Ordering & Dispatch

Should I get the Professional Edition?

That depends. This topic is described in more detail in Editions & Versions, but if your answer is 'yes' to any of the following questions, then the Professional Edition is definitely more suited to your needs than the Personal Edition:

  • You don't want your personal name appearing on the pedigree. When you place an order for the Personal Edition you must choose a personal license name which will appear in small text beneath every printed pedigree. With the Pro Edition the license name may be a breeding/kennel/cattery/organization name etc.
  • You want to use the multi-tagging feature.
  • You have a need for more than 75,000 animal records in any one pedigree database.
  • You want to take advantage of user defined ancestor highlights or inbreeding highlighting.
  • You are interested in advanced genetics features, such as genotype prediction.

What are your return and refund policies?

We want our customers to make the best possible purchase decision. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you take advantage of the free trial software download before you decide to get the full version. We also encourage you to explore the product pages of our website to obtain comprehensive product information.

However, we also offer a 30-day money-back no-quibble guarantee on new copies of full versions of Breeders Assistant purchased either through this web site (tenset.co.uk) or by phone direct from us. This is not just a guarantee that Breeders Assistant does as we claim. We know it is only when you use a system for real that you discover if it is right for you. That is why we offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

The no-quibble guarantee does not apply to upgrade orders or to purchases that have not been made directly with us (e.g. it does not apply to purchases made via the Mac App Store).

Can I use Breeders Assistant on my Mac or iPad?

Mac: Breeders Assistant is a Windows application and as such it does not run directly on a Mac. However, if your Mac has a Windows environment such as that provided by 'Parallels' (or similar products) then you can run it on your Mac and we are aware of many of our customers who do this successfully.

You might like to know that we have a separate product, PedPro, that is available for the Mac as a native application (Parallels not needed). You can directly import pedigree data from Breeders Assistant and Pedigree Assistant into PedPro.

iPad: Breeders Assistant software will not run on an iPad (or iPhone) or similar.

How can I order Breeders Assistant?

You can order directly through this web site using our secure online ordering facility. We take payments with credit/debit cards and PayPal.

For other forms of payment please contact the customer service help desk.

What payment methods do you accept?

For all orders placed online through our web site, we accept Visa & Mastercard Credit/Debit cards, and PayPal. We do not take Amex or other charge cards - sorry!

We can also accept payment by direct bank transfer, but not using our online ordering system. Please contact the customer service help desk if you would like to order in this way.

If I order a CD or USB stick, can I download the software as well?

Yes. When we process your order you will be sent an email that contains the information you need so you can download the software from our site and install it. This will include your product install codes. The CD/USB will be dispatched within 24 hours of your order, but there is no need to wait for it to arrive before installing.

Please note that we process orders manually - which means that you won't receive your install codes immediately upon placing your order. The install codes are sent to you within 24 hours max. of your order, usually a lot quicker. Please bear in mind we are in the UK and generally process orders during UK business hours. Though in practice we often process orders at weekends and evenings too.

What product support do I get?

You get 1 or 3 year(s) of support as part of the product price. This gives you access to support and any updates to the product that are released during the support period. When the support period expires, you can choose to buy a support+updates extension if you wish.

What are the terms and conditions for the software license for this product?

The End User License Agreement is available on this site.

Will I have to re-enter all the pedigrees I entered into the trial version?

Assuming that you have saved the pedigrees you entered into the trial version as a pedigree data file - e.g. by closing and saving the pedigree database - then you will not have to reenter them. They will carry through to the full version of the product automatically.

Can I re-download the program later, without further charge? E.g. in case I lose it?

Yes. We guarantee to make available for download the current revision of all major releases of our products from 2006 onwards, even for products that become discontinued or superseded with newer products or newer major releases.

That said, we still recommend that you keep a safe backup of your downloaded software e.g. on a USB memory key, as this is a useful way to keep a safe copy for ease of reinstallation should you ever need to.

Can I install on multiple computers?

You can install it on at most two computers so long as it is for your use on both machines. For other usage scenarios you would need a site or multi-user license.

I no longer have the original CD/USB/download. Can I still upgrade?

Yes. The installer is a full installation and does not require the previous version to be already installed.

I want to get the full version as soon as possible. How long does order processing take?

