FamiliaOnline Administrator Help

Note: FamiliaOnline general concepts are explained on the DrAlex FamiliaOnline: Questions & Answers page.

Index of Names
New Family Page
Hide Selected Individuals
Export to GEDCOM
General Settings
Text Pages
Items to Include
Guest Book Administration
Change Password
Your Account

Family Page Help


Use this function to upload your family tree data to your FamiliaOnline site. If you maintain your data in a genealogy program on your computer, this is the way to send that data to FamiliaOnline: use your genealogy program to export your data to a GEDCOM, then upload that file to FamiliaOnline. If later you make changes to your family tree, no problem: you repeat that cycle as many times as you wish.

Type the full path to your GEDCOM file, or use Browse button to navigate to that file. Then click Upload.

What is GEDCOM? GEDCOM (GEnealogical Data COMmunications) is a standard file format for exchanging family tree information. It was developed by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Most genealogy programs are able to generate and read GEDCOM files.

What is a Genealogy Program? A typical genealogy program allows you to input your family tree data, person after person. Then you can view your data as descendant and ancestor trees and in other formats. There are a number of free and commercial genealogy programs available. For a comprehensive list of such programs please visit the Cindy's List .

Warning 1: Never renumber individuals! All genealogy programs assign a unique id number (RIN) to each individual. These ids are extensively used by FamiliaOnline to link between individuals, families and pictures. However, some genealogy programs allow you to renumber individuals. Don't do it!!! It will create a total havoc in all your data.

Warning 2: Upload GEDCOM only if you are sure you have made no online (using our Family Page) changes or additions to your genealogy data. These changes will be overwritten!

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Index of Names

This function displays the names of individuals in your site.

Depending on the number of names and on the Whole index at once or by first letters setting in General Settings, you will see a single page of names or the list of available first letters, like that:

Here a click on any letter but S will open the list of names, which start with that letter. The down arrow to the right of S means that there are really many names on that letter and FamiliaOnline has further subdivided them. A click on S will cause the following result:

and a click on SA will display all names starting with that letter pair.

A click on a name will open that individual's
family page.

Index by Surnames:

You can display the list of names for a given surname only.

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New Family Page

A click on this key will open an empty family page. Use it to enter all known data about an individual, his/her spouse(s) and offspring. Then move on to parent and children family pages, thus building a whole family tree.

Read more in the Family Page Help.

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Hide Selected Individuals

You can specifically hide selected individuals from being displayed on your site. As the administrator, you will still see their names in the index, picture forms etc., but they will be hidden from your guests.

Optionally, you can also hide all descendants and spouses of the selected individual, including all spouses of all descendants.

If you click on Hide, FamiliaOnline will display the list of hidden individuals. Use buttons on that page to add and remove individuals to/from that list.

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Export to GEDCOM

FamiliaOnline lets you export your genealogical data to a GEDCOM file. After a click on Export to GEDCOM, FamiliaOnline builds a GEDCOM file, yourusername.ged, and displays a page from which you can download it to your computer.

Important Note:

FamiliaOnline does not support all options of the GEDCOM standard, only a subset required for its displays. For example, FamiliaOnline does not display source information (where you tell from what document or communication you have obtained your data). When you upload a GEDCOM file to FamiliaOnline, the latter discards all source information and as a result, there is no such information in FamiliaOnline-generated GEDCOM files.

Therefore, we don't recommend you to import a FamiliaOnline-generated GEDCOM file back to your genealogy program. You may lose some of your data.

Moreover, we recommend you to decide "which is the master". There should be only one master copy of your data. Either you edit your data in your genealogy program or in FamiliaOnline, but not in both.

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One of the greatest FamiliaOnline features is its ability to manage an album of still images, multimedia (video/audio clips) and PDF (Adobe® Acrobat®) documents (for brevity, we will call all these objects pictures) and to link individuals and pictures.

You have three ways to upload pictures:
  1. Picture Form - Select a picture, provide its description and link the picture to individuals.

