Manage medias files

The Media manager lets you ensure that all media files used in your genealogy exist, either on your local disks or on the Internet, that they are used, and that they correctly link to your Gedcom file events.

A typical situation where you need to use this tool is if you have modified your photo folders for instance, or if you have just migrated your genealogy from another software.



The windows is made of 2 areas:


The indicators have the following meaning.

A warning is displayed if some physical files are referenced more than once. It is inefficient because changing the file name on disk will require you to update the genealogy in more than one place. Click the "Show all files" button to identify which are these "duplicate" files and consolidate them into the same media entity.

The next information is the full path name of your Gedcom file, from which relative paths will be starting.

Finally, the "Refresh" button updates the statistics in case some files have changed locally or remotely, and the "Show all files" button opens the Media viewer with all the pictures of the genealogy.

This Media viewer is the same viewer as the one accessed from the Cygnus editor with one difference: the list of pictures in Cygnus is limited to either events media or sources media.


This section includes various elements:

Changes made in this editor are made in the Gedcom file and can be undone either via the undo button below, or using the Ancestris main menu bar undo/redo buttons.

Folders table

Each line in the table correspond to a group of files within the same folder and with the same attributes, found/unfound, local/remote, entity/property, and relative/absolute.

Numbers in column headers of the attributes indicate the number of files with the corresponding attribute.

The number in the Selection header column indicates the number of lines selected.

This is an example of the Search window for local files. An explanation of this window is provided in the corresponding usage section below. en-file-medias-2.png

This is an example of the Search window for remote files.


In this "Search of remote media files" window, the Internet button opens up your browser on the corresponding web site directory.

In the list of media files, clicking on a file will try to open it in your browser. The files are listed in green if they could be accessed, in red otherwise.


Please note remote files are initially assumed to be found until an action has revealed there are unfound. Such action is for instance the "Check existence" button in the Statistic section, opening a remote file in your browser from the "Search of remote media files" window, or accessing media files via the Media viewer window, which can be opened via the Show all files" button or the Cygnus editor.

Once a filter is applied, the numbers in the column headers adjust themselves to only count the filtered files.

Clear and Select buttons

These actions apply to filtered lines only.

Action field and buttons


The main use cases of the Media manager tool are the following.

In case you have your main genealogy on a website like Geneanet and, it is our topmost recommendation to make sure you have usable local copies of this genealogy, including media files, in distinct locations.
A 'usable' copy means a file in Gedcom format with separate media files properly attached to the Gedcom file events and sources.

Problem of 'unfound files'

Where can the problem come from?

1. Have you renamed your media folder or your media file?

If your photo is in a /mygenealogy/photos/MyPicture.jpg file and your Individual entity references this photo in a FILE tag with value of /mygenealogy/photos/MyPicture.jpg, then the link is valid. Everything is fine.

Now, if you rename your photos directory or just the media file, it may generate a broken link. For instance, if your photo file becomes /mygenealogy/media/MyPicture.jpg with media instead of photos, Ancestris will not find it because it still thinks it is in the "photos" folder, not "medias".

This is enough to break the link. The Media Manager above will consequently display your photo as an unfound media.

2. Have you moved your Gedcom file?

Rather than renaming a media folder or a file, you may have just moved your Gedcom file.

Relative position between your Gedcom and your media
Absolute position between your Gedcom and your media

3. Have your files been deleted?

Another possible reason for a loss of link between your Gedcom file and your media files can also come from file deletions on the disk. It's more annoying because you have first to get hold of these files before continuing with the media manager or else removing the links in the Gedcom file.

The Media manager does not remove the links, it just renames them.

4. Case of remote files

In the case of remote files, 'unfound files' can just be the result of the web site being reorganised, or renamed or any other web site structural modifications.

Resolution of the 'unfound files' problem for local files

Let us consider the following example with the unfound line below where 1 file is missing in the documents folder.


