FreeREG logo WinREG.

Welcome to WinREG, the very latest Windows based utility for entering Baptism, Marriage and Burial information from church registers for the FreeREG project.

There are now two versions of WinReg - WinReg2, which has a database look to it, and WinReg3 which looks like a Spreadsheet. We feel that those who are used to transcribing with Excel will find WinReg3 much more useful.

Neither version of WinREG will run on Mac, or Linux etc Operating Systems in native mode. It will, however, run as a PC application under a Windows partition on such computers if it is installed.

WinReg1 is no longer supported.


General Information about WinREG 3

WinREG/3 is a redevelopment of WinREG/2, that aims to make life easier for transcribers and perhaps encourage some of those Excel adherents to adopt WinREG as their preferred method for capturing transcribed data for FreeREG.

The WinREG 3 software was written by Mike Fry, an active transcriber. If you encounter what appears to be a bug there is a bug reporting email address under the Help Taskbar. If you run into problems using the software get in touch with either your Country Coordinator or file a bug report.

The major change that is very evident in WinREG/3, is in its' look-and-feel. The program now presents and captures data in a form and manner that is very like that found in an Excel spreadsheet. Coupled with this are a number of features that should make the transcribers life a lot easier.

It looks like this...

winreg3.jpg

Useful facilities

a) Columns can be hidden. In older registers, very few of the fields used by FreeREG, actually appear in each record. In WinREG/2 this meant having to tab over the unused fields. Now, a right-click on the grid area will bring up a list of all the fields that appear in the current file, with check marks indicating whether those columns are being shown or not. Click on a check mark to toggle its setting and cause the corresponding column to be hidden or shown.

b) Columns can be re-ordered. Until fairly recently, registers were not standardised and were thus subject to the whims of the incumbent in charge at a particular time, and events were not always written down in the same order as that of the fields used in FreeREG. This causes an obvious slowing down of the transcription process. The columns in WinREG/3 can be reordered to match the order in which data is recorded in a register. To move a column, simply press the left mouse button on a column heading and, keeping it down, drag the header to the left or right. A visual indication will appear when the mouse is over a place where the column header can be dropped. This takes the form of a thickened blue line between two column headers. Release the mouse button to cause the column to be moved to the new position.

c) Column order and visibility is retained. When closing or saving a file, the program will save the current column configuration, so that it can be used when re-opening the same file or opening another file of the same type. All three types of file will retain a separate, last-used configuration of order and visibility.

d) Excel spreadsheets can be imported. To make it easier for people to move away from Excel as a transcription tool, it is now possible to import an Excel spreadsheet directly into the program and create a properly formatted CSV file for uploading to FreeREG. Simply use the appropriate menu item and then open a file that has an XLS extension. The program tries to make sure that the file being opened is suitable for the purpose, but can not identify all situations where FreeREG is likely to reject the data.

e) Sorting of columns. Sorting of data is now a lot more robust and can be performed on just about every column, except those where it doesn't make sense: such as the Sex of a child and the status of people when they are being married. Also, the Notes field is exempt since sorting by the contents of this column doesn't actually mean anything. To sort, simply double-click on a column heading. If that column can not be sorted, then a message to that effect is shown. The File menu also contains an Unsort option that will restore the order of records in the grid to what it was when the file was first loaded.

f) UCF and Date Helper dialogs. These are still available in their old form, using the same hot keys as in WinREG/2. Having the dialogs pop up automatically is no longer an option. Flags on the status line under the data grid will indicate when the cursor is in a field where these dialogs are available and specify which function key will bring that dialog up.