After you have placed your order (through this web site) we will contact you by email with installation instructions, including any install code(s) that you need for the full version of the product.

We process orders manually, and during UK business hours. If you place your order Monday-Friday during UK business hours (9-5.30 UK time) there will be a delay of a few hours at most before your installation codes are sent, because we process orders manually (i.e. by a human). Orders placed at weekends or on UK public holidays may not be processed until the next UK business day (Mon-Fri). If you are ordering from outside the UK please remember that sometimes we have public holidays that you do not.

Where has the Genetics Option gone?

We no longer sell the Genetics Option as a separate upgrade. It has been merged into the Professional Edition. If you previously had the Personal Edition, and had been considering getting the Genetics Option, you should instead now upgrade to the Professional Edition.

Do you accept orders by mail/phone?

Sorry, no.

If you have specific requirements, or need further information that you can't find on this site, you can also contact the customer service help desk.

Do you offer discounts for bulk e.g. group purchases?

Yes, we do offer bulk purchase discounts, as follows:

  • 2 copies: 20% of 2nd copy
  • 3 copies: 20% off order value
  • 5-9 copies 30% off order value
  • 10+ copies: 35% off order value

To place a bulk order, please contact the customer service help desk to arrange payment. Our online ordering system does not, at this time, have a facility for placing a bulk order.

The bulk order discount may not be used in conjunction with any other discount.

Can I contact you through normal email for product support and/or information?

Regrettably, no. The way to get in touch is to contact the customer service help desk online.

In the past we did provide product support through email but, due to forever escalating amounts of spam, we discontinued this. When you receive emails from us (e.g., containing product install codes), these are sent from email accounts that are not monitored. Please don't reply to such emails, because you will not receive a reply. To contact us you should always do so through our online Customer Service facility.

I paid using a PayPal e-Cheque. Why is my product taking so long to be dispatched?

PayPal 'eCheques' take several days for Paypal to clear. We will process your order once it has cleared.

It's been over 24 hours since I placed my order, where are my install codes?

We aim to process all orders within 24 hours of order placement, and in most cases it is much quicker than this.

The install codes are sent by email. Please check that the product codes email has not mistakenly been treated as spam by your email system - check your spam folder! In our experience this is the likeliest reason why you may appear to have not received the install codes. We recommend that you add any email address ending with '@tenset.co.uk' or '@tenset.zendesk.com' to your 'safe senders' or 'whitelist' in your email program.

I did not receive a CD or USB stick, should I have done?

Our standard prices do not include a CD or USB stick. I.e. the prices are for download-only.

Many of our products are, however, also available on CD/USB and you can choose this for a small additional fee when placing your order.

CDs and USB sticks are dispatched using standard mail/airmail and normally take up to 10 working days to arrive for most destinations.

If you did not receive a CD/USB, please check first that you did in fact order one! If you did order one and it has not yet arrived, please contact the customer service help desk.

Downloading & Installation

Can I enter my install codes into the trial version to turn it into the full version?

Unfortunately not. You need to use the separate installer for the full version of Breeders Assistant.

Once you receive the email containing your install codes after purchase, make sure you close the trial version, then download and install the full version. Install it into the same folder as you had the trial. You'll be prompted the 'download password' - this was included in the same email that has your install codes. Installing the full version will overwrite the trial but will not overwrite any data you saved with it - your saved data will automatically carry through to the full version. When you next run the Breeders Assistant it will ask for your install codes. From this point on, you have the full version installed and ready to use.

Can I backup the software e.g. so I can reinstall later?

Yes. Just save a copy of the installer file as downloaded from thie web site, e.g. to a USB key. You can then reinstall later from the same download. You can also use this method if you need to install to a computer that's not connected online.

Where is the download password?

The download password is included in the email that contained your install codes. Please check!

Why won't it accept my license key or serial number?

The license details sent to you will definitely be correct, however the program is very particular about how they are entered, and they will only work with the version of the program for which you bought a license.

If your period for support/updates expired before the release date of the current version of Breeders Assistant then you must purchase a support/updates extension in order to use it.

Note that when entering the install codes into the program, in the License window, there are 5 rows of boxes for license names, followed by a box for the serial number and another box for the license key. You should enter your license name in the first row of boxes. Please enter them exactly as given in product dispatch email. Also, use copy+paste if possible to transfer the serial number and license key from the product dispatch email into the License window, to avoid any possible typing error.