  2. Java™ Upload of Multiple Pictures.

  3. Zip Upload of Multiple Pictures - Put any number of pictures into a Zip file and upload that file.

Picture List

If you click Pictures, you get to the Picture List page. If you have not yet uploaded any pictures, this page contains only three buttons, Add Picture, Java Upload and Zip Upload.

If you have already uploaded some files, you will see their list as a table with the following columns: ID, Date, Place, Title, Modification Date & Time and Filename. If you click on a column header, the table will reordered by that column. To view, modify or delete a picture, click its ID.

Thumbnail Gallery

Shows the still images as thumbnails. Multimedia files and PDF documents are shown as icons only.

Picture Page

Use this page to upload pictures, edit their descriptions and link individuals to pictures.

The page is divided into three parts, Select Picture, Picture Description and Persons in the Picture.
  1. Select Picture - If you open an existing picture page, it will display the previously uploaded still image or play the video/audio clip. If the picture is an Acrobat® PDF file, only a PDF icon will appear. If the picture does not show, click the Refresh (Reload) button of your browser.

    If this is a new picture, type the full path of the picture file or use the Browse button to select one. FamiliaOnline supports the following file types:

    Still images: jpg, jpeg, gif, png, bmp
    Multimedia: cda, aif, aifc, aiff, asf, asx, wax, wm, wma, wmd, wmp, wmv, wmx, wpl, wvx, avi, wav, mpg, mpeg, m1v, mp2, mpa, mpe, mpv2, mid, midi, rmi, au, snd, mp3, m3u, vob, swf
    Acrobat® documents: pdf

    After you have selected the file, click Display Picture to view it. If your picture is a still image, it will be displayed. If it is a multimedia clip, it will be played. If the file is a PDF document, the PDF icon will be displayed. Click the icon to display the document in a separate window.

    Still Image Size: If your image is larger than 500 x 700 pixels, FamiliaOnline suggests you to resize it to that size. There are several reasons for that recommendation:

    • Large images don't fit into a computer screen. Remember that some home computer displays still use the 600 x 800 pixel resolution.

    • A large image takes a long time to display. If your guest has a slow Internet connection, he/she may not have the patience to wait for it.

    • Large images eat up your disk space.

    On the other hand, if you want to see small details (e.g., a group picture with many participants) or if you are going to do high-quality prints from your web pages, you may still need large images.

    Therefore when you attempt to upload a large images, we display a message suggesting to reduce it to a size not exceeding 500 x 700 pixels (but preserving the image's width-to-height ratio), but leave the final decision to you.

  2. Individuals in the Picture - Here you can tell FamiliaOnline who is who in the picture.

    For each person in the picture there are two possibilities: either he or she is a member of the family (i.e. is present in your index) or is not.

    • If the individual is a member of the family, click Browse Index. A new browser window will pop up, with the index of all family members. Find the person and click on his/her name; this name will appear on the picture page, in the text box to the left of the Browse Index button. If this is the right person, click Add. Otherwise click Clear and select another person.

    • If the individual is not in the index, you can type his or her name in the text box to the left of the Browse Index button and then click Add.

    Selected Names: After you have clicked Add, the name moves down, into the Selected Names table. Initially, this table is empty and fills in as you add names. Note that if the name was selected from the index, it is displayed in italics; if the name was entered manually, it is in straight letters.

    Show Rectangle: If this is a still picture, you can tell FamiliaOnline where is each person in the picture. To the right of each selected name, there is a Show Rectangle checkbox. If you check it, a blue rectangle appears in the picture. Initially, it is in the upper left corner. Drag the rectangle to the selected person and stretch it as needed to enclose that person.

    Name Placement: The picture page, as your guests will see it, will contain both the picture and the names of the individuals in it. You have a choice, whether to put the names in a single column to the left of the picture or in three columns above the picture. The former option is good for a small picture, with few names. The latter is more suitable for a large picture, with many names.

  3. Picture Description - Here you can provide the title of the picture, the date and the place it was taken and its description.

    The difference between the title and the description: The title is a single line, up to 128 characters and is shown in the list of pictures. The description can be much longer, up to 64,000 characters. You can write a note using a text editor or a word processor, then copy and paste it to the description field.

    Date: If you don't know the exact date you can provide only the year, or the month and the year; you can also use Before, About and After.

