizing, the Movement Control Box will appear.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by tatewise » 31 Dec 2019 10:43

Sorry, I thought you might have been able to find that yourself :) e.g.
  • In Help > Help Search enter "Movement Control Box" and List Topics, where it explains how to get there from Diagram Menu and Diagram Toolbar and all its details.
  • With a Diagram open, use Help > Help with Current View (F1) (or press F1 key) to get a Help page that leads to Diagram Menu and Diagram Toolbar options.
  • In Help > Family Historian Help click [+] on Workspace 3: The Diagram Window to see Movement Control Box.
Anyway, click the Toolbar + with arrows icon Enable Moving/Resizing or equivalent Diagram menu option.

BTW: Peter beat me to it.

Remember that instead of the Box & Bar option, it is more effective to right-click on each oldest child in turn and select the Keep with Parents option.

If you can make use of the Crossgrade offer to buy FH then that is the cheapest method.
But I don't think that includes a manual, only the Quick Start Guide that comes with the download too.
The manual Getting the Most From Family Historian 6 must be bought separately. (V5 copy is a free download.)
That and more is covered in the Knowledge Base > Key Features for Newcomers under the Documentation & Tutorials section, so please take a look.

Anything that is bought as a download can be backed up onto USB memory stick, or a CD, or cloud storage, which are just as good as buying it on CD.

Whichever option you choose, take great care of the licence key as it is valuable.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 14 Feb 2020 00:23

Dear Jane, Peter and Mike

Thank you for all your help a while back. The product is now purchased and I am back to addressing the whole set of issues for which I bought the product in the first place.

I have saved the Diagram as a Custom Diagram. I am not sure what will happen if and when I want to tweek that a little more, and then save it, hopefully overwriting the first version, but that is not crucial right now.

I have used the Keep With Parents box effectively and also located and reasonably understand the Movement Control Box. Unfortunately, I am still left with the issue of a childless person's box appearing, on the display, alongside the boxes of their nieces/nephews in the next column to the right. I tried the movement control feature, but it would not allow me to drag that one box down, so that it sits on a row of its own, so to say, as per the Photoshop 'mock-up' previously posted. Is this just not available, in the current version, or am I missing something - advice please?

Finally, I return to the final bottom line -

Mike earlier advised, in response to my question - Is there a way of exporting that diagram to a CSV / Excel? - No. He thought that exporting, this diagram, to a CSV would need a custom Plugin to be written, especially with the inclusion of columns for the child counts of each parent.

As asked before - How, and by whom, could a custom plugin be written? I am a retired programmer and familiar with many different computer languages, and always willing to learn another, and also happy to buy any necessary handbook/primer etcetera.

I now have the boxed version, and the full licence. I bought the book Getting the Most from Family Historian, but I could see no information about plug-ins. The Quick Start Guide also has no reference to plug-ins, which I could find.

I look forward to further responses.

With thanks in anticipation

Yours sincerely

Philip
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by Valkrider » 14 Feb 2020 07:21

Philip

The Knowledge Base is the place to start with writing plugins see Knowledge Base > Getting Started Writing Plugins. You will need to learn LUA if you don't already know it.

Depending on what exactly you want to do you may be able to achieve what you want to do without a plugin. Take a look at one of the standard queries as a start and then in the output of the query window select the disk icon and save the result as a CSV. You may well be able to, more easily, construct a custom query to do what you want rather than creating a plugin from scratch.

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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by Jane » 14 Feb 2020 08:27

Can you post a shot of the person you are trying to move down. You should be able to move a single box using "box and bar" movement.
2020-02-14_082756.jpg
2020-02-14_082756.jpg (94.33 KiB) Viewed 2226 times
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by tatewise » 14 Feb 2020 10:09

Unfortunately, you can only get so far with a Query. As I said before, it is NOT possible to include Child Counts.

The whole topic of Plugins starts in Knowledge Base > Family Historian Plugins and its Developer Guide offers all the advice you need including the The Family Historian API and Lua 5.1 Reference Manual.

There is a brief introduction in Getting the Most From Family Historian 6 in Chapter 21 Website Generation and Other Wizards & Tools that refers to the Plugin Store and the advice in the Plugins window.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by Valkrider » 14 Feb 2020 10:35

tatewise wrote:
14 Feb 2020 10:09
Unfortunately, you can only get so far with a Query. As I said before, it is NOT possible to include Child Counts.
Mike

I don't disbelieve you but as a comment that is unusual as count is usually included as part of any query language. It would certainly be a useful addition to FH's query function.

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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 14 Feb 2020 10:42

Colin, there's a function to get child count, and it's used in the standard queries Count of Children(By Individual) and Count of Children(by Family)

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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by tatewise » 14 Feb 2020 11:44

Whoops :oops:
Why did I not see that =ChildCount() function? I'd never noticed it before!

So I take it all back, and maybe a Query is possible, but it is not straightforward to produce the format as posted by Phillip on Sat 28th Dec 2019.
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by PMHunt_Bgo » 17 Feb 2020 06:39

Dear Jane

The screenshot of the diagram, as I have been able to get it to, and a 'mock-up', using Photoshop, of what I would like to achieve, is posted in my reply to this thread dated 30 Dec 2019 16:50.

The person I am trying to have sit on their own, so to say, is Stephen Graeme Schembri. I have tried the box and bar movement and while the program allows me to move the box left and right it will not allow me to drag it down.

******************

Dear Colin

"You may well be able to, more easily, construct a custom query to do what you want rather than creating a plugin from scratch."

How do I, and where do I, read about constructing a custom query?

******************

Dear Mike

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, especially in computer programming. :geek:

******************

What version of Lua is being used in the latest FH, please?

Yours sincerely

Philip
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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by Valkrider » 17 Feb 2020 06:52

PMHunt_Bgo wrote:
17 Feb 2020 06:39
Dear Colin
"You may well be able to, more easily, construct a custom query to do what you want rather than creating a plugin from scratch."
How do I, and where do I, read about constructing a custom query?
Yours sincerely
Philip
Philip

There is a good article in the Knowledgebase on how to do this see Knowledge Base > Creating a Query.

The way I learnt was by taking a standard query and then modifying it. I now have about 30 custom queries that I use on and off. The result of any query can be saved as a CSV file by clicking on the disk icon in the query toolbar.

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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 17 Feb 2020 07:13

For the version of LUA (and related information) see Knowledge Base > Getting Started Writing Plugins.

Lua within FH is current v 5.1

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Re: Converting Descendant Outline Query Output to a Spreadsheet

Post by LornaCraig » 17 Feb 2020 10:14

To move Stephen Graeme Schembri away from his siblings, use the Fixed Point option in the Movement Control Box.

Either select the box of his nearest sibling (Pauline), then click Set, then drag his box away from hers
Or select his box and then click Set, then drag Pauline's box away from his.

You may find that other areas of the diagram move, relative to each other, at the same time. So you may have to do some other similar adjustments to correct for that. But with practice you'll find it can be done.
Lorna

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