The full version product download won't accept the download password, why not?

This password we supplied you with is definitely correct, as it has never changed!

Is it possible you have downloaded the wrong product? We have 2 different products - Pedigree Assistant and Breeders Assistant - and they use different passwords during installation. This could explain it.

Also, check you do not have the CAPS LOCK on when entering the password. It must be in lower case.

If I reinstall Breeders Assistant, will it delete or overwrite my data?

No. Breeders Assistant never overwrites or deletes any of your data files when it is installed. Even if you reinstall Breeders Assistant over an existing installation, using our installer, it will never change/delete/rename your pedigree data files.

I lost or damaged my product CD or USB stick and need to reinstall. How can I get a new one?

We can send you a new CD or USB stick, for the same amount that we currently charge to add a CD or USB stick to any product order. This is available at any time, including after your period for support/updates has expired. If you are still entitled to support/updates, this is a way to get the current version on CD or USB. But if your support/updates period has expired, we will send you the latest version to which you were entitled at the point when your support/updates period ended.

How do I uninstall Breeders Assistant?

Open Windows Control Panel and select 'Uninstall a Program' or 'Add/Remove Software'.

Data Conversion & Transfer

Does Breeders Assistant convert from my 3rd party pedigree program 'insert name'?

Breeders Assistant includes a very powerful and flexible text/CSV import feature. This can be used to import most formats of data so long as they are presented in a text/CSV file. Many 3rd party pedigree programs can generate or export data in text/CSV format.

If you are unsure whether your current program is capable of exporting in a suitable format, see if your program can export to a spreadsheet (such as Excel). If it can, then almost certainly you will be able to have Breeders Assistant import the same format data as your program is able to export to the spreadsheet.

Do you provide pedigree data conversion services e.g. to transfer from an old data format?

Possibly. We can provide consultancy to help convert pedigree data from older file formats e.g. to extract data from files stored by now-defunct 3rd party products.

Please contact the customer service help desk for further information, supplying as much detail about what it is you are trying to convert, preferably including some sample data.

I previously had Pedigree Assistant. How can I convert my pedigrees to Breeders Assistant?

Pedigree Assistant and Breeders Assistant use different file formats, so you cannot open a PA data file in BA or vice versa.

But what you can do is
(a) export your data from Pedigree Assistant using XML export, then
(b) import this to Breeders Assistant.

What you should do is this:
1. Open Pedigree Assistant, select Export from the Database menu, then XML. Export all your animal records to an .xml file.
2. Close Pedigree Assistant.
3. Open Breeders Assistant.
Select Import from the Database menu, then XML. Locate the file you saved in (1) and import it.

How do I convert my pedigree data from Breeders Assistant to PedPal/PedPro?

In PedPal/PedPro, select Import From Breeders Assistant or Import From Pedigree Assistant from the File menu.

I am changing my Computer. How can I transfer my software and data to the new PC?

To transfer your database from one PC to another:

  • Install the software on the new PC that you wish to transfer to.
  • On the old PC, run the program and open your database.
  • On the Database menu, select Database Properties. Amongst other information, you will see the full filename of your database displayed. Take a note of this.
  • Close the program
  • Next, copy the file given in (3) to your new PC. How you do this is up to you, and depends on what storage devices you have available on your PC. E.g. you might copy it using a CD, or a USB memory key ('pen drive'). You should copy the database onto the hard drive of your new PC. Its up to you which folder you choose to store it in.
  • Finally, run the program on the new PC, then select Open from the Database menu. Navigate to the folder where you copied your database to, and open it.

If you have multiple databases, you should repeat steps 2-6 for each database.

If you're not sure how to copy a file:

  • Open Windows Explorer (to access this, click the Start button, select All Programs, then Accessories, then Windows Explorer)
  • Switch to the folder in which your database is stored on the computer (you should know what this is from the full filename shown in step 2)
  • Locate the icon for your database and copy it to the destination drive (CD/USB) in the way that you would normally copy a file to CD/USB
  • When the file is properly copied to the destination drive, transfer it to the other PC and copy the file from it into whichever folder you want to store it in on the new computer

How can I import pedigree data supplied by someone else?

That depends on the format of the pedigree data you have been supplied with.

