Folders and files

ATM uses a root folder that contains a fixed subfolder layout for file storage. This makes it easy to keep all data together in an orderly manner.

From version 8.0 it is possible to indicate whether or not you want to use this root folder.
A new user is asked at startup whether the root folder should be used:

Existing users can indicate this at Tools Settings Behavior:

If you choose to use the root folder, the folder will be created immediately.

Root folder

The root folder is: [user home folder]/Documents/AncestorTreeManager

On Windows this is usually: C:\Users\[user]\Documents\AncestorTreeManager

On Linux and macOS this is usually: /home/[user]/Documents/AncestorTreeManager

Layout of the root folder:

DataStorage of ATM data files
GedcomStorage of GEDCOM files
KlaassenFamily tree folder 'Klaassen'
JohnsonFamily tree folder 'Johnson'

When starting up ATM, the Data and Gedcom folders are automatically created if they do not yet exist.

When a new family tree is created, you will be asked to enter the name of the family tree. This name is used, among other things, to determine the family tree folder. If the main family name within the family tree is 'Johnson', then it makes sense to enter 'Johnson' as the family tree name.

On Windows, the folder C:\Users\[user]\Documents is present by default, but the Explorer uses language dependent names to present several common folders, which can be very confusing.
On a Dutch PC Explorer presents this map as:
On a German PC Explorer presents this map as:

On macOs, Finder also uses language dependent names for some folders.

ATM always uses the actual folder names.

Family tree folder

This is the folder for all files belonging to a specific family tree.

Layout of the family tree folder:

OutputFolder for reports and material
TemplatesIn deze map kunnen aangepaste sjablonen worden geplaatst
InboxFolder for transfer of material files
UnusedFolder for discarded material files

If desired, a different family tree folder can be selected in Tools Settings Family tree:

There are 2 options for setting the family tree folder (from version 8.1):

  1. Select a fixed folder
  2. Choose the folder containing the current family tree file

The second option is intended for specific circumstances. Think of working in the cloud where:

  • computers on different platforms are used (for example Windows and Linux)
  • the path to the 'cloud' is set differently on laptop and desktop

Option 2 can only be chosen after the family tree file is known (i.e. after the data has been saved once), otherwise the directory cannot be determined. Also, the family tree file must be not stored in [root]/Data, because that folder is not intended as a family tree folder.

Here is an example of how to do this:

When selecting the family tree folder, make sure that it is never inside the folder where ATM itself is located, because when installing a new version, this folder will be deleted in its entirety and replaced with a new folder.


In [family tree folder]/Output all reports and material are organized in a structured way. This folder can, if desired, be placed in its entirety on the internet and act as a website.

Layout of Output:

PersonsThe person pages
AncestorsThe pages with a graphic overview of the ancestors
IndexThe index pages
ReportsThe ancestor trees and descendant trees
PicturesStorage of portraits, see Portrait
Sources-AStorage of event material of persons whose last name starts with an A, see Event material
Sources-BStorage of event material of people whose last name starts with a B
MiscellaneousUser-specific HTML pages such as a page with links or a contact page
StyleFiles for the Styling of the HTML pages
index.htmlThe home page, see Home page

Case sensitivity of filenames

On Windows and macOS, names of folders and files are not case-sensitive, but on the internet this is the case. So the file Jan Klaassen birth.html is not equal to jan klaassen birth.html.

To prevent a website from working locally on your PC, though not functioning properly on the internet, ATM checks that all references to files exactly match the actual file names. ATM uses the convention to work only with extensions in lowercase. A file with extension JPG is therefore deliberately 'not seen' by ATM.