What Behold Will Do For You

I really tried hard to find a program that I'd be happy with to record my genealogy. But they all were basically the same. They made you input your data via forms, and then you had to generate reports to see some (why not all?) of the data.

So here is a list of the problems we as genealogists need solved, the solutions to these problems that I've incorporated into Behold, and how you will benefit from them. I hope you like the descriptions this way.

1. The Everything Report

Problem: You want a concise, organized compilation of everything and everybody in your family information file.

Solution: The Everything Report is the central focus of Behold, and Behold was built around it. This report puts all your data in front of you where you can see it in a clear and organized manner. Its many useful index views and extensive use of hyperlinks and modern navigational tools make it easy to find the data you want.

The important thing is to be able to present your data so you can make the most use of it. Too often in genealogy programs, the reports are an afterthought, and only the "standard" ancestor, descendant, and family group reports are available.

Benefits: Your report is always there. Nothing is hidden. Save time and frustration in not having to run different reports to find what you need.

2. Include Everyone

Problem: You have included families in your family file that are not directly related to you. They may be related through marriage or may be possible connections that you are tracking. There may be step-family, half-siblings or adoptions. Unfortunately, your program ignores these people when it comes to viewing information or printing reports.

Solution: Behold includes everyone. It organizes separate family groups into their own sections, and provides hyperlinks between the same people in different sections (in case cousins marry cousins, etc.). It also lets you specify exactly how the families should be organized and who you want the primary people in each group to be. But often, the default organization Behold does may be good enough for you.

Benefits: Getting Everyone in one report means you only need one report. You'll see clearly how all your family is related.

3. Relate Everyone with Life Events

Problem: Your current program doesn't help you identify clues from a person's close relatives.

Solution: Behold's Life Events incorporates all the events that might affect a person's life into that person's timeline, complete with notes, sources and other information.

Benefits: Insights and inconsistencies will just pop out at you. The clue you needed might be right there. That elusive conclusion you've been working years for may just appear.

4. See All Your Notes, With No Size Restrictions

Problem: You have a lot of notes entered with your data. But how do you see them all?

Solution: Behold's lists all notes, no matter how large, just where you would expect to find them. You'll never again have to search for the right report to display your notes.

Benefits: Now you'll want to add more notes that will further enhance your family research.

5. Display What You Want the Way You Want

Problem: Want to show everything? Or maybe you want to hide some data. What if some of the events should be identified differently - maybe with another language? This usually isn't simple to do.

Solution: Behold's default Everything Report may be good enough for you. Or you can easily customize how each event and every GEDCOM tag is displayed. Then simply pick which ones you do or don't want to display. Save your Organize settings into Behold files and reapply them at any time to any set of data.

Benefits: Do it your way.

6. Find Errors Fast

Problem: You've entered a lot of information about your family. You know you've made some mistakes. But there's no way to find them easily.

Solution: Behold's Everything Report lets you to scan all of your data quickly. Mistakes will just pop out at you: speeelllling errors; bad dates; inconsistent place names; the right info for the wrong person. You'll probably find many mistakes in your data the very first time you look at the Everything Report. Behold even adds messages for you right in the report where they need to be corrected. Then after you fix them, Behold's Everything Report will be very useful to help keep your data clean and error-free.

Benefits: It feels good to get rid of errors - especially ones you've had in your data for years.

7. Portable Reports

Problem: You want to take your information with you wherever you go so you have immediate access.

Solution: Behold lets you save the entire report into a rich text format file which your word processor can read, or as an html file which you can put on a websire. You can even print all or part of Behold's Everything Report that you can but into a binder and take with you whenever you go to do research. Having a paper copy as a backup or to give to someone is not a bad idea either.

Benefits: Paper still works for many people. Have you ever tried to print 3000 family sheets one-by-one so that you can get all your data printed? Printing one Behold report is effortless abd the indexes make it easy to find everything.

8. Organize Families Your Way

Problem: You want to send a report to a relative, or are meeting relatives on one side of your family. You want a report that only includes people they are related to.

Solution: Behold makes this easy to do. You can choose, group, and order the families however you want just by picking the individuals of interest. Within families, Behold can display people by in Ancestral Order (top-down) or Ahnentafel order (bottom-up). Instantly include or exclude families related through marriage. Leave out everyone else, or include them - it is your choice. Save your various family groupings each into its own Behold files and you can recall them easily any time you want them.

... But it's Behold's Instant Organize function that really sets it apart. Pick any person, press the Instant Organize button, and there it is - the report customized for that one person. If you want, you can easily make personalized reports for everyone in your family. Choose between starting at the person and work your way up to each ancestor, or starting with each ancestor and work your down to the person, however you like it. If your third cousin calls you and wants a copy of the family tree, all they really want are the people they are related to. A genealogy program should make it easy to do this.

Benefits: Your relatives will love the personalized reports that only contain your common relatives. The way it's laid out will make it easy for them to identify their family. They'll want to correct the data for you and send you updates.

