Posted By:Cliff Barney
Post Date:December 12, 2011 at 13:43:07
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Forum:Personal Ancestral File Forum
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Bill, I still keep hoping that there will be some way some day to correct errors in a PAF file without having to resort to creating a GEDCOM -- that solution is about like rebooting your computer every time you have a computer glitch. I've been researching for over 55 years, and have been using PAF since it was a baby (Version 1.0 or 1.1, I think). Way back in the old days (when PAF was DOS-based) I would sometimes make a GEDCOM file and reload it as a way of eliminating file pointer errors. But my file now is way too big (over 300,000 names), and contains way too many notes & sources. I know from bitter experience that notes can and do become messed up when creating & importing GEDCOMS -- the text wrap-around feature doesn't work quite right. Thus, the gedcom ends up with lines that don't wrap properly and when you try to import the gedcom you get "BAD TAG" errors. If you only had a few dozen short notes then you could edit the gedcom easily enough before importing it. But my files contain many THOUSANDS of notes, many of them very long, so I wouldn't even consider making & importing a .ged.

Years ago I bought a commercial program, PAF Insight, which was advertised to be able to fix PAF file errors that PAF couldn't fix. Later on I bought the follow-on program, Family Insight, for the same reason. I suppose these programs do fix some (but not all) of the database pointer errors, but they go on to create more errors. Fortunately they produce a report (25+ pages the last time I did it) that you can go through and "unfix" (i.e., correct) the errors that these programs cause -- manually, one-at-a-time.