Personal Ancestral File (PAF) 5.x

Category: Main > Reference/Documentation/Info > Genealogy > Personal Ancestral File (PAF) > 5.x

NamePersonal Ancestral File (PAF)
License Free to use
Votes 7
Link Free Download (Requires Resistration)
Wine Version1.7.13
Maintainers of this version:
Uses the Unicode APIs. Version 5.2 is available in English, German, Chinese, Japanese and Korean versions, but the database format is interchangeable between them.

There have been multiple minor-version releases. One tester has (English) and (English) installed on different Windows systems, and can't tell the difference between them.

Wine compatibility
Refer to specific test data for information on what works, what does not work, and what was not tested.

Selected Test Results (selected in 'Test Results' table below)

What works

  • Installed using PAF5AllLangs.exe with no DLL overrides, using the PAF-supplied international unicode font.  Ignored the "WORDPAD not found ..." dialog.
  • Opened an existing file.
  • Viewed and navigated in family, pedigree, and individual views.
  • Exported a whole file to GEDCOM using default option.
  • Opened and viewed the 'Edit Individual', 'Edit Marriage', 'Edit Notes', and 'View Sources' dialogs.
  • Restarted PAF and created a new file.
  • Imported from GEDCOM.
  • Did 'Save As' to a different filename.
  • Added a new child, a new individual.
  • Printed pedigree, family group, and individual summary.
  • Viewed several pages in the help viewer and followed a couple of hyperlinks; printed a page from the help viewer.

What does not

  • When attempting to create a new file without closing the current active file, the new file appears to be damaged or corrupted.  This is similar but not identical behavior seen some development releases ago.  Did not have available time to pursue details of the cause.  A workaround appears to be to close the open/active file and restart PAF before creating a new file.
  • When closing the 'Edit Notes' (for individual or marriage) dialog, even after _NOT_ making any changes, application asks whether to save the changes made to the note.  Simply clicking 'No' appears to work.  This appears to be fairly new behavior that did not occur prior to 1.7.4.
  • After canceling a print from the help viewer (and in some tests after successfully printing a page) got a stack overflow.

What was not tested

  • MS core fonts; stayed with the PAF-supplied international unicode font.
  • Entry of sources or notes.
  • Export of partial databases to GEDCOM.
  • Multimedia.
  • Other auxiliary functions.

Additional Comments

This application has been platinum with earlier Wine versions.  It operates a little better than a silver rating would imply.  However, it does not require any DLL overrides, so a gold rating is not applicable.
Test Results
DistributionTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?RatingSubmitter
CurrentDebian GNU/Linux 7.x "Wheezy" x86_64Feb 23 20141.7.13 Yes Yes Silver Robert Riches 
ShowMageia 2Dec 22 20131.7.9 Yes Yes Silver Robert Riches 
ShowMageia 2Oct 13 20131.7.4 Yes Yes Silver Robert Riches 
ShowMageia 2Aug 04 20131.7.0 Yes Yes Silver Robert Riches 
ShowMageia 2Jun 16 20131.6-rc2 Yes Yes Silver Robert Riches 

Known bugs
Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected
5627 Install can not find WORDPAD for README NEW View
9875 moving dialogs shows artifacts on window behind it REOPENED View
15726 incorrect text background on listview in Paf 5.2 NEW View
26645 PAF5 throws exception after canceling print from help viewer UNCONFIRMED View

AppDB page maintenance has been suspended.

Maintenance of this AppDB page has been suspended, because PAF has been unsupported since about July 15, 2013.  A comment was posted in August, 2013 asking whether anyone still uses this application, and there has been no response.

If anyone does use this application, please post a comment.  If anyone does use this application, I'll probably resume regular testing with new versions of Wine.  (If someone else wants to be a maintainer of this page, I won't be opposed.)