g) Field Editing. This works somewhat differently to how it worked in FreeREG/2. The presence of the cursor in a cell does not necessarily mean that the cell contents can be edited. To edit a cell requires the pressing of either the F2 function key or some other key. This places the cell into edit mode and can be recognised from the green background as opposed to the normal gold background. All the while that you do not move out of the cell, the data that has been typed has not been committed to that cell, and you can press the Escape key to have the contents revert back to what they were. When you move to the next cell, the data gets accepted. This can be done with the tab or Enter keys. When the contents of field are changed and accepted by the program, the background of that cell changes to a light-pink colour to provide a visual cue. If the cell is not valid, it will also contain a red exclamation sign, which, if you hover the mouse pointer over, will give you an error message. Note that the field has already been changed, so has the light-pink background. It is recommended that you correct your errors as you go, since at present, it is perfectly possible (and reasonable) to save the changed file containing errors to disk, and have the file rejected when you try to upload it to FreeREG. Note: A record is validated in its' entirety once the cursor is moved to another row. Errors will not be shown until the cursor is moved to another row, which can be done by using any of the normal navigation type keys (up and arrow keys) or clicking the mouse in another row.

h) Copy & Paste. This also works somewhat differently to how it did in WinREG/2. You can use either keyboard or the mouse. Whichever method you elect to use, the first step is to click on a cell. The background changes to a dark gold colour to visually show where the cursor is. You can now use the conventional, Windows shortcut keys of Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V and Ctrl-X to, respectively, cut, copy and paste using the clipboard. Ctrl-C copies the text from the current cell onto the clipboard. Ctrl-X does much the same, except that it also clears the cell of any data Ctrl-V pastes text from the clipboard into the current cell, replacing any data that was originally there.

i) Use of Colour. To make things easier for people, the program uses different coloured backgrounds for the data cells. The normal, unchanged cells have either a background or a background. Usage here is to distinguish alternate lines. When a cell is selected, the background changes to a background. When the contents of a cell are being edited, the background changes to a background. A cell that has been changed has a background.

j) Navigation. There is a full set of shortcut keys.

k) Adding New Records. Records are always added to the end of the grid. Use the '+' button on the Navigation bar to cause a new, partially-filled record to be added to the grid. The program will fill in default values for the County, Place and Church fields. All others will be set as empty. Initially all fields in the new record will be set as having had their field contents changed (a light-pink background).

WinREG Index

Installing WinREG 3 on your PC

If you have a version of WinReg3 already installed on your computer, it is not necessary to uninstall that version before installing a new version. WinReg will ask if you want to install the new versio as well as the old.

To download WinREG just click on the "download WinREG" link below. The file is quite large, approximately 3 Mbytes, so it may take a while to download if you have a slow speed connection. Be patient the program is worth the time investment.

Download WinREG 3

WinREG Index

Updating your .NET Framework

If you received the message "WinREG for Windows cannot be installed on systems with .NET Framework earlier than 2.0" you will need to update the .NET Framework software. The .NET Framework is a standard suite of software from Microsoft that is used by applications such as WinREG for Windows; unfortunately the normal updating process from Microsoft does not keep this the .NET Framework up to date.

To update the .NET Framework go to the Microsoft download site, link to be provided in a few lines, Click the button Download it now under the note ".NET Framework 3.5 SP1". This will take you to another Microsoft page. Click the Download button and follow the instructions from Microsoft. Please be aware this download and installation process may take up to 30 minutes. When it is complete go back and re-execute the WinREG for Windows Installer. Now go to theMicrosoft .NET Framework Download Site

WinREG Index

Starting WinREG 3 for the first time

Double click the shortcut on your desktop, (it looks a bit like a register and has the name WinREG for Windows at the bottom). If you have deleted the shortcut from the desktop then click the Windows START button, go to All Programs, highlight the FreeREG group, the the WinREG for Windows Group and you will see the WinREG program. Click the WinREG for Windows Icon and away you go.

The first time the program asks you to identify your, name, e-mail address and the county you are working with. (If you have already installed an earlier version of WinREG the program will use those settings.) Please make sure this is the same information that you have used when you registered as a transcriber with FreeREG. You may change this information at any point in the future by selecting the Settings/Options menu in WinREG.

If you are an existing transcriber then it is essential that you follow the next step. Copy all of your previous transcription from the old transcripts folder to the new transcripts folder. This will ensure that the files are named correctly by WinREG 3 and thereby avoid problems with duplicate file names when you go to upload.