If you're getting the data from someone who also has Breeders Assistant, then the easiest way to transfer data is for them to give you a copy of their database. You can then import that into your copy of the program - just select Import from the Database menu and then Breeders Assistant.

If you're getting the data from someone who has our Pedigree Assistant product, then the easiest way to transfer data is for them to create an XML export of their database which you then import. They can prepare the data for you by selecting Export from the Database menu and then XML. This will allow them to create a .xml file of their pedigree data. You can then import that file into your copy of the program - just select Import from the Database menu and then XML.

If you're getting the data from someone who has any other product, such as a 3rd party pedigree program or our own PedPal and PedPro products, then you will need to use text/CSV import. The person supplying the data needs to create a text/CSV file for the pedigree data. This is the type of file that is commonly used to transfer data to/from spreadsheets such as Excel. As a minimum, the data needs to include columns for the animal name, sire, dam, and gender. Ideally it will include the date of birth too. You can then import the text/CSV file into your copy of the program - just select Import from the Database menu and then Text File (CSV). When importing a text/CSV file, Breeders Assistant uses an 'import layout' to describe the format of the file and the columns in contains. When you first import a file with a particular set of columns you should set up an import layout to match. From this point on, whenever you import a text/CSV file that has the same structure you can simply reuse the existing import layout you created previously.

Irrespective of the type of import you use, the import process works in a similar way. Should the import data contain animals which clash by name with records that are already in your database you will be given the opportunity to decide which records to keep and which to replace.

How can I use my data with your PedScope pedigree analysis package?

PedScope is a software tool for advanced pedigree analysis and can be useful when implementing safe breeding practices within small populations such as pedigreed livestock, cats, dogs, etc. It can help when making decisions such as mate selection where you are seeking to minimize inbreeding or to maximize the retained genetic diversity within a closed population.

PedScope is a separate product that does not directly support the native file format used by Breeders Assistant. Instead, PedScope accepts data in text/CSV format. But it is easy to export a data file directly from Breeders Assistant for use with PedScope.

Start by selecting Export from the Database menu within Breeders Assistant. Next, enter the filename to export to, and - importantly - set the export layout to 'PedPal/PedPro/PedScope'. This will create a text file containing your pedigree data in a format that can be directly imported into PedScope. This export will contain the basic pedigree data fields - name, gender, parents etc. You can include additional fields by adjusting the export layout prior to creating the export data file. Once you have the file, open PedScope, then select Open from the File menu and accept all the defaults when prompted for the input file format.

Using Breeders Assistant

Why can't I print the pedigree? Why is the Print button greyed out?

This FAQ only applies to versions of Breeders Assistant prior to version 5.10.

The issue here is that Breeders Assistant (Personal Edition) requires that your license name must appear somewhere in the heading of the pedigree. This is normally achieved as a result of either the breeder or the owner of the animal being the same as the licensed user.

Some things to check:
a. That you are listed as the owner and/or the owner of the animal concerned. If not, edit the animal's details (double-click it in the main list, then set the breeder and/or owner as appropriate).
b. That you have used your name in EXACTLY the same style as in the license details. If not, you should have a careful examination of your contact records and make sure that you have only one record for yourself, spelled exactly as given in the license details. Delete any other contact records that are for yourself.

How can I add EMS codes to the breed list now that I've upgraded to BA/Cats 5?

Assuming you are happy to replace your existing breed list with the GCCF/EMS version, do this:

  1. select Configure|Breeds
  2. click the Advanced button, then select Delete All and confirm to delete everything you currently have in the breed list [this will not affect your pedigrees etc.]
  3. now click the Add button, then select Additional Standard Breeds
  4. select the GCCF EMS version
  5. proceed

Once you've done that, make sure that in Configure|Preferences, Misc tab, that you have the Deduce breed fields from breed no. or EMS code option turned ON.

From now on, within the Breed tab of the Cat Details window, you can key in the EMS code and have it auto fill all other fields (including the old style GCCF breed number).

How can I add a photo to a pedigree?

There are two ways you can use photos in pedigrees. You can have a photo in the top-right corner (typically) of the pedigree. Or, you can have a watermark image that appears 'beneath' the whole pedigree. You can even have both, but that doesn't usually look too good.