9. Auto Organize

Problem: You just received someone else's GEDCOM file but when you load it into your Genealogy program, you can't see the forest for the trees.

Solution: Behold automatically organizes your family information for you. It starts with the first person in the file (who is usually the person who the genealogy is about) and their spouses and builds the Everything Report around them.

Benefits: Figure out what's in someone's data quickly. See the families. See everyone who is related through marriage. See those not related at all.

10. Simple Yet Complete Searching

Problem: Your Genealogy program's find tool is so complicated, you can't figure it out. Then once you do, it skips some fields and gives something less than complete results.

Solution: Behold gives you the very simple Find tool you are used to in most Windows programs. Because everything is in the Everything Report, there is no way you can miss anything. With one keypress or click, you can search forward or backward or use the search history to redo your past searches.

Benefits: Simple to do. No complicated commands. Just the way you'd expect to do it.

11. Multiple Files at Once

Problem: You have several different families that you want to keep in different family files, but you also want to be able to view them together. Or ... you just received someone's family file (in GEDCOM format) and you want to see if you might have connections. Or ... you are a Genealogical Society and you want a way to view many of your members' family files at once.

Solution: Behold can open and work with multiple GEDCOMs at the same time. The data remains separate but the Indexes are integrated for maximum usefulness.

Benefits: Keep your data in as many different datasets as you want.

12. Save Your Settings in Behold Files

Problem: It takes time to set up the reports just the way you want. Sometimes you'd like to vary the way the report looks. But your program makes you manually change the settings every time.

Solution: Behold has all its organize settings in one convenient tabbed window. It includes setting of what files to load (see #10), how to organize the families (see #7), the ordering and numbering to use, the GEDCOM tags to include and the text to display for them (see #4), and other report options and text definitions to use. You can save these settings into a file with a .bho extension, called a Behold file. This file does not have the data, but only the links to the data and instructions to Behold on how to present the data.

You can save as many Behold files as you want. If you give them descriptive names, then you'll be able to find the one you want quickly and easily. You might for one GEDCOM file create different Behold files like: "Aunt May.bho", "Mary Jane.bho" and "Norman Osborn.bho", all referring to the same "Parker.ged" file. Or you may have Behold files with generalized settings, say "English.bho", "French.bho" and "German.bho" which will have the text translations you want to use and apply to any of your files. Alternatively, you could have "Everything.bho", "Public.bho" and "Minimal.bho" that define what Tags and data you want displayed.

The nice thing is you can merge the settings from a saved Behold file into your current Organize settings so you can change say, from English to French by merging from your "French.bho" file. Similarly, you can merge your current Organize settings into one or more saved Behold files on disk, which is great if you want to change a setting in many of them at once.

This is a very powerful capability. There isn't anything else similiar so it may take getting used to, but you'll love it once you start using it.

Benefits: You'll be able to save your reports your way, for instant and convenient recall later.

13. Modeless and Standard User Interface

Problem: Your program doesn't work the way you think it should. Icons and menu items and buttons aren't in the standard places that you expect them. Then there are these windows that pop up to fill in data all the time, and you can't do anything else or even view anything else until you close them.

Solution: A simple and recognizable user interface is a top priority for Behold. It looks just like most of your standard Windows programs. All major windows are modeless, letting you to switch windows and continue working without having to close the active one first.

Benefits: You'll feel comfortable using Behold from the first time you try it. It will be a pleasure to use.

14. Extended GEDCOM

Problem: Some GEDCOM files give error messages when you try importing them. Your program won't read everything.

Solution: There is a "standard" for GEDCOM, but it has changed over time. Every genealogy program, and every version of that program, writes its GEDCOM out in a slightly different manner. For Behold, I've extended GEDCOM to allow all flavors of it to be read in. Behold will figure out where best that data goes and include it. If you have a GEDCOM file that Behold cannot interpret properly, please let me know and I'll make the changes necessary to make it work.

Benefits: Always be confident that all data is included.

15. Read Broken Data

Problem: Some GEDCOM data you need to look at got corrupted. Maybe the file got truncated through e-mail, or accidentally edited by someone. Whatever happened to it, your current program refuses to read it.

Solution: Behold will get whatever data it can from any file with data that resembles data in GEDCOM format. It can piece together relationships from the links in the file and figure out everything that can be figured out.

Benefits: When all else fails, Behold will recover whatever data is possible.

16. Multiple Languages

Problem: Your data isn't all in English. You may use another language, or your ancestors may be from Europe or Asia and you need multiple languages. Many genealogy programs let you to enter some accented characters and a rare few let you to enter non-English alphabets. Some only allow these characters in a few fields, such as comments.

Solution: Behold uses a full implementation of Unicode, the standard used for word processing programs around the world, to allow almost all languages to be used not just in specific fields, but anywhere and everywhere. Now text and names as originally spelled can be displayed along with their translations.

Benefits: nutzen; ventajas; avantages; benefici; benefícios; الفاءدات; 利点; 이득; 福利


and there's even more planned ...