To do this go to the existing transcripts folder. It is usually stored at C:\Program Files\WinREG\Transcripts Go to the Edit menu at the at the top on the Task Bar and select the Select All option. This will highlight all your files. Then go back to the Edit menu at the top on the Task Bar and select Copy. Now go to the new transcripts folder. It is at Documents\FreeREG\WinREG for Windows\Transcripts Again go to the Edit menu at the top on the Task Bar and select the Paste option. All your files should now appear in the new Transcripts folder.

WinREG Index

Using WinREG 3

WinREG3 does not contain a very extensive Help option, but there is a separate Help file which you can download. Alternatively, F1 at almost any time will give further information and just hovering over a field will also provide information

WinREG Index

Uninstalling WinREG 3

There is no need to uninstall WinReg3 when you upgrade to a new version. In fact WinReg3 will check for new versions.

But if you do want to remove WinReg3, then click the Windows Start button, go to Control Panel, in Windows XP select the Add/Remove Programs Option, in Windows Vista select the Programs and Features Option. Navigate down the list of installed programs to the WinREG for Windows program. Either highlight the program and select the Uninstall option at the top or simply double click on the name. Windows may ask if you wish to remove the program, if so say yes. The WinREG for Windows un-installer then proceeds to remove the program. It WILL NOT remove the transcripts or the folder in which they are located.
You may also wish to delete the downloaded copy of the installation package before downloading and installing WinREG 3.

WinREG Index


General Information about WinREG 2

WinREG 2 looks a bit like a database data entry module. So transcribers who like using a database may find this version to their liking. However this version is not being maintained and does not have as many facilities as WinReg3.

The WinREG 2 software was written by Mike Fry, an active transcriber. If you encounter what appears to be a bug there is a bug reporting email address under the Help Taskbar. If you run into problems using the software get in touch with either your Country Coordinator or file a bug report.

WinReg2 replaces WinREG 1 and SpeedREG which have been in use for a number of years.

WinREG 2 offers:-

WinREG Index

Installing WinREG 2 on your PC

If you have a version of WinREG 2 already installed on your computer, it is necessary to uninstall that version before installing a new version. Follow the instructions below to uninstall the current version. You should also delete the version of the WinREG 2 installer that you downloaded previously. Doing this will NOT delete your settings for WinREG 2and/or transcriptions.

To download WinREG just click on the "download WinREG" link below. The file is quite large, approximately 4 Mbytes, so it may take a while to download if you have a slow speed connection. Be patient the program is worth the time investment.

Windows will ask you to specify a folder (directory) on your hard disk in which to save the file.(You may use any folder such as c:\received files\ or alternatively you may want to save it to a c:\FreeREG\WinREG\ folder). Remember to make a note of the location. You will need to go to it later in the installation process.

The downloaded file will have a name like WinREGSetup.msi

The installation process itself is similar to any other installation process under Windows and is quite self explanatory. Select the Complete installation option when asked. (The other options Typical and Custom are for advanced users) However, you may want to briefly review the steps in the process that are explained below before starting the download.

Download WinREG 2

As noted above the installation process itself is similar to any other installation process under Windows and is quite self explanatory. Assuming you saved the file on your computer use Windows Explorer to go to the folder (directory) where you saved the install file WinREGSetup.msi. Double click on the file name and that will start the installation process and lead you through the installation process. It is self explanatory and really very fast!

Then, or if you told Windows to execute the file without saving it, the installation process then asks you to identify where the program is to be installed. The default folder (directory) for the location of the program files is provided. Just tap the Next button if you wish to use this location and we do recommend it; but you can define any directory on any drive that is accessible to your computer. (Use the Browse button to locate the location you wish to use)

Select Next and on the subsequent page, select Install. The program is them installed on your computer.

At this point you may receive a message "WinREG for Windows cannot be installed on systems with .NET Framework earlier than 2.0". If you do follow the steps outlined in Updating your .NET Framework and then restart the WinREG 2 installation process.