To set a photo for the top-right corner of a pedigree:

  1. Open the Animal Details window for the animal whose pedigree you want to include a photo (i.e., double-click the animal's name in the main record list). If you're using normal record mode (not 'Advanced' mode), you enter the photo filename in the bottom-right corner of the General tab. If you're using Advanced Records, you should click on to the Pictures tab and enter the photo as photo #1.
  2. To enter the photo, you can do it in 2 ways. Either, type in the full path to the photo in the box (e.g. 'C:\My Photos\Fred.jpeg'), or - and this is usually easier - click the small button at the right of the box that's labeled 'PIC'.
  3. Click OK. This will save the name of the photo file with the record.
  4. Finally, to get the photo to appear in a pedigree, you need to make sure that the pedigree layout you are using includes space for the photo. Not all pedigree layouts do. To change the layout, click the Display button (above the top-left corner of the displayed pedigree), select the Pedigree sub menu, then select a pedigree style that includes space for a photo.

To set a watermark image:

  1. Right-click over the displayed pedigree.
  2. Select Form Properties from the popup menu.
  3. Click on the Watermark tab.
  4. In the 'Fixed filename' box, enter the filename of the photo (in exactly the same way as step 2 above).
  5. Next, you probably want to fade the image so it does not obliterate the pedigree when displayed beneath it. In the Watermark window there is a box labeled 'Fade'. Enter a percentage in here e.g. 80%. You'll need to experiment with this to get a suitably faded image.
  6. Click OK.

How do I add a watermark image to a pedigree?

  1. Right-click over the displayed pedigree in the main window.
  2. Select Form Properties from the popup menu.
  3. Click on the Watermark tab.
  4. In the 'Fixed Filename' box, enter the filename of the image/photo you want to use. If you click the little button at the right of the box (labeled 'PIC') you can then browse your computer for the image. Note, you need to supply the image. We do not supply watermark images as part of the product; most customers wish to use their own images.
  5. Finally, in the 'Fade' box, select a % value e.g. 80% in order to lighten the image so that it does not obliterate the pedigree beneath.
  6. Click OK

How can I create a pedigree to send by email?

There are two ways to do send pedigrees by email in Breeders Assistant:

Text Pedigrees
You can use this method for any pedigree in your database, however it is not as pretty as an image pedigree (below).

  1. Click the Display button, select Pedigree, then Text Pedigree, then choose a style
  2. Then, right-click over the displayed pedigree, and select Copy To Clipboard
  3. Then switch to your email program, create the message, and paste the text into the body of the email

Image Pedigrees
You can use this to send 'pretty' pedigrees. This facility is restricted to document-style pedigrees that you can print.

  1. First display the pedigree style you want.
  2. Right-click over the displayed pedigree, and select Save Form As
  3. Enter a filename such as MyPed.jpg and save the pedigree to the file.
  4. Switch to your email program, create the message, and attach the image file to the email as an attachment.

This facility is available as an alternate option to pedigrees that you can print.

NOTE: if you have the Personal Edition of Breeders Assistant, version 5.05 or earlier, the select Save Form As option will be greyed out unless your license name appears somewhere in the heading of the pedigree. This is normally achieved as a result of either the breeder or the owner of the animal being the same as the licensed user. If it is greyed out and it is unclear to you why this is, check:
a. That you are listed as the owner and/or the owner of the animal concerned. If not, edit the animal's details (double-click it in the main list, then set the breeder and/or owner as appropriate).
b. That you have used your name in EXACTLY the same style as in the license details. If not, you should have a careful examination of your contact records and make sure that you have only one record for yourself, spelled exactly as given in the license details. Delete any other contact records that are for yourself.

How can I save a pedigree as PDF e.g. for use in email?

Breeders Assistant does not have the means to save as PDF files built in.

But there is a way to do it by installing freely available 3rd party software that can add a 'print to PDF' facility to any Windows program. One such utility that is in widespread use is called 'CutePDF'; it is easy to find with google.

  1. First, download and install CutePDF to your computer from the internet.
  2. In Breeders Assistant, set up the printer to use the PDF printing - right click over the pedigree in the main window, select Printer/Paper Properties from the menu, then ensure the PDF printer is selected for the pedigree layout (you should find it listed under 'Specific printer').
  3. 'Print' the pedigree in the normal way.
  4. You will be prompted for a PDF filename. Save to that file.