This HOWTO note was installed September 12, 2007. It was last updated August 20, 2009.
  1. Install WINE 1.1.6 or later.  (Actually, 0.9.37 through 0.9.53 work, too, if you don't need the help function.)
  2. Install PAF 5.2 by running WINE on file PAF5AllLangs.exe
  3. While installing PAF, mark the check box labeled International Unicode Font.
  4. If you want to use PAF's help functions with Wine version 1.0.1 (well, actually 0.9.38) or earlier, you should install the MS core fonts. See the appendix for details.
  5. Start PAF by double clicking the _PAF 5_ shortcut on your desktop or by running file drive_c/Program Files/FamilySearch/Paf5/pstart.exe


  • WINE version 1.0.1 (well, actually, 0.9.29 or later) or later will work if you don't need PAF's help functions.
  • If you want to create a new WINE prefix directory, run wineprefixcreate. (Newer versions of WINE don't require wineprefixcreate.)
  • If installing from CD, you can use setup.exe to install. In this case, uncheck the Acrobat reader.
  • The International Unicode Font is referred to as Andale WT inside PAF. Any relationship between this font and any supported by Bill Gates' company is not obvious.
  • To install the MS core fonts, download the core font installers from Skip the Word 97 viewer. Run the other 11 *32.exe files.

Table of behavior with (recent) Wine versions.
This table attempts to describe behavior of the (yellow question mark) help window with recent Wine versions. Please post comments or email maintainers with any corrections or updates.
Wine version
Font/text appearance
Unhandled page faults?
0.9.50 , 0.9.52
text looks fine, even without core fonts
after several help navigation clicks
0.9.53 through 0.9.56
Wine_Gecko does not download
0.9.57 through 0.9.60
Help text looks fine, even without core fonts.
After more than 9 to 12 help navigation clicks.
0.9.61 through 1.1.1
Help text looks fine.

After any use of the help window.

1.1.2 through 1.1.11
Help text looks fine.
No unhandled page faults seen.

1.1.12 (patched) through 1.1.26

Most chapters show no text.
No unhandled page faults seen.
1.1.28 through 1.1.37
Help text looks fine.
No unhandled page faults seen.
on first attempt to use help
Help text looks fine.
No unhandled page faults seen.
Help text looks fine.
Unhandled page fault after clicking on a hyperlink.

1.1.41 (patched) through 1.1.44, 1.2-rc1 through 1.2-rc4

Help text looks fine.
No unhandled page faults seen.
1.2-rc5 through 1.2-rc7, 1.2, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.3.0 through 1.3.3
Most chapters show no text.
No unhandled page faults seen.
1.3.4 through 1.3.6
Help text looks fine (except graphical items).
No unhandled page faults seen.

1.3.7 through 1.3.11

No text visible in any chapter.
No unhandled page faults seen.
1.3.12 through 1.3.15
Chapters show text until crash.
Unhandled page fault after clicking on four chapter titles.

1.3.16 through 1.3.37

Help text looks fine.
Help viewer exception, wine crash after canceling print, following a few hyperlinks.
1.4-rc1 through 1.4-rc3
Help text looks fine.
Help viewer exception, wine crash after canceling print, following a few hyperlinks.
1.4-rc4 and 1.4-rc5
Help text looks fine until crash.
Unhandled page fault after clicking on several chapter titles. Separate WINE crash after canceling print and following a few hyperlinks.

1.4-4c6, 1.4, 1.4.1, and 1.5.0 through 1.5.28

Help text looks fine. Help viewer exception, wine crash after canceling print, following a few hyperlinks.

1.5.29 through 1.5.31, 1.6-rc1 through 1.6-rc5, 1.6, 1.6.2, 1.7.0 through 1.7.13

Help text looks fine.
Help viewer exception, wine crash after canceling print from the help viewer and sometimes after successful printing.

PAF 5 under Wine on an Intel Mac

PAF 5 works under Wine on an Intel-based Mac using the X11 compatibility layer.  It is reported to have the same issues as on Linux.  To supply updates, clarifications, corrections, and such to this note, please post comments or email maintainers.