Java™ Upload of Multiple Pictures

This is the most convenient way to upload multiple pictures. You can select any number of files and upload them all at once. FamiliaOnline will create a picture page for each of them.

This web page contains a Java applet. An applet is a computer program written in the Java language and embedded in a web page. To use it, your browser must be Java technology-enabled. Most probably, it is already. If you get an error message, you can download Java from http://www.java.com. In addition, Java applets shall not be disabled in your browser.

You may also get a security warning asking for the permission to download and run the applet. To use Java Upload, you must agree.

Use Add Files and Remove Files buttons to build a list of files to upload.

If all pictures in this list share some characteristics, like the date, the place and the description, you can fill them on this page. FamiliaOnline will copy them into the newly built picture pages. Note that all description fields are optional. They are here just for your convenience. You have always an alternative of adding descriptions later.

Optionally, you can ask FamiliaOnline to use original filenames as picture titles.

After you have selected the pictures and optionally filled the form, click Submit This Form. This will start the upload, and you will see the progress indicator in the applet.

After all files are uploaded, FamiliaOnline shows the Results of Java™ Upload page. From it, you can open the newly created picture pages, edit their descriptions and link them to individuals.

Zip Upload of Multiple Pictures

If, for some reason, you can't use the Java upload, you can still upload multiple pictures at a time by compressing them all into a single zip file (e.g., using WinZip®) and uploading that file.

Zip compression may also reduce the upload size (and thus the upload time), especially for PDF and bitmap (.bmp) files. All other supported file types are already compressed, so that an additional compression won't gain much.

After the upload, FamiliaOnline will unzip the file and create a page for each picture.

If all pictures in the zip file share some characteristics, like the date, the place and the description, you can fill them on this page. FamiliaOnline will copy them into the newly built picture pages. Note that all description fields are optional. They are here just for your convenience. You have always an alternative of adding descriptions later.

Optionally, you can ask FamiliaOnline to use original filenames as picture titles.

After you have selected a zip file and optionally filled the form, click Submit This Form.

After all files are uploaded, FamiliaOnline shows the Results of a Zip Upload page. From it, you can open the newly created picture pages, edit their descriptions and link them to individuals.

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General Settings

This page allows you to change many default settings of your site. In particular, you can control the appearance of your home page.

  • Preview Your Home Page - Opens a new window, which shows how will your home page look with the new settings (view that page, but don't click on the links on it: it may lead to unpredictable results). The new settings are not yet saved, and you can always return back to the original ones by pressing your browser's Refresh button.

  • Submit - Saves your settings and displays a summary of your changes.

  • Site design - Select overall appearance of your site. Currently, there are two designs available, Classic and Orange. Classic was the only design in FamiliaOnline Version 1. Orange is the current default. In Orange, you can put a picture (with a caption) and a salutation on your home page.

  • Home page salutation (in Orange design only) - This text will appear at the top of your site's home page.

  • Site title - This text will appear on your site's home page and at the top of all other pages.

  • Site description - Here you can write a description of the site. It will appear on your home page, below the title.

  • Description style - Select Plain text if you want us to preserve your line breaks. Select HTML if you want to format the text using HTML tags.

  • Home page picture (in Orange design only) - Still image, which will be displayed on your home page.

    If this is a new picture, type the full path of the picture file or use the Browse button to select one. The picture file must be of .jpg or .gif type. Then click Display Image to view it.

  • Picture caption (in Orange design only) - Text to appear below the picture.

  • Site administrator's name and email address - This data will appear at the bottom of your site's home page, after the words "For more information contact".

  • Restricted site - Select this checkbox if you want all guests to be asked for a username and password. This username/password pair will be for viewing only and shall be different from your admin username/password.

    When you click the checkbox, the following fields appear:

    • Username - Type the guest username.
    • Password - Type the guest password.
    • Confirmation - Type the password again.
    • Protect all your site's pages/Show home page to all - You can make your home page available to all, but hide the inner pages. Alternatively, you can hide everything.