Why can't I save a pedigree as an image?

This FAQ only applies to versions of Breeders Assistant prior to version 5.10.

If you have the Personal Edition, in order for the Save Form As Image option to work, the pedigree must contain your licence name in the heading somewhere. Typically this requirement is met by setting yourself to be the owner/breeder.

How do I change the date format?

  1. Select Preferences from the Configure menu
  2. Click on the Date tab
  3. Depending on the date format you want to change, click the relevant pulldown menu and select the format you want to use
  4. Click OK

How do I set up the logo area for my pedigrees?

  1. Select Preferences from the Configure menu.
  2. To use a textual logo, select the Use plain text option, and enter the text you want. You can use escape sequences within the text to get typographical effects such as bold, underline etc. - these are documented in the online help. The text will be displayed using the text style called Logo.
  3. To use a picture or image file as the default logo, select the Use picture option and then specify the file name.
  4. Click OK.

It won't let me enter a repeat ancestor within the pedigree, what am I doing wrong?

When you enter ancestors with the ancestor 'pedigree' screen, there are two different ways you enter an ancestor, depending whether or not the ancestor has been entered before.

If the ancestor hasn't previously been entered (i.e., it is a new name), you click the * (asterisk) in the ancestor box. This leads you to a new window where you can type in the ancestors name etc.

But if the ancestor is one you have previously entered, what you do instead is to click the words 'Click here to select Sire' (literally click those words) and then the program will pop up a list of existing ancestors of the relevant sex, from which to choose. Then repeat for the dam.

The pedigree input screen only has space for 4 generations. How can I enter a 5G pedigree?

The animal details window - where you enter an animal's name, gender and other details and select its ancestors etc. - only ever displays 4 generations.

However, the pedigrees as displayed in the main window can display 3, 4, 5, up to a max of 8 generations for printed pedigrees. You switch between different styles of pedigree in the main window by clicking the Display button - this is just above the top-left corner of the pedigree. There are various ways different pedigree layouts are customized, with the #generations included being one of them. The sample pedigree layouts we supply include 4 and 5 generation pedigrees. You can add custom pedigree layouts for other #'s of generations by using the New Form option on the Form menu.

The way to enter 5 generations for any individual is to enter 4 generations for both its parents. E.g. to 'enter' a 5G pedigree from scratch you might:

  1. Add a new record, enter its name etc, and then on the Ancestors tab enter both its parents. Then save it by clicking OK.
  2. Then switch to the sire - find him in the main record list - then double-click to edit and then enter 4 generations of his ancestors
  3. Repeat for the dam.

Likewise if you wanted to print a 6G pedigree, you would want to ensure you have 4 generations filled for the grandparents of the individual for whom you wanted to print the 6G pedigree.

The program itself no limit to the number of generations that are stored, its just the data entry screen that's limited to 4 generations.

Why are the printed pedigree margins badly out, or parts of the pedigree are 'chopped' off?

A relatively common problem with margin setup is that either the right or the bottom margin (or, both), is 'way out' - i.e. on the actual printed sheet you are seeing either a much larger margin than you would expect or a large part of the printout is being unexpectedly 'chopped off'.

When this happens it usually means that there is a paper size inconsistency somewhere. E.g. if the actual physical sheet of paper you are printing on is A4, but your printer (and/or the printer setup on your computer) 'thinks' it is US Letter size.

The way to fix this is to make sure that your printer settings on your computer and/or printer are consistent with the actual paper size you are using.

Why can't I get the Backup/Restore option to save my database to a CD?

The backup/restore facility within Breeders Assistant is designed to work with any drive on the PC that looks and behaves just like a 'normal' drive as far as the program is concerned. E.g removeable hard drive, ZIP drive, USB memory drive ('pen pdrive') etc. However, writable CD drives don't quite work this way, and they are not supported as backup devices from within the program.

The way to do a backup of your database to a CD is to do it outside of our program. Either:
a. Use a CD authoring program (such as Nero) to create a CD and copy your database file(s) to it, within the authoring program. or
b. If you have a version of Windows that supports writable CD's within My Computer, e.g. Windows Vista or later, then you should be able to open My Computer and use drag+drop to drag your pedigree database onto the CD icon - and then write the CD in the usual way within My Computer.