It requires XCode, X11, and fontforge:

  • XCode and X11 are available on the Mac OS X CDs or on the Apple website.  (They are not installed by default on Mac OS X.)
  • Fontforge can be installed from a pre-built package, or it can be built from source.  If building from source, build as if to run on Linux.
It is recommended to install the unicode font supplied with the All Languages version of PAF.


There have been no reports concerning the use of Darwine, the Quartz driver instead of the X11 driver to remove the X11 requirement, or QEmu to run PAF on a PowerPC Mac.

To make it as easy to start as other Mac programs, it is recommended to make a simple Mac bundle containing a bash script that starts X11 and then starts Wine and the PAF executable.

On May 29, 2011, Clinton Stimpson commented with the following:

Yes, Wine still works with PAF 5.2 on Mac.

There is no special information for Mac users except what is found here (Intel Mac support is part of the official source):

But, I would add that my own do-it-yourself build had to have this:
export DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/X11/lib:/usr/lib
The /usr/X11/lib path was for better font support, and /usr/lib was to enable print support in PAF.

Old HOWTO: How it used to work (Jan. 2007 to Sept. 2007)

(This is an edited version of a comment originally dated January 12, 2007 and originally titled "To run PAF 5.2 under Wine 0.9.29 (or later) (on Mandriva Linux 2007)").

1. Install wine-0.9.29 or later. If you compile Wine from source, you will need fontforge, bison-2.3 (byacc won't work) and libcups2-devel (or equivalent).

2. If you wish to specify the path to the Wine prefix directory to be something other than $HOME/.wine, set environment variable WINEPREFIX. This variable must be set each time you run something from this prefix directory.

3. Run wineprefixcreate to build the prefix area.

4. Install PAF 5.2 from CD /mnt/cdrom/setup.exe or from downloaded PAF5AllLangs.exe or PAF5EnglishSetup.exe. Suggestions: uncheck Acrobat reader, skip viewing 'getting started' document if asked, install PAF international font if asked. (File PAF5AllLangs.exe can be found at

5. Install font(s) by doing either OR both of the following:

1. Install PAF international font (if that was not done in step 4) by running Wine on PAF5Font.exe (from the PAF 5.2 CD.)

2. Download the core font installers from (You don't need the Word 97 viewer--it probably won't work.) Run all 11 of the *32.exe files.

6. Run PAF with something similar to the following command. (You may want to define an alias for this command.

Suggestion: make a source script that sets the WINEPREFIX environment variable and defines the alias.)

wine curpref/drive_c/'Program Files'/FamilySearch/Paf5/pstart.exe

Very Old HOWTO: How it used to work (2002)

As a historical note, the following "HOWTO" used to be posted here:

Test System: Wine Version = 20021007; Linux Version = Redhat 8.0; Hardware = Thinkpad PII 196MB RAM

PAF Install Guide:

1. Manually add the following keys to the wine windows user registry file:

[Software\\LDS Church\\FamilySearch\\Personal Ancestral File 5\\Options]

2. Copy the file usp10.dll from a windows installation of PAF into the wine windows directory: c:\\windows\\system32
3. Add c:\\windows\\system32 to the path setting in the wine user config file
4. copy all files from a windows installation of PAF from c:\\Program Files\\FamilySearch\\Paf5 to the corresponding wine windows directory.
5. Open PAF: wine paf5.exe
6. The dialog box asking if you would like the enter key to move to the next field appears without the text and buttons.
7. The "Welcome to PAF" dialog box opens and prompts with options to create new database, open existing, etc. [At this point the original tester experienced a crash that appears to have been a null-pointer dereference. No one ever filed a bug report or otherwise provided more information, so it looks like we've made progress.]

Codeweaver AppDB Entry
Codeweaver AppDB Entry


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