Running the Windows Version of GED2HTML

Downloading and Unpacking the Distribution

The Windows versions of GED2HTML are distributed as a file GED2HTML.ZIP. If you don't yet have this file, you first have to download it. After downloading, you should have a file GED2HTML.ZIP in a convenient, otherwise empty folder somewhere. To unpack the distribution you will need an unzip program. If you already have a recent PKZIP-compatible unzip program, you can probably use that to unpack GED2HTML. If you don't have an unzip program, or if for some reason your unzip program fails to properly unpack GED2HTML, download the (free) InfoZIP "WiZ" program that is also available via the GED2HTML downloading page.

Note that the InfoZIP "WiZ" program is distributed as a single file wiz401xN.exe which is a "self-extracting archive". To unpack it, you just put this file in an otherwise empty directory, and launch it, either by double-clicking on its name or icon under Windows Explorer, or else by typing its name at the MS-DOS prompt. It should unpack itself and create a number of files, including the application wiz.exe. Launching wiz.exe will bring up a screen that you can use to unzip GED2HTML. There are help files distributed with "WiZ" that you can read if it is not clear how to use it.

To unpack GED2HTML, launch your unzip program and specify the filename as the file to be unpacked. Alternatively, you could try double-clicking directly on and when the system asks you what application you would like to associate with files with extension .zip you can specify your unzip program. In either case, once GED2HTML is unpacked, you should have a number of files in the folder with the GED2HTML.ZIP. Among the files you now have are the following executables:

  3. G2H.EXE
At this point, you don't need GED2HTML.ZIP any more, so if you like, you can move it to a safe, out-of-the-way place in case for some reason you want to start all over again. The program REGISTER.EXE can be used to register your copy of the program using the Kagi shareware payment processing service. See here for details on how to register.

The file GED2HTML.EXE is the Windows user interface for GED2HTML, and it is what you should use to launch the program. This user interface simply collects your options in a dialog box, and then starts G2H.EXE, which is the "back-end" program that does all the real work. Since (unlike previous versions of GED2HTML) all the options understood by G2H.EXE can now be accessed via the GED2HTML.EXE interface, there is probably no need for you ever to run G2H.EXE directly. However, please note that for proper operation, GED2HTML.EXE has to be able to find G2H.EXE, and thus either both must reside in the same directory or else you will have to modify properties settings for GED2HTML.EXE so that it starts in the directory where G2H.EXE is located, or use some other Windows trickery to arrange that GED2HTML.EXE can find and launch G2H.EXE.

Running GED2HTML with the Default Options

As discussed above, the program GED2HTML.EXE is what you should use to start GED2HTML. Launch GED2HTML.EXE by double clicking on its icon. A dialog box should appear with various fields and buttons. If you wish to run GED2HTML with the default options, then all you have to do is enter the name of the GEDCOM file you wish to process in the "GEDCOM File" field, either by typing it directly into that field or using the "BROWSE" button to select the file. Then, click on "OK". At this point, the dialog box should be replaced by a console window and processing of your GEDCOM should begin. If, instead, you get a message box telling you that G2H.EXE could not be executed, check to make sure that G2H.EXE resides in the same directory or folder as GED2HTML.EXE.

As your GEDCOM is processed, you will see various progress messages output in the console window. First the GEDCOM is read, then the individuals are sorted and index files are output, then sources and notes files are output, then the individuals are resorted, and finally the individuals files are created. When processing has finished, you will see the message "Processing complete". Under Windows you should press ENTER to close the console window.

By default, the HTML files produced by GED2HTML are placed in a subdirectory "HTML" of the directory from which it was started. You may peruse the files with your Web browser to verify that they are OK. Good starting points are the files "persons.html" and "surnames.html".

Exactly how long it will take to process your GEDCOM is primarily dependent on whether you have enough RAM on your system for the size GEDCOM you are attempting to process. Roughly speaking, this generally amounts to about one megabyte of RAM per thousand individuals in your GEDCOM. Thus, a 10,000-individual GEDCOM could be processed comfortably in 10MB of RAM. In this case, the program will spend most of its time generating the output files, rather than reading the input data. As the ratio of individuals to RAM approaches one megabyte of RAM per two thousand individuals, the program will become slower and slower at reading in the GEDCOM file, and will make extensive use of the disk. In this case, during certain phases of program execution where the individuals are sorted, it may appear that the program is "hung". Most likely it isn't; rather, it is just busy trying to shuffle your data back and forth between disk and RAM. It is probably not feasible to process a GEDCOM if there are more than three thousand individuals per megabyte of RAM.

Customizing GED2HTML Output

If you don't like some aspect of the HTML output produced by GED2HTML, it can probably be changed. The output of GED2HTML can be customized through the use of a large number of options settings, which are described here. Another form of output customization you can do without supplying any options whatsoever is to include additional HTML text at two fixed points in the individual files. How to do this is described here. Finally, the output format can be completely changed by modifying the GED2HTML output program. How to do this is described here.

GED2HTML home page

Copyright © 1995-2004 Eugene W. Stark. All rights reserved.