Cygnus editor

The Cygnus editor is one of the three main editors of Ancestris.


The philosophy of the Cygnus editor comes from the need for simplicity of use.

The simplicity of being able to manipulate individuals and everything that relates to them, at a glance

Without worrying about how information is stored behind the scenes,

All other information, families, sources, notes, etc. are ultimately only complementary information relating to the life of the individual. For instance, the individuals' marriage should be listed with the other events. This is what Cygnus does.

The advantage is to see almost everything at a glance, like a bird watching the earth from the sky.

Did you know that? Its name comes from the large and brilliant constellation of the Swan. With its stars mainly arranged according to a large cross, it is represented as a bird spreading its wings.

Cygnus efficiently does a lot of work for you behind the scenes. Creating a spouse, for example, takes just one click, whereas it requires more steps with the other two editors.

The compromise is that only the most important genealogical information can be edited with this editor, but still covers 80% of users' needs.

There is a solution for everyone, and Ancestris users often choose to use two main editors: Cygnus + Gedcom, or Aries + Gedcom. Some prefer to use only the Gedcom editor. Here is a comparison of the 3 editors if you still had to make a choice.

Cygnus Gedcom Aries
Focus The individual and his close environment The Gedcom standard

Completeness of

Ease of use ++ +++ +
Ergonomics +++ + +++
Coverage of needs 80% 100% 100%
Data transparency + +++ ++
Efficiency +++ + +
Editable Gedcom entities Many All All
Compliance with Gedcom standard 100% 100% 100%

Description and Usage

Cygnus displays the individual in the upper part of the window with the Title bar, his family nucleus just below, and the details of his/her life in the lower part, with the associated life events.

Title bar

The title bar displays the name of the selected individual and some buttons.


Hovering over a button displays a tooltip.

Pin Button

Freezes the editor on this individual even if another entity is selected in Ancestris.

Cursor Button

Keeps the focus on the editor when changing entities.

A mouse selection of an individual in the entity table or in the tree, for example, normally causes the focus on the Cygnus Editor to be lost.

If you want to keep the focus on the editor, this button brings the focus back to the first name of the individual and positions the cursor there.

Warning sign

When the warning sign icon appears, it means the information included in the individual data includes an invalid piece of data or an invalid value.. Press the icon to display the source of the invalidity.

Anomalies are detected according to criteria defined in the Ancestris preferences, Extension selection, Validation tab.

Create a new individual Button

Creates a new individual and places him/her in the editor.

Delete this individual Button

Deletes the individual displayed with a confirmation request.

Contextual menu

Right-clicking on this title bar displays the context menu.

Separation bar

The separation bar shown in yellow below can be moved with the mouse. It allows you to adjust the respective sizes allocated to the family nucleus and to life events.


The position of the separation bar is set for each genealogy.

Family nucleus

Above the separation bar is the individual's family nucleus.


Photo frame

This frame displays all the photos and other media (video, soundtrack, etc.) of the individual and of his or her life events.

The photos displayed at each moment are those of the event selected in the life events section.

Media included in the sources are not displayed here, but in the Source photo frame.

The media displayed for a photo is the photo itself. For other media (sounds, videos, documents), the media displayed is the corresponding media icon.

A horizontal scroll bar allows you to scroll through the photos of a given event.

You can specify a short description for each photo.

There are 3 buttons in the photo frame.

Several actions are possible regarding the displayed media.

The choice of a photo is made by clicking on the image.

The Media viewer appears to only display medias of individuals and families, with specific buttons at the bottom.