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BROTHER'S KEEPER - FAQ (Updated 6 March 1997)
Do also inclued question, not answered
Many of the question that was here, is to be found on other pages, and is deleted from this page.


* Error Messages and their meaning *

1: I am getting a error message which reads (Language Files Damaged). What can I do?

A.. Reinstall the program files which should fix the damaged files.


* Tips and Tricks *

3: How to get the FAQ to people who only have e-mail capability but only if they want it.


You can request ftp files via e-mail. Send an e-mail to:,

with the following text in the body of the msg. (Leave the subject field blank):

open cd pub/genealogy/programs get bk_faq.txt


* Propeller Head Stuff *

3: I have a problem starting BKW. There are two errors:

BK5W.exe generates a GPE in module KRNL386.exe at 0001:73c3; and BKW.exe generates a GPE in module Vbrun300.dll at 0005:0F43

Sometimes the first error and sometime the last error, but the same result, the program does not start.

A.. When a user gets a GPF in Krnl386 it may be related to some device driver. e.g. have you tried the standard VGA device driver? Also, look in the STARTUP group to see what is running. Also be sure you have at least 4 megs of RAM and some virtual memory.


3: How would I go about using BKW on a network with several users? The network is Novell 3.12, Windows 3.11 and PC without Hard disk.

A.. If the work stations in the network lack hard drives the programme will have to be installed on the server. It would be possible to install copies in separate directories on the server for all users but this seems to be a complicated and space-consuming solution. The work stations all have drives for floppy disks so the path to databases in BK could be set to Drive A:, in that way each student would register and store his data on a floppy. Wouldn't such a set up make it possible to install only one copy on the server or are there other files than the data files that are modified when BK is in use?

A trial showed two users couldn't access the same program at the same time. So you will probably have to make as many folders as you have pupils on the central server and ask each to access his/her own folder. Backup however could easily be done to the floppy drive as you are always asked for "A" or "B"-drive.


3: I'm using BK5-W with Windows 95 and received the following error:

Incompatible Files CMDIALOG.VBX

Reference File Date: 4/28/93 12:00:00 AM: Reference File Version:

Actual File Date: 12/20/93 11:58:56 AM
Actual File Version: 2.0.9000.1

Older Version was found. File was found in memory

A.. If your VBX file is out of date, then rename it to something else like CMDIALOG.XXX and run BKSETUP again. Or get the correct CMDIALOG.VBX from your Windows diskettes.


* Questions Awaiting an Answer *


Q.2 Are there any plans to allow us to write the Collapsed Ancestor Chart to a file or RTF? I use the ALT+PrintScreen option John suggests in the manual, but have to literally cut and tape the printout from WORD to get a decent (but non-editable) result.


Q.3 The 4 family box chart in the windows version dated November 22 is different from the one in the DOS version. Frankly I liked the DOS version better, though I never did manage 6 generations even when they were available. The Windows version gives four families of one of the parents and not both. What do you think about this. Is there a reason for this change?


Q.4 Using Dec24 bk5w. I've read p18 on printer set up and thought it originally applied while only in BK5, but it stays forever, like it says. Often I'm in another application only to realise that I'm printing landscape instead of portrait. Is there an automatic way to reset the printer setting upon leaving BK so that subsequent applications aren't effected?


Q.5 Has anyone loaded the ROYALl92.ged file into Brother's Keeper. What is the best way to handle the TITL field, and how to deal with the absence of surnames?


Are there any plans to allow the printing of Today's date and a "Personal message" on the Tree Chart as is done on the Ancestor Chart? I find it very important to have Today's date on every chart I send to someone as well as something saying who created it. This is easy enough on the ancestor chart and on charts created in text or RTF files which can be edited, but with the Tree Chart I haven't found a way yet. Has anyone?


My BKWin is not willing to accept the CE (Central European) fonts and the result is: I can't print some of our specific accented fonts. From MS Word 7 and other Win-applications I can print without any font- troubles. e.g. printing the TREE: On the preview screen there is all OK. Then I choose print fonts. I can change the font style (Times --> Arial) but the chosen codepage (CE, Cyrillic, western...) will not stay and is always reset to western.