    Note that this protection is not airtight. This is not a "secure" site like those where you pay with credit cards. A sophisticated criminal may be able to break it. Therefore, in any case, don't display any sensitive information

  • Maximum privacy age - Here we address the following problem. FamiliaOnline can hide some or all information about living persons. But who is considered alive? If there is no record of person's death, is she/he alive? If we know that that person was born 30 years ago, then she/he is probably alive. If he/she was born 150 years ago, we can safely assume that he/she is dead. Hence we need to decide on a threshold, the maximum privacy age.

    Thus for the purposes of privacy protection, if there is no data about a person's death and if that person is younger than the maximum privacy age, he/she will be considered alive. Depending on your further settings, either selected data items (such as birth and marriage dates, etc.) will be hidden for living individuals or such individuals will not be shown at all.

  • Hide living individuals - Check this box if you don't want to show living individuals. In that case, no offspring of living individuals will be shown (even if that descendant has already deceased).

  • Hide duplicate branches - As a result of an intermarriage, the same individual can appear several times on the same page. By default, when the same person appears for the second time, his branch is not shown again. Instead, FamiliaOnline puts a notice, "Duplicate: Click here for the main entry of this person".

    You can change this behavior by unchecking Hide Duplicate Branches checkbox.

    Note: This setting applies to Outline and Roots&Offspring displays only.

  • In the index, surname before first name - By default, the index of names is ordered by surnames, then by given names(s). Thus Atkins, Tommy appears before Smith, John. If you uncheck this box, the given names(s) will appear before the surname and the order will change accordingly: John Smith will appear before Tommy Atkins.

  • Whole index at once or by first letters - This setting allows you to control whether you want to see all names at once (which is convenient for a small family, but can be unwieldy if you have thousands of names) or on separate pages, by first letters. If you stay with the default ("Let FamiliaOnline decide"), the program will automatically check the number of individuals and choose the suitable display.

  • Personal and family notes - FamiliaOnline, like most genealogy programs, lets you add notes, pertaining either to an individual or to a family. You can import the notes via GEDCOM and/or edit on family pages. Here you select whether or not to display those notes on personal pages. The default setting is Hide for the Living, which displays only notes relating to deceased individuals (see the definion of who is alive).

  • Show sources of information - Most genealogy programs allow you to provide source information, i.e. to tell from where do you know this or that name or fact. For example, the source of your ancestor's death date could be his tombstone, while the source of his wife's maiden name could be a census.

    Via your GEDCOM file, the source information arrives into FamiliaOnlne, which can either display your sources or hide them, depending whether you check this checkbox or not.

    The default setting is to hide the sources.

    If you choose to display your sources, this will be done using personal pages as follows: If there is a source for an individual's name, event etc., you will find an S   to the right of that data item. A click on that link will open a page with the source description.

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Text Pages

Do you remember the old good pocket diaries? They had a calendar, a page for each day or week and an address book. In addition, they used to have a bunch of empty pages, for notes not referring to a specific day or letter.

Likewise, in FamiliaOnline we have text pages. If you need to put some general (i.e. not referring to a specific individual or a picture) information on your site, you can add one or more text pages. A text page in FamiliaOnline consists of a heading and a text. The text can be either plain text or HTML. If you add a text page, a link "More..." appears on your home page, which points to the first text page. You have full control over the order in which your text pages are shown.

If you mention an individual in a text page, you can create a link from the text page to his or her personal page (more).

Text Page List

If you click Text Pages, you get to the List of Text Pages page. If you have not yet defined any text pages, this page contains only a button, Add New Page, which leads to an empty Text Page Form. Otherwise, you will see the list of your text pages, ordered by page numbers. Click on a page number to edit or delete that page.

Text Page Form

Use this form to create a new text page or edit an existing one:

  • Page number - Use this field to change the order in which your text pages appear. Page with the lowest number (e.g. 1) is shown first, page with the second lowest number (e,g. 2) is shown second, and so on.

  • Heading - This page's title.

  • Text - Type or paste here your text.

  • Text style - Select Plain text if you want us to preserve your line breaks. Select HTML if you are formatting the text using HTML tags.

Links From Text Pages to Personal Pages

Assume, Julius Caesar is a member of your family tree and you are adding a text page, which mentions him in the following sentence:

Gaius Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) was a Roman general, statesman and writer.

