Export a branch in GEDCOM format

Export a branch in GEDCOM format 150 150 Heredis Help Knowledgebase

You export your data for exchange. If you want to pass them on to other genealogists who don’t have Heredis to read them, or if they use an older version of Heredis, or if you want to keep a version that can be used by other software, use the GEDCOM format. Heredis exports in GEDCOM 5.5.1 format. This is a text-only file format, with no media. See the article What is a GEDCOM? for more details.

Important: if you make limitations on persons (marked, confidential…) and the root person (in the case of an export of the whole file) or the primary person (in the case of an export of a branch) is affected by these limitations, then your GEDCOM file will be empty! You can’t create a file without having a referent person at the base of your file.

To switch from one version of Heredis to another, it is not necessary to create a GEDCOM format. See the article Is it possible to recover data created with an older version of Heredis?

Windows & Mac

Put the person you want as the primary person at the base of the GEDCOM.
If you want your spouse’s ancestry, you’ll need to use one of the couple’s children as the primary person.

  • Click on the File menu > Export > GEDCOM.

(Windows) GEDCOM export settings window

(Mac) GEDCOM export settings window

  • (Windows) Choose Export branch.
  • Select branches from the drop-down menu: Ancestors, Descendants or Ancestors & Descendants.



Indicate the number of generations in ascendance, descendance, or both.

  • Specify the number of degrees of collaterals for ascending branches. Heredis goes through the branches, tracing back the lineage of each direct ancestor to include these people in the exported file.
    • 0 = only direct ancestors are exported (with their spouses).
    • 1 = export direct ancestors with all their children and spouses.
    • 2 = you export direct ancestors, their children and grandchildren, accompanied by their spouses.
    • 3 = you also add their great-grandchildren, etc.
  • Select the type of data to be exported (media, notes…).



Info – Check the Create a folder for media box to accompany the GEDCOM file with a folder containing all the media linked to the data. The media paths indicated in the GEDCOM file correspond to the media contained in this folder. If you check the box, Heredis will fetch the originals and make a copy which will be placed in a folder parallel to the .ged file. If you don’t, only the media path will be indicated in the GEDCOM, there will be no media.

  • If you’re exporting notes, choose whether you want to Preserve text format or No format.
    Note: Some software programs cannot read formatting. To be sure of retaining the information in your notes, it’s best to ignore the formatting.
  • Heredis recognizes the dates of the revolutionary calendar – not all programs are able to do this. Check the box Use Gregorian dates to be sure of having the dates entered.
  • Heredis lets you share an event. This function is specific to Heredis.
    Check the Convert shared events to individual events box to have Heredis copy the event for each person concerned by the shared event.



  • Choose the character format for the data to be exported:
    • Mac: characters readable by all Mac programs
    • Windows(ANSI): use this format if you know that the recipient of the file uses Windows software.
    • UTF-8: use this format to preserve all special characters. This is a recent universal format. Please note that some genealogy programs do not support this format.

Info: Use UTF-8 characters, which is an international language for computer encoding, if the software that will open the GEDCOM is less than 6 years old.



You can add information about the sender of the file. They enable the person receiving the file to identify you and contact you if necessary.

(Windows) Select the persons to be included in the exported file

  • Export all persons: exports all persons contained in the file.
  • Exclude marked persons: persons who have been marked in their personal data tab are not exported.
  • Export marked persons only: only persons who have been marked in their personal data tab and are contained in the file are exported.

  • Export confidential persons, Exclude confidential persons, Export surname only (of the confidential persons), Blur all data for confidential persons, or Hide all data for confidential persons. applies the indicated treatment to persons for whom the Confidential tag has been ticked in the personal data tab are exported without further specification.

(Windows) Check the box Exclude Secondary Persons ; (Mac) Untick the box Secondary Person to avoid exporting people you have declared secondary because they are of little genealogical interest to you (children who died in infancy, unrelated persons).

Info – It is therefore possible to ignore a branch just by marking a person. There are many applications for marking persons: cutting branches, eliminating duplicates, eliminating stillborn babies, not showing people who are still alive… See the article The different data fields to find out more about tags. You can check off these labels on several persons at the same time, thanks to the smart search. See Smart search.

(Windows) GEDCOM creation window

Add your contact details to the GEDCOM file so that the recipient of the file knows who it’s from.

(Mac) Select the persons to be included in the exported file

  • Check all the boxes to include all the people registered in the file except the Export marked persons only box.
  • To prevent the export of certain types of people (marked, confidential or secondary ), uncheck the corresponding boxes. See The different data fields for more information on labels.
  • To export data in part, specify your choices in the local menus.
    • Confidential persons: You can export all information, or only the surnames of confidential persons, or their surnames and givennames. You can also export people by blurrying all the data. The recipient of your file will simply know that there is a person at such and his/her place in the lineage, without knowing any information about that person.
    • Persons born less than…: Choose the number of years to be taken into account for exporting contemporaries. Type a value or use the arrows to change the proposed value. To prevent the export of persons born less than… years ago, enter the value and uncheck the box.

Info-It is possible to exclude a branch from the exported file. Declare the person at the origin of this branch as a Marked person, then uncheck the Marked persons option in the export window. You can check off the labels , or on several persons at the same time thanks to the smart search. See Smart search.

(Mac) GEDCOM creation window

Add your contact details to the GEDCOM file so that the recipient of the file knows who it’s from.

Windows & Mac

  • Click on Export.
  • Give the new file a name and choose the location where it should be saved. Heredis offers the same folder as your genealogy file. To select another location, choose one in your file directory.
    (Mac) If your file directory is not visible, click on the display triangle to the right of the Save as field.

Note: Ahnentafel numbering is a mobile data, and can be changed at any time, so it is not exported. See the article on The root person.

Info: Search information is always exported. If you wish to exclude notes from search information, check the Private box available when editing the note and uncheck the Private data box in the export settings window.

To export the entire file rather than just a branch, see Exporting a complete file in GEDCOM format.