I want to generate a bibliography for a certain surname to take with me to the library, so I would know what I already had. I essentially want to search for a certain name, and them list the sources in a custom report. I know I could generate a register report and just print the footnotes, but I was hoping there was an alternative.


Q.. I'm a relative newcomer to BK and find it a great programme to work with. But, is there any way when working on the edit screen to show that a couple who have children are not actually married.

A.. In the marriage area, put N in the ceremony field. Then the printouts will not refer to the couple as man and wife.


Q.. Is there a way to have the BK numbers of individuals print out in the Ancestor charts, rather than the Ahnentafel numbers?

A.. If you have the Windows version of BK, then go to the ancestor chart and pick a person. It will then display the chart. Then pick Options from the top menu and then the option to show the BK Code numbers.

In the version that will be released shortly, you will also be able to set an option to show the REF numbers on the ancestor chart and also the collapsed ancestor chart, e tree and box charts.


Q.. Is it possible to open Brother's Keeper in Microsoft Word and then combine ancestor charts etc with notes from other sources?

You can copy a screen image from BK and load it into Word. The ancestor chart can be displayed then press ALT+PrintScreen to copy it to the Clipboard. Then open Word and make a picture box and then pick Edit, Paste to paste the picture into Word. ********

Q.. How do you send a report to an RTF file?

You can send a Register Report, Indented Report, or Ahnentafel Report to an RTF file. From the report options screen menu, choose "file", "create RTF file".


Q.. I use my laptop to carry with me to the Research Libraries. I am using Windows 95 and using the feature of "Direct Cable Connecting" with my desktop unit at home. For this I use the "Briefcase" feature to keep both sets of files up to date.

I normally have all my data files and message text files in a different sub directory from where the program files are maintained. In each of the Family Group Sheet records I have the path identified to that other directory. When I use my "Briefcase" address as the data files location on the laptop, all the paths to the message files are incorrect. I can't change them in my laptop version of the records, since when I dock my laptop with my desktop all the files will be modified automatically. The desktop version will not function with the incorrect new paths to the message files. Is it possible to set an alternate redirect path on my laptop?

A.. Use DOS, relative addresses, as follows. instead of the text file being refered to as:- $$d:\bk5w\text I used $$.\text; meaning the text directory under the default directory which is in this case d:\bk5w


Since BK5 has now the possibility of showing pictures, most people think of pictures in some ordinary maner. Photos. But I should like to draw attention to another way of using this feature.

A friend of mine has collected quite a lot of original (and/or xerox- copy) certificates on his family. Birth-, Marriage-, Divorce-, Name- change-, Adoptions- and other certificates. Supplied by Diplomas, "King's Allowance" (marriage for people "not old enough"), Licenses to trade, Jouneyman's certificates as well as Property Ownership papers etc.

These I have scanned for him, most of them in reduced formats (50%, 70% - each according to original size). As TIF-files they fit both in and outside BK5.

For some of my own oldest ancestors I have scanned images of their Coat of Arms, Gravestones (from old drawings in old books), Signets (Seals) and for one old guy I have a scanned image of the Letter of Noblehood (among the 12-13 oldest known such letters in this country!). All these from medieval times.

Scannings are done both on an flat-bed scanner (Xerox 7650) and in a Logitech ageScan - all in 300x300 dpi. One single scanning is done from a church-book by help of a Mustek handheld scanner to a portable computer, as the book couldn't be borrowed.


Q.. What should I put in the REF box in BK5?

A.. The Ref box in BK5 enables you to give your own reference to the individuals in your database, quite separate from the BK5 number which the programme automatically generates. For example, in a database, everyone with the surname WEBB has the letter A followed by a number -- so I am A1, my father is A2 my grandfather is A3 and so on. So A1, A2, A3 etc are the numbers which I put in the Ref box. I find my Ref numbers much easier to remember than BK5 numbers and it is very easy to search -- if I want to find the record for A20 for example I type /A20 in the name box on the search screen.


These web pages have first been created by
Michael H McPhillips and Simon Quill,
but now updated by James J. Dell and  Otto Jørgensen

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