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BKTIPS (BK5) Tips and Tricks

Tip #1

Lately I've seen a lot about GEDCOM files and have run across a program, GED0100A.ZIP and free that will allow you to read a GEDCOM file on it's own. It may solve some of the problems people are seeing when they try to import a GEDCOM file.


Tip #2

When you delete a record BK doesn't really remove it, rather it deletes any links so that the record is not accessible i.e it remains in the database. Instead of deleting the record enter something like SPARE or MT in the name field and save. Then when you have a new individual to enter call up whatever name you used and enter the details for the new individual in the vacant record


Tip #3

Deleted records can be restored by downloading and using the BK Utility Program. The program can be downloaded from this web site:

Load the BK Utility program

  1. From the file menu select QUALITY CHECK - this procedure will find any incorrect relationships, children out of order and other file errors.
  2. If the quality check completes with no file errors then from the UTILTIES menu select "Add a number that was deleted" and enter "ALL" in the dialog box that will pop up.
  3. Run Quality check again

Note: To reuse numbers that were added back, type the name AVAILBLE when adding children to a family.

To create a report of available numbers:

  1. Load BK
  2. From the LISTS Menu select WORD SEARCH REPORT
  3. In the NAME box enter AVAILABLE
  4. Click on the CREATE REPORT BUTTON
  5. Select the FIELDS TO INCLUDE" tab
  6. Double click on BK CODE NUMBER
  7. Click on PRINT

Tip #4

In the latest update of the program, the number of names showing on the opening screen is the number of names actually in the database, not the highest BK number used. But if you just want to get all the gaps out of the BK code numbers, there are a couple of much easier ways to do it.

METHOD NO. 1: Create a new database and split out your entire database to that new database. On the split database options screen, choose range of numbers. The default will be the entire database from 1 to the highest number used. Accept that. The new database will have no missing numbers.

METHOD NO. 2: Export a GEDCOM file of your entire database. Create a new database. Import the GEDCOM file you just exported back into the new database. Again, the new database will have no missing numbers.

Brother's Keeper creates new BK numbers when it imports a GEDCOM file to an empty database and when it splits to a new database. And you don't need all those pesky "unused" names.

Method 2 has the advantage that all text files will be recreated in the new directory. But, if you don't choose the GEDCOM export and import options carefully, all of your data may not be transferred.

Method 1 is much safer -- all of the data will be transferred -- you don't have to worry about it. But the new database will be linked to the text files in the old location. No problem for BK, but you need to be aware of where they are.


Tip #5

Brother's Keeper does not provide a direct way to delete a database. The obvious thing to do is leave BK, go to file manager or explorer and delete all the files in that directory. For those not yet adept at file management like this you CAN delete a database from within BKWIN by the following method.

Open any database other than the one you want to delete and begin to run the "split database" routine. Choose the database you want to delete as the one to split to. A dialogue will say that this database contains data and "do you want to erase it?" Answer "yes". Again it will ask you if you're sure you want to erase it. Again, answer "yes". Next you will get the dialogue that asks you to select the people you want to split out. At this point click "quit without copying". The subject database is now completely empty and ready to receive fresh new data.


Tip #6

Function keys/special keys not included in the BK5-DOS manual in Appendix O (function key summary) on p. 98.

  • F2 birth/death date calculator
  • Alt plus - to repeat father's last name for child
  • / delete person

For the DOS


Tip #7

Using Word Search you can search for people using the Soundex System. In Word Search press F4 in the name field, then type the last name.

From the "Select Person" screen you can search using partial names e.g. J??? ST??.

To print Henry numbers on the Descendant, Indented reports pick that option from the tab labeled "Messages/Names."

If you know a person's death date and age you can compute a birth date. Press F2 on the Edit Person screen.

If you are having print problems go to Files, Options to solve some problems.

Turn on the BKAUDIT feature. This will give you a log of what changes have been made , to whom and when.


Tip #8 BKWIN

Can anyone tell me whether one can run BK5W ver 5.2G when the program and all the data files are on a ZIP disk, not on C:\ ?
Is there significant interaction between the Win98 Registry and other parts with BK5W ? Thank you. Gunther Steinberg Portola Valley CA< ---------------

It is possible to run from a CD or ZIP disk.

There are two things to do

Carefully EDIT the BKOPTION.DT5 file and find the PATH line and remove the

drive letter from that line and add two spaces at the end of that line.

That is because the CD drive or ZIP drive may be a different letter for the other user.

So if it says E:\BK5 for the path on your computer change it to \BK5 and add two spaces at the end to make up for the removed E:

That BKOPTON.DT5 files should be in the \BK5 directory on the ZIP or CD

Then the user can make the CD or ZIP drive the default drive and start the program which is BK5W.EXE

The other things that must be on the CD or ZIP disk are the .dll and vbx files that BK uses.

So after you run BKSETUP to put the BK program on the CD or ZIP disk, you must also put these files in the same BK5 directory on the CD or ZIP disk.

You can copy them from C:\Windows\System to that disk.

CMDIALOG VBX 18,688 04-28-93 12:00a
COMPPLUS DLL 118,144 03-14-97
DWVSTAMP VBX 48,272 01-09-95 12:26a
GAUGE VBX 31,440 10-21-92 12:00a
GRID VBX 45,136 06-15-93 5:26p
LEAD VBX 55,440 04-12-95 9:20a
LEAD45 DLL 517,200 06-15-95 12:14p
MLIST VBX 41,216 02-26-95 10:29a
PORIENT DLL 10,384 07-14-93 4:33p
QPLIST VBX 24,304 12-17-93 3:47p
QPRO200 DLL 58,544 06-24-94 11:17a
SPIN VBX 22,528 04-28-93 12:00a
SSIDXTAB VBX 61,664 05-23-94 1:01a
THREED VBX 64,432 07-16-93 or 07-11-95
VBRUN300 DLL 398,416 05-12-93 12:00a
VSVIEW VBX 81,520 08-07-95
WBTRCALL DLL 51,392 10-25-92 12:00a see below for other version

Also copy BTI.INI from your Windows directory

Depending on the version (6.15.2) of WBTRCALL.DLL used the following files must be copied

WBT32RES.DLL 4,280 11-22-94 4:52p
WBTR32.DLL 317,116 11-22-94 5:09p
WBTRCALL.DLL 16,496 11-17-94 12:22p
WBTRLOCL.DLL 17,704 11-22-94 4:54p
WBTRV32.DLL 62,464 10-25-95 9:05p
WBTRVRES.DLL 4,128 8-10-94 4:43p

Last update oct 10, 2002

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

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