When this is complete you are asked to finish the installation. During this phase the installer will ask if you wish to create a Program Group under WinREG for Windows (You will see that under the Windows START button in the list of installed programs), if you wish to place a shortcut on your desktop and if you wish to add the program to the Quick Launch menu to make it easier for you to start the program itself. The default of these options is yes. Lastly you will be asked if you wish to have WinREG 2 always open your CSV files, it will then create a transcripts folder under your Documents folder to make it easier for you to access your transcripts. The actual folder is located at Documents\FreeREG\WinREG for Windows\Transcripts\

WinREG Index

Updating your .NET Framework

If you received the message "WinREG for Windows cannot be installed on systems with .NET Framework earlier than 2.0" you will need to update the .NET Framework software. The .NET Framework is a standard suite of software from Microsoft that is used by applications such as WinREG for Windows; unfortunately the normal updating process from Microsoft does not keep this the .NET Framework up to date.

To update the .NET Framework go to the Microsoft download site, link to be provided in a few lines, Click the button Download it now under the note ".NET Framework 3.5 SP1". This will take you to another Microsoft page. Click the Download button and follow the instructions from Microsoft. Please be aware this download and installation process may take up to 30 minutes. When it is complete go back and re-execute the WinREG for Windows Installer. Now go to the Microsoft .NET Framework Download Site

WinREG Index

Starting WinREG 2 for the first time

Double click the shortcut on your desktop, (it looks a bit like a register and has the name WinREG for Windows at the bottom). If you have deleted the shortcut from the desktop then click the Windows START button, go to All Programs, highlight the FreeREG group, the the WinREG for Windows Group and you will see the WinREG program. Click the WinREG for Windows Icon and away you go.

The first time the program asks you to identify your, name, e-mail address and the county you are working with. (If you have already installed an earlier version of WinREG the program will use those settings.) Please make sure this is the same information that you have used when you registered as a transcriber with FreeREG. You may change this information at any point in the future by selecting the Settings/Options menu in WinREG.

If you are an existing transcriber then it is essential that you follow the next step. Copy all of your previous transcription from the old transcripts folder to the new transcripts folder. This will ensure that the files are named correctly by WinREG 2 and thereby avoid problems with duplicate file names when you go to upload.

To do this go to the existing transcripts folder. It is usually stored at C:\Program Files\WinREG\Transcripts Go to the Edit menu at the at the top on the Task Bar and select the Select All option. This will highlight all your files. Then go back to the Edit menu at the top on the Task Bar and select Copy. Now go to the new transcripts folder. It is at Documents\FreeREG\WinREG for Windows\Transcripts Again go to the Edit menu at the top on the Task Bar and select the Paste option. All your files should now appear in the new Transcripts folder.

WinREG Index

Using WinREG 2

WinREG2 contains a very extensive Help documentation including an index and search capabilities. Please review this material. It can be accessed under the Help Menu on the right of the tool bar which is located near the very top of the WinREG2 display. It can be accessed from any WinREG2 display page. First time transcribers should as a minimum consult the following topics.
  1. Start New Project
  2. Add New Record
  3. Change Record
  4. Save Record
  5. Saving Files
  6. Open an Existing Project

WinREG Index

Uninstalling WinREG 2

Click the Windows Start button, go to Control Panel, in Windows XP select the Add/Remove Programs Option, in Windows Vista select the Programs and Features Option. Navigate down the list of installed programs to the WinREG for Windows program. Either highlight the program and select the Uninstall option at the top or simply double click on the name. Windows may ask if you wish to remove the program, if so say yes. The WinREG for Windows un-installer then proceeds to remove the program. It WILL NOT remove the transcripts or the folder in which they are located.
You may also wish to delete the downloaded copy of the installation package before downloading and installing WinREG 2.

WinREG Index


If you experience errors while using FreeREG please report them to the Webmasters, indicating what you were doing (i.e. submitting, searching), the URL of the page involved and the exact time (and timezone) where it occurred. If you have suggestions on improvements to FreeREG please make them to the FreeREG Executive. If you believe there to be a problem with any of the data entered into the database please contact the Corrections Coordinators. In your email please include information on the county and place of the record.
© 1998-2013 The website, its layout, search engine, and database are copyright by the Trustees of FreeBMD, a charity registered in England and Wales, Number 1096940.
We make no warranty whatsoever as to the accuracy or completeness of the FreeREG data. Use of the FreeREG website is conditional upon acceptance of the Terms and Conditions