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Information for Users of PAF

If you are one of the millions of people who have downloaded PAF 5, you have come to appreciate the excellent program that it is. And you may be surprised to discover that you are already largely familiar with Ancestral Quest, as the Windows versions of PAF were developed from an earlier version of AQ (version 3.0). We like to think of Ancestral Quest as PAF's ‘big brother’.


Incline Software received permission to use the .paf database created for PAF 3 by the LDS Church, and then engineered the enhancements to the database used later by PAF 4. With the release of PAF 5.x, more capabilities were given to the database and to the program. But through the years, Incline Software has continued to add new improvements, refinements and features to Ancestral Quest. A PAF user will feel like he has just obtained a major upgrade to PAF if he converts over to Ancestral Quest. Because AQ can work directly with a PAF 5 database, you won't even have to convert your data. There are limitations on using a PAF database in AQ, however, and you can read about those on a special Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

PAF Add-in

While AQ is a full-featured program and could replace PAF, it can also act as an Add-in product to PAF 5. Some PAF users will want to continue working with PAF 5 as their main family tree editing program, but will want to use AQ as an add-in product. Once installed, “Ancestral Quest” appears under the “Tools” menu of PAF 5 so you can use it occasionally to perform certain tasks on your PAF 5 database.

Ancestral Quest, can not only edit PAF 5 files, but its own database structure, the .aq database file, allows for even more flexibility and capabilities. If you choose to convert your data from the PAF format to the AQ format, you'll find you can accomplish more. But if you keep your data in the PAF format, you'll be able to continue to use PAF 5 if you so choose, while taking advantage of several additional features of AQ. You will also be able to continue to use any other add-on utilities you have purchased for use with PAF 5.


FamilySearch Compatible Solution Logo

The LDS Church has released the Family Tree interface of its FamilySearch system throughout the world. They have created an API (Application Programming Interface) which allows commercial products like AQ to directly access the Family Tree database of FamilySearch. In July, 2008, Ancestral Quest became the first commercial program of its kind to be a FamilySearch Compatible Solution. In June, 2013, Ancestral Quest became a Family Tree Share Compatible Solution with FamilySearch. Whether you use AQ by itself as a FamilySearch Compatible Solution records manager, or in conjunction with PAF 5 as a FamilySearch Compatible PAF Add-in, you will find the ability to compare and synchronize your data with FamilySearch Family Tree a wonderful boon. (Requires an ID on FamilySearch.org or an LDS Account.) Read more about using Ancestral Quest as a FamilySearch Compatible Solution.

New Features

Over the years since Incline Software donated a copy of the Ancestral Quest code to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from which the Windows versions of PAF were derived, we have created some of the most requested and helpful tools ever.

We present here a list of several major reasons why you may want to supplement your PAF program with Ancestral Quest, or replace PAF with AQ.

You may also want to view a comparison chart that identifies the enhanced features available in Ancestral Quest (Be sure to click the button at the top of the chart to ‘Include PAF in Comparison’).

Additional Features in Ancestral Quest

Details on Additional Features in Ancestral Quest

Below, you will find detailed descriptions of the additional features in Ancestral Quest that are listed, above.

Compare and Merge Databases

Compatible databases (AQ, PAF and GEDCOM files) can be compared with a main database. Similarities and differences can be discovered. Then selected new individuals, family lines, or changes can be imported and merged.

This revolutionary new feature supplements AQ's Collaboration capability in providing two means of coordinating research efforts in ways that eliminate the tedium of any past methods.

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Record DNA Test Results

One of the exciting newer developments in family history work is the use of DNA to link relatives when the recorded documentation leaves gaps and holes.

If a DNA test has been completed for any individual in your database, you can now enter those test results into the Individual record, through a special screen.

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Publish a Family Book

Now users can print out any combination of many of the popular reports under an umbrella of a master Table of Contents and master Index. Reports from AQ (such as Pedigree Charts, Fan Charts, Family Group Records, Ancestry Charts, Descendant Charts, Scrapbook Pages, narrative reports and more) can be supplemented with other documents and narratives in a way that allows the user to create a family book from their recorded data in a form ready to be published.