To create a link to Julius Caesar's personal page:
  1. Find out Julius Caesar's ID (also known as RIN) in your family tree. To do so, locate Uncle Julius in the index and click on his name. This will open Julius' family page. Below the word "Individual", you will find his ID. Assume that Julius' ID is 180.
  2. In your text, surround words "Gaius Julius Caesar" by <INDI ID="180"> and </INDI> tags as follows:

    <INDI ID="180">Gaius Julius Caesar</INDI> (100-44 B.C.) was a Roman general, statesman and writer.

  3. Complete editing your text page and click "Submit This Form". Now when you visit this text page as a guest, you will see that words "Gaius Julius Caesar" have become a link:

    Gaius Julius Caesar  (100-44 B.C.)  was a Roman general, statesman and writer.

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Items to Include

Each individual's record can contain a number of data items: his or her given name(s), surname, title, etc.; date and place of birth, marriage and death; education, occupation, residence, etc.

Items to Include Page

The Items to Include page allows you to select what data items will be displayed on your site. The left-hand panel contains all available items. This list is extracted from your data and can be different for different family trees (e.g, there is a good chance you wan't find a Bar Mitzwah in a Hindi family). The right-hand panel contains items already selected. You can use Add and Remove buttons to select and unselect data items. Up and Down buttons allow you to reorder the list ofd selected items. After you have finished the selection, click Next.

Item Options Page

This page allows you to change the settings for each selected data item;
  • Display in Tree - Whether or not this item will be shown in in the family tree displays such as Outline, Roots & Offspring and CollapsiTree. (Note that all selected data items will be displayed in the personal pages.) At the minimum, these displays must contain surnames and given names. You can add more items, such as birth/marriage/death date and place, occupation, etc. However, be selective: too much data will make the family trees too heavy.
    Roots & Offspring is especially sensitive, because each person is shown in a box; the size of the box depends on the data it contains; if the boxes become large, too few fit into a screen and you will have a difficulty seeing the connections.
    Once you select a data item to be displayed in family trees, you can select text or punctuation marks to be placed before and after each item If an item includes the date and the place or description, you can also select the text or marks to be put after the date and before the place/description. E.g., you can format the name and the birth and death data as:
    Major John "Johnny" J. Smith Jr. b: 3 Nov 1887 in Paris, Texas; d: 29 Feb 1960 in Paris, France;
    Smith, Major John J. Jr. "Johnny" Born: 3 Nov 1887 Paris, France. Died: 29 Feb 1960 Paris, Texas.
    Note that when you select text to be put before or after an item, you can select Other... and then write your own string in the box to the right. Thus you can get the following format:
    Major John "Johnny" J. Smith Jr. Geboren: 3 Nov 1887 Paris, France. Gestorben: 29 Feb 1960 Paris, Texas.
  • Private - Check this box if you want to hide this data item for living individuals. It is quite common to check this box for all items but the name (all its parts), occupation and residence (if the latter does not include the address).
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Guest Book Administration

Here you can view comments left by your site's guests and delete selected comments. The latter option is necessary since somebody may leave insulting and/or inflammatory comments and you should be able to get rid of them.

To delete one or several comments, click the checkbox to the right of that comment(s). Then click Delete Selected Comments.

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Change Password

Use this page to change your administrator password. You must type your old password and type twice the new one. Note that a password must be at least 6 characters long.

After you click Submit, the old password will be checked, the new password will be recorded, and you will be asked to login again, with the new pasword.

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Your Account

Use this page to view your account status and to update your contact information.

Status of Your Account

This section shows the following items:
  • Expiration date - The date when your subscription ends. If you are a new user, this is the end of your trial period. If this date is close, you shall subscribe or renew your subscription.

  • Payment status - The status can be either Paid, Trial or Grace Period. Grace Period means your trial or paid subscription has already expired but we give you extra time before locking your site.

  • Disk storage space (in megabytes) - Total disk space for your data.
The link Subscribe / Extend Subscription leads to our Purchase Page.

Contact Information

Please use this section to update your name and email address in our user database.

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