How to Customise or Print Records Window or Named List Columns


The columns in the Records Window (and Named Lists) can be customised to suit the user’s preferences. For example, many researchers find it helpful to include an extra column to show a woman’s married name. It is then possible to do a sort on spouse name which can be particularly helpful for example when sorting out burial records. Some researchers also find it helpful to add extra columns to show date and place of marriage or date and place of death. Many other column values are also possible.

The Lists > Configure Records Window Columns dialogue customises the columns, and offers a Save to Query button, which not only saves the customisation as a Query file that can be restored via Load from Query… button, but also allows the Query to be used to printout the Records Window details. Similar features exist in the Configure Columns for Named List dialogue. An alternative way of opening those dialogues is to right-click any Column Heading and choose Configure Columns.

Use Tools > Preferences and select the Records Window tab to adjust the Record Type Display Options and other settings.

Configure Columns

This tutorial is for ƒh V3 on Windows XP, but despite slightly different layout and colours, the concepts are still valid for later versions.

Note: The above tutorial shows you how to add a spouse surname as a column in the Records Window. If you only want the spouse surname to appear for women, follow the tutorial until the Add Column window is displayed. It has two fields. Set the Heading field to Husband’s Surname (say), and copy and paste the following into the Expression field:

=TextIf(%INDI.SEX% = "Female",%INDI.~SPOU>NAME:SURNAME%,"")

or since ƒh V6.1.4:


and click the Add button

Another animated tutorial, Using Lists to Mark a Diagram, illustrates a Custom Column in conjunction with other features:

Beware that in ƒh V6.2.5 the text in the Edit Column Details dialogue Heading and Expression must not exceed about 470 characters, otherwise that configuration will NOT be saved when ƒh is Closed, so the Column vanishes!

More Example Record Window Column Expressions

You can test for the existence of a data item as follows:

  • =Exists( %INDI.RETI.DATE% ) will match the 1st Retirement Event if it has a Date defined.
  • =Exists( %INDI.BAPM.SOUR>% ) will match the 1st Baptism Event if it has a Source Citation.
  • =Exists( %INDI.CENS[year=1901]% ) will match a Census Event with a Date in 1901.
  •  will match the 1st Marriage Event if it has a Place defined.

More complex examples include:

  • =Exists( %INDI.FAMS[2]>MARR.PLAC% ) will match a 2nd Marriage Event if it has a Place defined.
  • =IsTrue( %INDI.CENS[year=1871].SOUR>_TYPE% = "Census" ) matches a Census Event in 1871 with a Source Citation where its Type is Census.
  • =ContainsText( %INDI.BAPM.SOUR>TITL%, "Baptism", STD ) matches the 1st Baptism Event if it has a Source Citation whose Name contains the word Baptism.
  • =IsTrue( Exists( %INDI.FAMS>MARR.SOUR% ) or Exists( %INDI.FAMS[2]>MARR.SOUR% ) or Exists( %INDI.FAMS[3]>MARR.SOUR% ) ) matches if the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Marriage Event has a Source Citation.

In fact any such Column Expression would also work as the Boxes Condition Expression.

Print Records Window or Named List

After using the Save to Query button, use View > Custom Queries to run the saved Query, and then the Print and Save options are in the toolbar top right.

If only a subset of columns are required, then on the Columns tab delete the ones not needed, and run the Query again.

If only a subset of rows are required, then select those rows in the Records Window and add them to a Named List as explained in  Named Lists. (Skip this step when working from an existing Named List.)

Next run the Query, and on its Rows filter tab, use the List tab at the bottom to choose the Named List populated above, and run the Query again, which should now list just the chosen rows.

Last update: 04 Sep 2020