Help:Family Tree Explorer



  • Automatically generate your family tree by uploading a GEDCOM file.
  • Easily add new people, families, images, sources, and research pages to your tree.
  • Simultaneously view ancestors and descendants in a format that displays as many generations as you want.
  • View all of the pages in your tree in an index list that is filterable in a variety of ways.
  • Review changes contributed by others.
  • Bookmark key pages so that you can return to them quickly.
  • Keyword search over all pages in your tree.
  • Set up multiple trees for different family lines.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Family Tree Explorer?

The Family Tree Explorer (FTE) is a flash application that makes creating and navigating family trees easier than ever. The FTE opens in a separate side panel, so you can view your tree and individual pages on your tree at the same time. It is an extremely useful tool as it consolidates all the processes of creating, editing, connecting, and monitoring your wiki pages on WeRelate. See the Family Tree Explorer tutorial for additional help.

How do I open the Family Tree Explorer?

Click on the blue My Relate tab at the top of this page and then on Launch FTE. See the Family Tree Explorer tutorial for the next step.

What is a "tree" according to Family Tree Explorer?

A tree is a way of organizing genealogical information, with a primary person as the trunk and his or her ancestors ascending and branching out like the limbs on a tree, and his or her descendants descending like the roots. For the FTE, a tree is a similarly organized group of WeRelate person and family pages. By attaching pages to your tree, you can navigate easily between them, without having to memorize names or person index numbers. Every WeRelate user is automatically assigned a default tree. This will be all that most researchers will need; however, you can also create additional trees for different family lines. You could also include different "trunks" in the same tree file, bookmarking each "trunk" for easy switching.

How do I add a page to my tree?

If you upload a GEDCOM, the pages will be created automatically and added to the open tree. Otherwise, you can open a page in the WeRelate window and click on the Tree link from the menu on the left, or use the FTE to manually create a new page that will be automatically linked to your tree. Also, when you edit a page, you will find checkboxes at the bottom of the page that you can check to add the edited page to your tree. See the Family Tree Explorer tutorial for more assistance.

How can I see what tree a page has been added to?

Click on the Tree link from the menu on the left side of the Person or Family page (you do not need to be in the FTE while doing this) and you will be shown a list of all your trees and which tree(s) the page has been added to. Pages can be added to more than one tree.

How do I delete my tree?

Click on My Relate, and then on Trees. This will pull up a box called Managing Trees. At the right, there is an option for deleting specific trees. If another user is watching a page in your tree, the page will not be deleted.
If you are deleting your tree so that you can load an updated file, wait at least an hour to make sure that the old pages are removed from the search index. Otherwise, you will get entries on the Family Match tab for the pages you deleted. In any case, you should expect to do some matching for existing pages.

Why does it need to use space on my hard disk?

When you are working with a wiki web application, your computer is accessing and manipulating data on the host computer. As you can imagine, it takes time for data to flow both ways. Access and retrieval time is greatly diminished when you store a working copy of your tree pages on your computer. Otherwise, you would need to wait for your computer and WeRelate to exchange data every time you made an edit. This working copy is for your use only. Other contributors access these pages on the WeRelate system and cannot access the working copy on your machine.

How do I upload a GEDCOM?

In the Family Tree Explorer, click on File and then on Import GEDCOM. This will bring up the Import GEDCOM page. Click Browse, choose your file, and then click Import GEDCOM. See the Family Tree Explorer tutorial for more assistance.

I can't get Family Tree Explorer to work. What's wrong?

It is possible that your system does not meet the requirements for running the Family Tree Explorer. See system requirements for more information. You may also try logging in to your account, if you have not already done so. If that doesn't solve your problem, you can report bugs or ask questions by leaving a comment on the talk page.

How do I include LDS ordinance information for my ancestors on WeRelate?

Ordinance fields have been removed from Family Tree Explorer and from the available fields on person and family pages. Please use to track that information.

General information

Main menu options

  • File
  1. Create New trees, and Open, Close, Rename, Copy or Delete any of your family trees.
  2. Import a GEDCOM file.
  3. Exit out of the Family Tree Explorer without closing your web browser.
  • Edit
  1. Click Make Primary in order to view the pedigree and descendants of a specific member of your tree. The new primary person's page must be open for this to work.
  2. View and Acknowledge Changes made to your tree's pages.
  3. Find a person or family in your tree.
  • Add
  1. Click Add this page to add the currently-viewed page to your tree if it does not already belong to your tree.
  2. Add a new Person, Image, Shared Research Page, or Personal Research Page to your tree.
  • Bookmarks
  1. Bookmark a page in your tree for easy future access.
  2. Remove a page from your list of bookmarks.
  3. All bookmarked pages will appear at the bottom of the Bookmarks menu options. By bookmarking different pages, you can navigate different family lines within the same tree, without illegally posting information about living persons. Just bookmark the first deceased ancestor in each line and navigate between them using the links under the Bookmarks options.

Page management bar

The page management bar is located at the top of the Family Tree Explorer, under the main menu. These icons allow you to easily manage the page you are viewing with the click of a button.

  • Make this person the root of the tree
-Performs the same function as Make Primary in the Edit options in the main menu, allowing you to view the pedigree and descendants of the person whose page is open in your WeRelate window.

Navigating within the different views

Clicking the view tabs changes the Family Tree Explorer view in reference to your tree's primary person. These tabs are found under the name field at the top of the Family Tree Explorer. Each view allows you to navigate your family tree in a different way.

  • Pedigree and Descendants (graphical format)
-The default view shows you both ancestors and descendants of the primary person on your tree at the same time. This "hourglass" or "bow-tie" view allows you to see the big picture like never before.
-Navigate between your pages in this view by clicking on the box containing the title of the page you wish to access. One of the boxes in your view should take up the entire length of the Family Tree Explorer window. This is your primary person (or family). If the appropriate pages have been created, pages for ancestors and descendants should appear above and below the primary person (or family). A gray box denotes a page that has not yet been added to your tree.
-You can change the number of generations displayed, orientation, and font size in this view using the tools located under the row of view tabs. Use the slider bars to change the number of generations displayed (for ancestors or descendants). Use the radio-buttons to change the orientation of the tree. Use the font-size input box to change the font size.
-If you're going to view more than just a few generations, it helps to make the FTE window wider, which you can do by dragging the bar that separates the FTE window from the web-page window to the right.
  • Pedigree (outline format)
-This alternate view shows only the ancestors of your tree's primary person.
-Navigate between pages by clicking on the arrows pointing toward the listed pages. This reveals the pages of any ancestors of your primary person that are previously linked to that person's page through family pages on WeRelate. You can click on the down-pointing arrows to shrink the page list in your view.
-A red question mark before a page title indicates a page that links to your primary person's pedigree through WeRelate but has not yet been fully created or added to your tree. If no arrow appears next to a page title, additional pages in the ancestral direction have not been created or linked properly to the primary person.
  • Descendants (outline format)
-This third view shows only the descendants of your tree's primary person.
-Navigation within this view is similar to navigation within the Pedigree view (see above), except for the fact that the tree expands in the direction of the primary person's descendants.
  • Index (spreadsheet format)
-This list of all pages in your tree allows you to easily find any page. First, select the proper Namespace. You can then filter the pages by key words.

System requirements

The Family Tree Explorer requires the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player. The player can be downloaded free of charge here. The FTE also requires that you have not disabled javascript in your browser. If your system can't run Adobe Flash Player (most systems can), you can still create person and family pages. See the Person pages tutorial for more information.

Related pages