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Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Questions

Is training available for Ancestral Quest?

Start with our "Quick Start Video Tutorial" for Ancestral Quest. There are 15 segments to this video, ranging from one to twelve minutes in length. It is free if you view it from this site. You can choose any of the segments from a menu and learn about that part of the program.

You can also watch a training video on use of the new FamilySearch features.

There is a training video for translating AQ into other languages.

In addition, there is an army of volunteers around the world who should be happy to help you. Incline Software helped the LDS Church develop their Personal Ancestral File (PAF) program from an earlier version of AQ. This PAF program is taught in LDS Family History Centers and even in some LDS Sunday School classes around the world. If you attend a training class for PAF, the things you learn about PAF will apply almost entirely to its big brother, Ancestral Quest. The instructors may not know about the advanced features of AQ that are missing in PAF, but they will be able to help you with the basics of PAF, which can be applied to AQ.

Can I use databases created by other genealogy programs in AQ?

AQ provides the following options for working with data files other than its own (.aq) file:

  • Incline Software licensed portions of AQ version 3.0 to Ancestry.com. Ancestry Family Tree (AFT) was created from this older version of AQ, and uses a file extension of .aft for its files. These files are identical to AQ's own .aq files, so AQ can open .aft files created by AFT directly, just as AFT can open .aq files created by AQ.
  • Incline Software helped the LDS Church develop PAF 4 from portions of AQ version 3.0. A .paf file created by either PAF 3 or PAF 4 can be opened by AQ versions 3, 10 and 11. AQ 12 no longer uses this older format, but will convert the files into a newer .paf or .aq format. The .paf database has some limitations -- you can't use all of the functionality of AQ when using a .paf data file, but you can at least directly work with a .paf file.
  • A PAF 5 data file (with a .paf extension) is different from a PAF 3 or PAF 4 data file (which also has a .paf extension). AQ versions 10 and 11 will let you view the contents of a PAF 5 file and create reports from it, but it will not let you fully edit the file the way that it does with a .paf file created by PAF 3 or PAF 4. You can, however, directly convert a PAF 5 .paf file into a .aq which you can then fully edit. AQ 14 and AQ 12 work directly with this PAF 5 version of the .paf file, just as older versions of AQ worked with the older .paf format.
  • GEDCOM files can be imported into AQ, so if you have a .ged file created by any professional quality genealogy program, you should be able to import that data into AQ.
Where can I purchase Ancestral Quest?

Ancestral Quest can be purchased by:

What is the licensing policy? Am I allowed to install Ancestral Quest onto another one of my computers?

Our current Licensing Policy for Ancestral Quest is available on this page of our website: www.ancquest.com/policies/licensing.htm.

I am upgrading to a new computer. How do I transfer AQ and my data to it?

You can find your Registration Key within Ancestral Quest on your old computer. On the menu bar, select Help and then About Ancestral Quest. On the screen that appears, your Registration Key is in the upper area.

Note that the version number within parenthesis (16.0) and the platform text ([Mac] or [Win]) are not part of the Key.

Then install your software onto the new computer either from CD or by downloading the latest installer for your version from this site. When you run the program on the new computer, select the Use Ancestral Quest button and it will ask for your key.

If you have AQ version 3.0 or earlier, you will either need to upgrade to the latest version, or if you still have the original installation disk, you can install from that disk. Note that versions prior to 2.2 may not install properly Windows XP and newer.

Then Backup your data file from your old computer (go to File > Backup), saving the backup file onto a flash memory drive. Over on the new computer, within AQ, use Restore and open the backup file from the flash drive and then save it onto your new computer (File > Restore).

Note: If you have an older version of AQ (version 2.2 or earlier) on your old computer, and you want to install a newer version (3.0 or later) on the new computer, the backups of the older versions are not compatible with the backups of the newer versions. You will need to either copy your data from the old computer to the new computer, or you will need to install the new version on the old computer, then convert the data, and finally make a backup with the new version.

Note: If you have the older (2.x series or earlier) versions, and need to copy the old files, make sure you copy these 6 files: indiv2.dat, marr2.dat, name2.dat, notes2.dat, reptitl2.dat and namadd2.dat. If these two files exist, copy them also: indivex2.dat, multim2.dat. Once you have copied these files onto your new computer, open the "indiv2.dat" file with the new version, and it will convert the data into a new file.

Note: If you have used any custom reports, field filters, custom timeline entries, and/or web search sites, you will need to take some extra steps to get thse onto your new computer. Some of the customization that AQ creates is stored in files saved to the program folder. You can copy these custom files over to your new computer's installation of AQ.

  1. Open up your Windows Explorer and go to the Program folder for your previous version of AQ (where xx, below, represents your previous version number), which is probably either:
    • C:\Program Files\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest xx for 32-bit Windows systems, or
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest xx for 64-bit Windows systems
  2. Then locate and select the desired files:
    • any Custom Report Layouts, which are files with an extension of .lyt,
    • any Field Filters, which have an extension of .fld,
    • your custom Timeline entries (events or people) that you have added, which are stored in a file named AQTLEventsU.txt, and/or
    • the Custom Internet Searches file, named websites.txt
  3. Note: If you do not see the files there, then you should find them in the virtual store, which is typically found at: C:\users\your-windows-username\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest xx.
  4. Now copy those files.
  5. Use Windows Explorer/File Explorer to open up your flash drive. In order to keep all these files together and easily accessible, you will want to create a folder on the flash drive and call it something like AQ Customizations and then open that folder and paste these files inside there.
  6. Close any open windows and Safely remove the flash drive.
  7. On the new computer, insert your flash drive.
  8. Use Windows Explorer and open up the flash memory dive.
  9. Go inside the folder where you had saved your customization files.
  10. Select all the files there and then use Copy to copy those files.
  11. Now, navigate to the Program folder for your new installation of AQ, which is probably either:
    • C:\Program Files\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest 16 for 32-bit Windows systems, or
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Incline Software\Ancestral Quest 16 for 64-bit Windows systems
  12. Paste the files here

Your custom items will now be available in your new version of AQ.

