Now What: The Joys of Gedcoms
12/1/2004
How do I get a GEDCOM file? Do I have to buy it, download it or what?
Q. How do I get a CEDCOM file? Do I have to buy it, download it or what?

A. GEDCOM is a computer file format that lets genealogists swap information about their ancestors. The format's compatible with all genealogy software, so no matter what program you use, you can open GEDCOMs created with another program — and other researchers can open your files.

You don't have to buy a GEDCOM, but you do need a genealogy program to create or open one. You can't use GEDCOMs in other types of software, such as word processors (Word or WordPerfect) or Web browsers (Internet Explorer). You can get a GEDCOM file several ways: