Utility ~ FIX2GED and GED2FIX


These two DOS utilities were written by the LDS Family History Department in 1993 to convert fixed format files to structured GEDCOM files, and vice versa.

Fixed format files are similar to Comma Separated Value (CSV) files, but use a vertical bar (|) as the field value separator instead of comma (,). The vertical bar (|) is used to allow field values such as addresses to contain commas. Fixed format files can be exported from databases such as dBase, or spreadsheets such as Excel, but may need editing to convert the field separators.

Structured GEDCOM files adhere to the GEDCOM Standard 5.3 (draft) specification, and should be compatible with Family Historian.

The FIX2GED & GED2FIX utilities require a grammar file to specify the relationships between the fixed format field values and the GEDCOM field values. A good understanding of these field values in both file formats is necessary in order to create the grammar file.

These DOS utilities must be run within the DOS Command Prompt from Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt because they required command line parameters.

Produced by admin (21/01/03) Updated by tatewise (03/11/10)

Installation Instructions

Click on the link below to download and save the demo.zip file, then unzip to extract all files to a folder named togedemo. This contains the FIX2GED and GED2FIX programs, sample files, and grammar files used in creating demonstrations of the utility programs. The *.DOC files contain the program documentation. The *.TXT files are the same documentation converted to text files. The README and READALSO plain text files provide further documentation on how to run the demonstrations.

These DOS utilities must be run within the DOS Command Prompt from Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. FIX2GED Demonstration

Run the FIX2GED demonstration by copying RICH.FIX, RICH.GRM, and FIX2GED.EXE to a sub-folder such as RICH. Then from the DOS Command Prompt use CD to select that sub-folder and type the following command:


In the RICH.GRM file the file parameter is set to RICH.FIX as it should be. Remember to change this parameter when converting other fixed file inputs to GEDCOM.

When finished enter the EXIT command to close the Command Prompt window.

The demonstration produces the output RICH1.GED that should be the same as the RICH.GED file (FIXME: but actually differs in last record). This RICH1.GED is not a strictly valid GEDCOM file and Family Historian reports several errors.

Note that these 16-bit DOS utilities will not run on a 64-bit PC unless you install a DOS emulator such as the freeware DOSBox within which to run the utilities.

The geddoc.zip download provides the GEDCOM Standard 5.3 (draft) specification in two file formats.

The gedprg.zip download provides the source code and documentation for developers wishing to rebuild the utilities. See the README and README.2 text files for further information.


demo.zip ~ FIX2GED & GED2FIX programs and documentation (from FHUG Downloads).

demo.zip ~ FIX2GED & GED2FIX programs and documentation (from Internet Website).

geddoc.zip ~ GEDCOM Standard 5.3 (draft) specification.

gedprg.zip ~ Developers collection for FIX2GED & GED2FIX.