The File menu provides some of the most fundamental Puck functionalities such as creating, importing and exporting in a wide range of formats, fusing or updating kinship datasets. In addition, this menu has been recently enhanced with some kinship simulation functions.


Create a Dataset
Notebefore starting, see also the sections : How to Establish a Kinship Dataset and Files Formats for Kinship Data.

In order to create a new kinship network, use the command File > New > Empty network.
It is possible to enter data directly into Puck, but you can also use the software of your choice : the program is compatible with most popular formats.


***Simulation Techniques : Create Random Networks (Submenu)

The submenu File > New > Random network allows creating several types of randomly produced kinship networks. This simulation technique can be useful in order to compare "real" kinship data - which represent actual social practices of a given population - with randomly generated ones.
In order to create a new random network, there are two possibilities :

  • File > New > Random network > Classic

  • File > New > Random network > Birth-Centered

As kinship simulation appears between the PUCK main functions, a specific section of this guide is dedicated to this two commands. If you want to keep reading about them, click here or follow the "Functionalities Menu".


Alliance Networks
File > New > Empty Alliance network


Open Existing Datasets
If you already have a family network, you can import it directly into Puck, knowing that it can read many files formats
: text, excel, pajek, gedcom, tip, xml and prolog format.

Import a dataset by clicking File > Open... and choose your file. The data appears in the main window. It is possible to open a recently used file (File > Open recent) and to browse a recent folder (File > Open Recent Folder).

By default, Puck assumes that the dataset is a UTF-8 file. Anyway, it is possible to choose the encoding via the command : File > Open encoding.


***Open from Kinsources
The command File > Open from Kinsources allows downloading a corpus directly from the Kinsources project website. When executing the command, a dialog window called Kinsources Catalog Selector opens. You can then select a corpus and open it with PUCK.


***Reload / Revert
The command File > Reload re-establish a modified dataset to its original version (when opening the file). By doing so, every kind of modification (on individuals, families, ties, attributes, partitions...) is thus erased. Note that when a modification has been introduced into a corpus, the command name automatically switches to File > Revert. In order to avoid data loss, a dialog window automatically opens, asking to confirm the required action.


Merge Datasets
In order to fuse  two datasets you can use the command : File > Merge. When executing the command, a dialog window opens requiring a “File to be joined” (the second dataset) and a concordance table. The latter, which enables the program to identify double entries, has to be provided if (and only if) some individuals appear both in the two datasets.

Warning : merging two datasets implies an automatic renumbering of individuals : individuals of the second corpus who have no doubles in the first corpus obtain a new Id number by adding the number of the last individual of the first corpus to their old numberRenumbering should remain a transitory exception while establishing a definite dataset. As a rule, individuals should have one unique identity number and belong to one unique corpus.


Update a Dataset
Genealogical corpuses can be updated and new supplementary information added to them. To update a corpus and add data from another dataset, Puck provides a specific command : File > Update. For safety, Puck will generate a new dataset in order to prevent the original dataset to be erased by mistake. The new dataset will then  be stored in a new file, in the same format as the original one. A corpus update requires a file which fulfills the same format requirements as the files used to load a corpus.

Note : if you use a file in text format containing only supplementary information on individuals’ properties (so that the first block is empty), make sure that the file begins with two headlines (and not just one). The first headline (which may consist in a single letter) marks the presence of the first block, the second one indicates the switch to the second block. Otherwise Puck will read your supplementary information as basic genealogical information, and the update will fail. These problems do not happen when you use files in .tip format.

You have two choices: File > Update overwriting and File > Update appending.
In the first case, data are simply appended without overwriting existing data (in this case, certain data may not be added, for instance a father that does not correspond to the actual father). In the second case, data are used to overwrite existing data by new ones (in this case, an individual which appears in the update file as having no father will lose his father in the corpus).


***Save and Export Datasets
When executing the command File > Save (Ctrl+s) PUCK overwrites the recent changes on the original file. In order to secure this operation, a dialog window automatically opens asking to confirm the operation.
By the commands File > Save as and File > Save a Copy, it is possible to:

  • Export the current dataset to a format of your choice : Gedcom, Pajek, Text, XLS, PUC, etc. (for a synoptic presentation of the different formats properties, click here). Generally, you save as much information as possible by exporting in .puc format

  • Create a backup version of the dataset

  • Save an updated version of a modified corpus (in which case you will have to change its name)

NOTE : on the current version of PUCK, the drop-down list of extensions does not work to actually change the file format. In order to do so, you must find the format in the "Files of type" list and then type the extension in the "File Name" field.


***GAP Export BAR
File > Export BAR


***Export to Pajek
The command File > Export to Pajek produces a file which can be opened with Pajek. This can be useful if you want the current kinship network to be drawn in a graph. When executing the command, the Export to Pajek Input window automatically opens. There you find the Graph Type frame, which contains a check-box list showing three possibilities (click on the file type to view its Glossary definition):

***The Partitions Label frame allows defining several properties (i.e., gender, birth place, patri-clan...) as partitions, that can be read and represented by Pajek.
Once those parameters set, you can then choose the destination file and create it by clicking on the Export button.


***GAP Import Selz and DAT
File > Import Selz
File > Import DAT


Close and Quit
To exit from PUCK there are two possibilities : the command File > Close (Ctrl+W) refers to the current dataset ; the command File > Quit refers both to the current dataset and the program. In both cases, Puck will automatically detect and notify unsaved changes on the current file.