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Improved Source Documentation

Ancestral Quest gives you more control of your sources, and more efficient ways to enter and maintain them:

  • Connect a single source citation to multiple events, eliminating duplicate footnotes on reports
  • Once you've converted from a .paf database to a .aq database, auto merge all the duplicate citations
  • Assign a citation to just the date or just the place of an event to more specifically document the information
  • Memorize up to 9 citations, rather than just 1, and also be able to select from the last 9 used citations
  • Reorder citations within an event
  • View a list of citations for any source
  • Work from the summary list of sources to add, edit, delete and reorder source citations for any individual or marriage
  • Categorize sources, and view just those sources that match a category
  • An extra field in the Source Record allows you to handle the Editor or Translator of a volume
  • Extra fields in sources and citations allow you specify the quality of the information
  • Extra fields in the citation detail record allows you to enter your own filing number for the information in your files
  • Print scanned images of sources on many reports as attachments

(*Note that most of these improvements will work on a .paf file, but some require that you convert your data to the .aq format.)

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Improved Handling of Notes

Ancestral Quest makes working with notes easier yet more powerful:

  • View and edit all notes for an individual and his/her marriages from a single screen -- coordinate your notes
  • Spell Check Notes
  • Search and Replace in Notes
  • Use the Tag List to categorize notes

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Built in Research Manager and Research Log

  • Record To Do items, and organize them into lists based on Location, Priority, Category, Individual, etc.
  • Print lists to take on a research trip
  • Maintain notes in the log as to the results of your research -- keep from repeating the same research over again

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More Reports

  • Create a Family Book with any number of popular charts and reports, a Title Page, Table of Contents and Master Index.
  • Print Fan Charts in Full, Half or Quarter circles, up to 13 generations, on paper up to 4 foot wide
  • Print direct Line-of-Descent drop line charts
  • Print a list of scrapbook items in your file
  • Dropline Descendancy Chart report

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More Options on Existing Reports

  • Print Siblings of Ancestors on Ancestry Charts and Ahnentafel Book Reports
  • Print Documentation pages to accompany your Pedigree Charts
  • Print Images of Sources on Pedigree Charts, Family Group Records, Individual Summaries, and Book reports (Ahnentafel and Modified Register)
  • Print Book reports to WordPerfect files
  • Print Fill-In-The-Blank lines for missing data in book reports
  • Print a summary version of the Sorted Places report
  • Enhanced Calendar report
  • Print just Odd or Even pages

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Print Reports to PDF Files

Once you have created a report to a .pdf file, send it as an attachment in an e-mail to a relative so they can see it and print it fully formatted, or make it part of your ancestral web page.

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Direct Links to Ancestry.com Databases

Incline Software has worked with Ancestry.com to provide direct links between names on the Pedigree screen and records in the extensive online data collections of Ancestry.com. You can use these links to speed up your online research. A separate subscribtion to Ancestry.com is required to access all the data provided by their service. View the segment on our video tutorial to get the most out of this feature. Please note that Ancestry.com may at any time stop processing requests from AQ for information from their databases. While we don't expect this to happen, access to this information is not guaranteed.

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Sort the Name Index on Any Field

If you like PAF's “Individual” view, on which you can sort the information by Name or by RIN, wait till you see AQ's “Name List” view that lets you sort by any field, and by any combination of up to 3 fields. Imagine sorting your names by birth place, then by name, and finally by age. Or sort by gender, then spouse's surname, followed by the given names to find women by their married name.

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Improved Merging of Sources

In addition to providing an Auto Merge on Sources, which merges all exact duplicate source records, you can choose any two sources and merge them, even if the information is not exactly identical.

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Merging of Repositories and Citations

Auto merge repositories and citations with Ancestral Quest. You can also select any two repositories or any two citations and merge them.

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Store Unicode Characters

Ancestral Quest can now store information in any language in the world, as it now supports Unicode. Whether information is from North America, Europe, Arabia, Israel, Russia, Japan, China, Vietnam, Australia or anywhere else in the world, names, places, and documentation can be recorded in the original language.

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Translate the Program into other Languages

A new feature allows a user to translate the program itself into any language, so that users in any country can use Ancestral Quest to record their data. Reports can be generated in any language to be sent to relatives anywhere in the world in their native language.

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Better Handling of Step Families

PAF lets you indicate that a child is adopted by his/her parents. AQ lets you separate the parent ties. For example, you could indicate that the mother might be the Biological mother, while the father is Adoptive. (You must be using the AQ database to utilize this feature, as the PAF database won't support it.)

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Scrapbook Items linked to your Internet Files

Now, you can link to scrapbook items that you have stored on the Internet, as well as on the hard drive. When a data file contining these Internet Scrapbook links is later shared, the pictures do not have to be sent along with the file, as they can be accessed from the Internet.

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