If you are confident that your media file is somewhere on your computer, click on the "Search" button in the Action column to locate the corresponding media file.

The following "Search of local media files" appears.


This window will help you find the lost file.

In the window above, Ancestris will search for the missing files in all directories underneath the root directory indicated at the top. You can change it using the "Search from another folder..." button, or 'Pick original folder" to go back to the original root directory where the Gedcom file is located.

The files to be found are listed in red in the left column. Otherwise, they will appear in green. In this example, the file to be found is "Herald_Tribune.jpg".

Please note unfound files can also be quickly located using the "Validate Gedcom compliance and Data consistency" tool if you have indicated in the Preference window that files not found are to be considered invalid. However it does not help you find them.

The directories where the files exist are listed in the right-hand-side column.

For instance, using the "Search from another folder..." button, I changed the root directory, to myGenealogy and two folders appear on the right-hand-side. It means the missing file - or at least a file with the same name as the missing file - sits within both folders.


If I would rather move the missing file from one of these folders to the one it was supposed to be in before (in this example the documents/ folder), I would use my computer file explorer to do that and reopen the main panel of the Media manager, or press the "Refresh" button to refresh the statistics.

Otherwise, if I want to leave the missing file in that folder, I have to "re-attach" it to the Gedcom file from where it is.

I select the first folder for instance. I get the following window where the "Pick selected folder" becomes enabled.


I press the "Pick selected folder" button and then, the root folder is updated to point to the "photos" folder and the file on the left becomes green again. 


I click OK to go back to the Media manager window. The line now appears as found. This is the line with 9 found files in folder "photos/". I was showing 8 found files before. Now it is showing 9, and the line with the missing file is no longer there.



Downloading remote files

Let's look at a use case where you might want to download remote files.

For instance, you have been working days and nights for two years on your genealogy and have used a web site such as Geneanet, or Genoom. You have now more than 5000 individuals and 500 media files referenced on Geneanet for instance. This actually happened to a friend of mine.

Of course, you can export your genealogy from Geneanet and open the corresponding Gedcom file from Ancestris. It will work. You will see your genealogy tree with all the pictures as well, even though the pictures are still on the Geneanet web site.

Three issues may arise:

In this situation, you will want to have a copy of your pictures on your computer or a USB drive. But you need all your Gedcom file links to be modified and link to the local files rather than the remote files. Of course!

Here is an example of what you would see and do.

The following window shows the Media manager window right after importing the genealogy called RemoteGen from Geneanet and opening it. It contains 430 files linked 567 times throughout the genealogy.


As we can see, all files are in separate folders on the web site. We are now going to download them all.

By default, all remote files are assumed to be found.

First, we will check that remote files exist on the Internet to only download those that do exist. It would not differ much to just download them all right away, and just get the one that exist.

Ok, so we press the "check existence" button. The progress bar shows the checking process.


Once completed, we can see this on the statistics.


All but 3 files exist.

Select all files using the "Select/Unselect" button next to the filters. If you want, unselect the unfound ones to exclude them.

Then click the Download button. The following window lets you choose the destination folder.


Then click the Choose button. The download process starts.


Upon completion, the following result window appears.


Here, it says that 564 files out of the 567 have been downloaded successfully. The 3 unfound files have been set to unfound in case there were not already.

Press OK and the Media manager window now shows 564 local files in their local folders, with the same folder structure as there is on Geneanet.



Editing the path of multiple folders

Now let's see how to edit multiple paths at the same time.

Let's consider the following situation where we would like to tell Ancestris that the three following folders have actually been moved to a "tree" folder which is in the same folder as the Gedcom file.


The folders are highlighted with the mouse. So now let's click the "Select/Unselect" button. It will check the 3 corresponding check boxes.


The Subpath field is empty. This is because there is no common path between the 3 folders. We will see below another example where it is not empty.

In the empty field, type "tree/".


Then press the "Replace" button with the pencil. Ancestris has added "tree/" in front of the previous path names.