Advanced Filter Focus


Advanced Filter Focus: Purpose

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Sometimes it is convenient to work with a sub-group of the entire file. I may want to work with people born in Hertfordshire, England. I may want to work with people born 110 years ago or earlier. I may want to work with people whose cause of death is Cancer. Whatever sub-group interests you, there is a way to select that group, and that way is the Advanced Filter Focus.

Advanced Filter Focus: When?

You can go directly to the Advanced Filter Focus and select some group, or you can begin some function, such as a report, and as part of that process, select a group of people. Here is an example of a process which offers the use of Advanced Filter Focus.


When you do an export with GEDCOM, the first thing you need to do is to tell the process whether to export All of the file or perhaps that this will be a Partial export. If you choose Partial, the Select button becomes active, and will lead you to the Advanced Filter Focus.

Advanced Filter Focus: Where?

So where is this Advanced Filter Focus?


It can be found in many places, but for demonstration purposes, let’s just start it from the Tool Bar.

Here is the file we will be working with.


To get started we will click on the binoculars…



…and bring up the Find Individual/Marriage screen. This is where we click on the Advanced Filter/Focus button.

Advanced Filter Focus: Parts


If the screen doesn’t look like this, click the Advanced>> button.  (Yes, I know that you cannot see the red rectangles.) Let’s take the first three sections one at a time.

Selections by Relationship

Ancestral Quest always has a currently active person. This person is designated when you open the file, and remains the same until you select another person. For this demonstration, we will use Hazel Carver, and in the Selections by Relationship box we will select her Ancestors. When we click the Select button, we are told how many records were selected. We can use the Show results only check box in the Other Options section to remove all other people in the file from the list in the upper left corner.


As you see, including Hazel, we have seven people selected. We’ll click on the Clear button and look at the Field Selections section.

Field Selections

We will click on the Define button. This brings up the Field Filtering screen.


Birth Place is highlighted because we are going to select people based upon the value of this field in their record. To do this, we will click the Greater Than button. This button will “push” the Birth Place from the Possible Fields list to the Current Filter list. On the way there, we will make choices about the values we will select.


Here we will select only records of people who were born in Centerville. We could have selected the radio button labeled 1(City), but that would have allowed records from Centerville, Ohio, and places named Centerville other than the one in Davis County, Utah. Click the OK button, then click the OK button on the next screen. Again we will click the Show results only check box, and this is what was selected.


As you see, we have eight people selected, and Hazel is not among them.

On the Field Filtering screen, by using the parentheses for grouping, and the AND & OR buttons for combining, complex selection criteria can be created. Those criteria can be saved for later use by clicking the Save button and giving them a name.

We’ll now go back and select Hazel and her ancestors in the Selections by Relationship section.


Seven records were selected by relationship and eight were selected by field value, however, there are only 13 names on the list. That is because Delayna Adams and David Carver were selected both ways, and they do not need to be listed twice since each is only one person.

Selections by Combining Methods


The seven selected by relationship and the eight selected by field value can be combined in three different ways. If I combine using AND logic, that means that the name must be on the relationship list and the field value list. Here is the demonstration of that method of combination.


The two who were selected in both ways are the only ones on the list. Now lets look at combining the lists with NOT logic.


The five people on this list are on the Selections by Relationship list, but are not on the Field Selections list.

When I use the OR logic, it means that I select the record if it came from the Selections by Relationship list or the Field Selections list. This is how that looks. Note that we are back to the list of 13 people.


When you select people either by relationship or by field value, but not by both, all the people selected will be on the list. There are not two groups to combine.


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


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