Tools – Preferences – Files and Folders

How to – Preferences – Files and Folders

Preferences… are reached through the Tools tab on the Menu bar.

01 MenuBar

Clicking on Tools > Preferences… will present the Preferences screen. If it is not already showing, click on the Files and Folders tab.

02 FilesFolders

This is where you let Ancestral Quest know how to find the folder where it can find your backup files, the folder where you want it to open that file, the folder where you will keep all your GEDCOMs, your reports, and your web pages. The first line is called Databases. This is where files are opened. It is also the folder where you should keep your images. I prefer to keep them in a folder which I call Images. This folder may contain loose files or other folders. The important thing is that the Image folder is in the same folder which contains the opened .aq file. This way references to images in the Scrapbook and in Sources and Citations will not have to include the drive letter and path prior to the Images folder. This aids in making images portable.

I keep all of my files and image folders in a folder called AQ Data. The following image shows their relationships.

03 My Documents

As you can see, the McIntyre.aq file is in the AQ Data folder. The Images folder is also in the AQ Data folder.

Now I want to let Ancestral Quest Know where I open my database, so I click the Browse button to the right of the Databases: field.

04 Browse

This brings up the Browse for Folder screen. I browse to the folder where I want my files, and click to highlight the folder name. I click OK to accept that folder. I could have typed in the information, but using Browse avoids typing errors.

Now I want to tell Ancestral Quest where I want my GEDCOM files. I could have put them in the same folder, but it is easier to find things when they are in their own folders. I click on the Browse button to the right of the Import/Export: field.

05 Browse

This brings up the Browse for Folder screen. I browse to the folder where I want my GEDCOMs, and click to highlight the folder name. I click OK to accept that folder.

Now I want to tell Ancestral Quest where I keep my backup files. I click on the Browse button to the right of the Backup: field.

06 Browse

This brings up the Browse for Folder screen. I keep my backup files on my flash drive. I browse to the drive and folder where I want my backups, and click to highlight the folder name. I click OK to accept that folder.

Now I want to tell Ancestral Quest where I keep my report files. I click on the Browse button to the right of the Reports: field.

07 Browse

This brings up the Browse for Folder screen. I browse to the folder where I want my reports, and click to highlight the folder name. I click OK to accept that folder.

Now I want to tell Ancestral Quest where I keep my web pages. I click on the Browse button to the right of the Web Pages: field.

08 Browse

This brings up the Browse for Folder screen. I browse to the folder where I want my web pages, and click to highlight the folder name. I click OK to accept that folder.

09 Browse

Now AQ knows exactly where I want all of my files. At this point I could click OK to save all of my preferences, but there is one more tab that I want to visit before I start using the program. The next lesson will be about the Database tab.

Suggestions/Questions about AQ Will Do or Subjects discussed here? Leave a Comment.

6 Comments

  1. Brian

    I suggest you post information on how to use Relative Addressing for file locations.

    • Brian

      I am interested in your suggestion, but I’m not sure of the context. Are you referring to files as they relate to multi-user systems, where the home directory is established when the user logs on, or to a multi-machine system, where one user expects similar path structures on multiple machines?

      I utilize the multi-machine system at the Ogden FamilySearch Library. The home directory is established when the user opens the .aq file. The directory containing the file is the home directory. This is true regardless of which system it is to which you are referring. The Tools -> Preferences -> Files and Folders -> Databases entry is C:\AQ Data\. I tell my students to build a file structure with a folder containing the folders GEDCOMS, Images, Reports and Web Pages. The only really important folder here is the Images folder. This system allows a user to carry an Images folder on their flash drive, and copy its contents to the C:\AQ Data\Images\ folder which exists on ALL machines at the Library. An alternative is to open the .aq file in a similar file structure contained on their flash drive.

      When a user adds images to a scrapbook, or to a source or a citation, AQ uses relative addressing if the image falls within the home directory. This makes it possible to open the file on a different machine where the images are located in the same relative place.

      I originally set up the Files and Folders -> Backups: entry on each machine, because the machines use different drive letters for flash drives, since the machines don’t all have the same Next Drive Available. I have students build a directory called \AQ Backups\ on the root of their flash drive, then all backups go where they are expected.

      I am running my machine at home with a single user, and my user name is DaleMc. If I used relative addressing,and set my preferences to show that the Databases: path is \AQ Data\ then the actual path would be C:\Users\DaleMc\AQ Data\. If I had multiple users on my system, and if another user was \Grace\ the actual path when she opened a file would be C:\Users\Grace\AQ Data\. That way each user could keep their files isolated.

  2. This is all over my head at this point, but it’s nice to see there is a real alternative to ancestry.com.

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog. Actually, Ancestry.com performs more of a research function, and Ancestral Quest is for preserving what you have found, either there or elsewhere. It is easier for me to access and share my own information from my own personal files. I like Ancestry.com for what they are best at, being a source for documents. Try the free version of AQ, and see if it doesn’t give you more flexibility.

      • I’m going to give it a try after the holidays. It might be too complicated for me, but I need to check it out at the least.

      • My reply is by email. Thanks again for stopping by.

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