In both cases you need to know the filename of your database. If you're not sure of this, open your pedigree database in the usual way, then select Properties from the Database menu. This will show a window with statistics for the open database, including the complete filename. All the data for a given database is stored in a single file. Obviously if you have created multiple pedigree databases, you should backup each database file.

When I try to open a pedigree database it says it is 'corrupt'. What can I do?

The are 2 possibilities here.

Either the data file genuinely is corrupted (e.g. has been damaged external to the program, or truncated, accidentally overwritten by other software, etc). In which you should revert to your most recent good backup. If you have not kept regular backups of your data, you may have lost it all.

Or, you are trying to open a data file that was most recently written using a later version of our program. In this case make sure that you have updated to the current version of the program.

I entered reg. no.'s but these don't show in the pedigree. Why not and how can I fix that?

Breeders Assistant includes various different pedigree layouts, some of which contain registration numbers and others that do not. This is a deliberate feature - so that you can switch between pedigrees that include reg. no.s and those that do not.

So, to get the registration numbers to appear, what you need to do is change the pedigree layout.

To do this, click the Display button (this is above the top-left corner of the displayed pedigree), then select Pedigree from the menu, and then switch to a different pedigree style that includes registration numbers. There are various styles to choose from.

How can I force non-breaking text?

Sometimes you will have text in a document form which wraps to a new line just where you don't want it to. E.g. an animal with a long name as parent in a pedigree may split over two lines where you don't want it to.

You can control these situations by replacing a space character with the underline character _ (SHIFT-MINUS on the main keyboard).

In a form such as a pedigree, whenever the underscore character is seen, it is replaced with a space character but Breeders Assistant will ignore it when determining how to word wrap text that is too long.

E.g. if the name of the animal is 'Arripay Handsome Prince' and you wanted to ensure that it is output as

  Handsome Prince

when it is displayed, say, as a parent in the pedigree of some other animal, and not

  Arripay Handsome

then you could change its name to 'Arripay Handsome_Prince'.

Why can't I change my contact name?

When you purchase a licence to use Breeders Assistant, you choose a licensed user name. This name is fixed.

Breeders Assistant automatically creates a contact record in the database for the licensed user. Because the licensed user name is fixed, you may not change the name fields within those records.

How do I add more than one animal with the same name?

Breeders Assistant has a requirement that every animal should have a unique name in the database. This prevents you from accidentally adding details of the same animal twice.

However, you might find that you really want to do this. E.g. we had one customer who wanted to add the details of lots of Dalmatian dogs, several of which were called 'Spot'.

You can work around this restriction by including non-printing escape codes in the names, so that the names are distinct from the program's point of view, but they display and print as if they were the same. There are many escape codes, and you can place them anywhere in a name. Details of these can be found in the help file (choose Help Index from the Help menu).

I am finding that Breeders Assistant crashes during printing, what could be the problem?

If you have just upgraded either the printer, printer driver, or Windows itself, or you have transferred your database from one computer to another, and you now find that whenever you print a document such as a pedigree the program crashes, probably whats happening is that you previously customized the printer setup in a way that is no longer compatible with the current installed Windows printer driver.

What you should do is this:

  1. Select Printer/Paper Configurations from the Configure menu
  2. Double-click each configuration one by one, and check they are set correctly; if in doubt, set them to use the Windows system printer
  3. Click OK

Why can't I see the record list?

If you can't see the record list, check the following:

  • Is the form display area too large?
    - If you've sized the form display area so it occupies most of the main window, the record list might be completely or mostly hidden. You need to resize the record list. Try dragging the divider that separates the form display area from the record list, so as to resize the record list.
  • Is the active index empty?
    - If there are no records of the active type in the database, or, perhaps there are no records that match the selection criteria for the active index (i.e. the index that is displayed in the record list), the record list will be empty. If the latter, switch to a different index (click in the View box). Look at the record list summary beneath the record list for statistics about records of the active record type.

How do I change the no. generations ancestors in the pedigree?

The number of generations of ancestors displayed in the pedigree as shown in the main window depends entirely on the particular pedigree layout you are currently displaying. E.g. to display 5 generations you just need to select a pedigree layout that's setup for 5 generations.