My computer crashed, and I need to reinstall AQ. How can I do this without paying again?

If you have an install disk, simply reinstall from the disk.

If you lost your disk, or had downloaded the program from our website, you can re-download versions 3, 10, 11, 12, 12.1, 14, 15, and 16 from this site. You will need your registration key to activate the program once installed. If you have lost your registration key, Incline Software may be able to help you, but it is best if you have recorded your key in a safe place.

Which program updates are available for free, and which do I pay for?

Within a major version, all minor updates are free. Upgrades from a major version to another major version require a fee to be paid. For example, if you have version 15.0, you can update for free from build 15.0.1 to build 15.0.2 to obtain the enhancements and bug fixes. But upgrading from version 15.0 to version 16.0 requires the purchase of an Upgrade.

How many generations of family history will AQ allow?

There is no limit to the number of generations you can enter into AQ. As a practical matter, there are only about 150 generations in recorded history (from the current day back to Adam and Eve), so AQ shows a limit of 999 generations on reports as a way of saying "All generations". (Download a sample file containing genealogy from modern European royalty back to Adam.)

How many individuals can I enter with AQ?

The limit on individuals is not a hard limit. You can enter roughly one million individuals into a family database. The limit will be fewer individuals if you include a lot of documentation with each individual, and limit will be greater if you have less documentation for each individual.

What scrapbooking capabilities does AQ provide?

You can:

  • attach an unlimited number of photos, video clips, audio clips, and other documents to each individual in the file
  • attach a picture of each source to the source record
  • attach a sound clip to each photo for an individual
  • combine the various pictures and sounds to create choreographed, timed slide shows with background audio
  • create interactive scrapbooks where pictures can provide narration about the picture
  • print pictures on many reports
  • print scrapbook pages
  • print images of sources (such as immigration lists, birth certificates, etc.) on reports
  • print a list of all scrapbook items for maintenance
Is AQ available for the Macintosh?
Will Ancestral Quest run on Windows 11 or Windows 10?

That depends on the version of Ancestral Quest that you have.

  • Ancestral Quest versions 16 and 15 have been designed to work on both Windows 11, and Windows 10, as well as Windows 8.x, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.
  • Ancestral Quest version 14 will work on Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.x, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. However, be aware of a few items:
    • While the Help system for the program, itself, has been updated to the new Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista help format, the additional material, available with the installation of AQ 14 and earlier that utilize Help files, has not been updated to the new Help system. These items include: Line Upon Line - A Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, and Genealogical Resources. Unfortunatley, Microsoft has discontinued support for that Help system on the newer releases of Windows. You can request to receive a PDF version of the eBook, Line Upon Line - A Beginner's Guide to Genealogy, by sending an email message to support@ancquest.com.
    • The ability to print reports to PDF files is made possible by a separate utility installed by Ancestral Quest. There is an issue with that PDF ability and 64-bit versions of Windows. See this page of our website for an explanation of the issue and the work-around.
  • Ancestral Quest 12.x has been designed to work on Windows 11, 10, Windows 8.x, Windows 7, and Windows Vista. In addition to the items mentioned above for version 14, there is one other item to be aware of:
    • Due to the change in graphical display, some screens may refresh or redraw a little sluggish. Also be aware that many newer computers utilize very high resolution monitors, so on many systems, Windows has had its default font size changed to make the text a larger, more readable size. This causes some text in AQ to be too large, or pushes some text right out of view. See the details of this particular issue on the Problems page of these FAQs.
  • Ancestral Quest versions 3-11 are all the same, as far as operating systems go, and version 11, particularly, has been found to work on Windows 7/Vista, so the others should, as well. There are two operating issues and one installation issue; they are listed below with their resolves.
    • The Help system for these versions was developed using WinHlp32, a help program that Microsoft has decided to discontinue with the release of Windows Vista. So, you cannot access any of the AQ Help screens.
    • If you have more than one printer installed on Windows Vista, and you do not wish to print to the default printer, you will need to change the default printer in the Windows Control Panel/Printers settings before you go to print reports from AQ.
    • While AQ 3.0 has also been found to run in Vista, the Installer for AQ 3.0 will not. To get around this, you would have to install AQ 3.0 on an older version of Windows and then copy the program files over to Vista.
  • Ancestral Quest versions 2.x and earlier have not been officially tested, but will likely not run on version of Windows released since Vista. Typically, the older the program, the more likely it is that there will be a problem running it on newer operating systems. These older versions will experience the same issue with the Help system and default printer as with AQ 11, so the resolves, mentioned above, would be applicable.
Will Ancestral Quest run on a Chromebook or on mobile devices?

Unfortunately, the advertising for Chromebooks can be very deceiving--they lead you to believe you can run 'all your apps' if you switch from Windows, but that is not true. Chromebooks cannot run traditional computer software.

Ancestral Quest requires a computer running either the full version of Windows or MacOS. Ancestral Quest will not run on a Chromebook, nor Android, nor iOS devices.

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