What is GedTool?
GedTool is a collection of Excel macros for processing GEDCOM genealogy files. All of the macros are easily started from a common menu. Initially GedTool is used to read a GEDCOM files and copy all of the data contents into an Excel spreadsheet in columns. Once any desired processing has been completed GedTool can write the data back in GEDCOM format. GedTool was originally created in German using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) macros based on Excel 97, but it can run under all subsequent versions of Excel. GedTool is now bilingual, Flag icons on the main menu allow the user interface to be switched between German and English.
How is GedTool useful?
Once the GEDCOM data is in Excel it can then be viewed, edited and changed easily using Excel functionality, or checked or processed using further GedTool functions. This makes GedTool useful in processes such as
- transferring data from one Genealogy program to another, if both programs support GEDCOM import/export and/or XML import/export (or, if need be, some other text-based format; this may require manual/Excel-based reformatting)
- sharing data with other researchers
- processing and checking data sets
- capturing data; this can be facilitated by the use of Flat Lists and templates
What interesting features does GedTool offer?
Character sets: GedTool supports the following character sets when importing and exporting data: ANSI, ASCII, UTF-8 and UNICODE (UTF-16).
XML: GedTool can read from/write XML files as well as GEDCOM files
Data capture can be facilitated by the use of Flat Lists: Data can be entered directly into templates, which are normal Excel files, by persons who need not have knowledge of or access to Genealogical software. The function <Create Flat List> can be used to convert the GEDCOM data into a flat, single-line structure, i.e. all of the links are broken. In reverse, with the help of this flat structure external tabular data sets can be converted into a GEDCOM file. GedTool supports this through templates and mapping tables. The templates are xls-files with all relevant data columns for common structures of birth, baptism, marriage and death registers. A mapping table contains the conversion rules (output fields, target fields, conversion instructions) for the conversion of data acquired using a template into a flat list. Using the mapping tables the different field structures of individual GEDCOM versions can theoretically be implemented.
Data merging: In GedTool two different GEDCOM files can be read and, using the appropriate functions, compared as to content, synchronized (acquisition of additional data), or merged.
Checking and labelling: In addition GedTool offers a variety of other useful features such as a dates plausibility check, the amendment/calculation of missing date fields, the deletion all living or of all non-related persons, the labelling of all data with your own source of information, the creation of a name-places list, global Search and Replace, or the generation of a "User Reference Number" (REFN number according to Kekulé and Zaragoza).