Breeders Assistant includes various sample pedigree layouts, including both 4 and 5 generations of ancestors. To switch to different pedigree layout, click the Display button, select Pedigree and then locate a suitable layout.

You can also create your own highly customised layouts - start by selecting New Form from the Form menu.

I have an animal that is a Champion but its not showing up as red in the pedigree, why not?

The thing to do is to make sure that you've set the 'Title Highlight Style' for any animal that has a title. It should be set to 'Default'. This is what causes the title to appear in red. If you look in the details window where you enter the name etc you will see, near the Title box, a place where you select the title highlight style.

If you are in the habit of typing the titles directly into the title box, this can be cause of the problem. This is not the best way to do it. You should instead click the 'Choose From Standard Titles' button, and select the title from the list. This is better because, in addition to setting the title, it automatically sets the highlight style so the name will appear in red.

Also, make sure that when entering the details for a titled animal, you keep the title separate to the name. Do not enter the title in the same box as the name.

The Pro Edition genetics does not support my breed of cat/dog, what can I do?

The advanced genetics features of the Professional Edition only has specific breed configurations for the larger breeds. There are 2 reasons for this:

(a) some breeds are very small in their numbers and it simply doesn't justify our investment of time to research their genetics, and

(b) for many breeds, it is hard if not impossible to find reliable sources of information about the genetics of the breed

(b) is the most common reason. We do not like to 'discriminate' against specific breed by not including it. When we implemented the genotype prediction we did a lot of research into the genetics of different breeds, and included all those where we located what we considered was reliable information. Unfortunately, this inevitably means there are quite a few breeds that are not included.

However, this does not necessarily mean the genetics option is no use to you. Firstly, the color / disease genetics of some breeds are very similar to that of a closely related breed for which we supply a genetic configuration, in which case you can simply use that configuration. Secondly, you should know that we include a 'generic' configuration that covers all color / disease genes which we model; as much of the genetics is identical for all breeds, this can help. The main difference between the breed-specific configurations is (a) certain alleles are not present in the gene pool for some breeds (e.g. some breeds are always the same fixed color), and (b) the breed terminology for the same genetic color various from one breed to another. The 'generic' configuration uses the 'genetic' color names.

A further option is for you to develop your own genetic configuration to use with the program. This does however require that you have a good understanding of the genetics of your breed. You can either develop your own configuration from scratch (its a text file, and details of the file format are included with the product), or you can purchase a user modifiable of one of our genetic configurations and then customize it for your breed. We sell these separate and in addition to the basic genetics option (these can be seen on the order form as the 'user modifiable genetics file for your breed' option).

The inbreeding coefficient is displaying as !G3-5 or similar. What is happening?

The notation  !Gx-y will appear, in place of the inbreeding coefficient (COI), if there is a 'self parenting' error, aka 'ancestor circularity' in your data. This is when an animal is recorded as being descended from itself, a biological impossibility, but not within a pedigree database. The 'x' is the starting generation of the loop, and the 'y' is the ending generation.

E.g. if Bill is recorded as being the sire of Fred, and Bert is recorded as being the sire of Bill, and George is recorded as being the sire of Bert, but Fred is also recorded as being the sire of George, this is an error. I.e.:
Fred, sire=Bill
Bill, sire=Bert
Bert, sire=George
George, sire=Fred

If you had these records stored in your database, and say you displayed the pedigree for Fred that includes COI, it would be shown as !G0-4. The '0' means generation #0, i.e. the subject animal (Fred). The '4' means that the loop was detected at the 4th generation (subject animal=0, parents=1, gparents=2, etc).

To fix such an error, you need to identify which of the ancestors is incorrectly recorded, and fix it. At least one of the ancestors of the animal in question must have an incorrect parent.

It is frequently the case that a single self-parenting error in a database will cause the COI of lots of animals to be shown as an error.

Breeders Assistant has a useful report that can help find such errors:

  1. Display the pedigree for the animal with the self-parenting error being displayed in place of its inbreeding coefficient.
  2. Click the Display button, select Inbreedings Analysis from the menu and select any of the reports e.g. Coefficient to 16G.
  3. In lieu of the inbreeding data, you will see a self-parenting report. E.g.:
Circularity detected in ancestors at G14-18:
    Arripay Bigfoot
    -> Mylady Kazoo
    -> Ch. Arripay Handsome JW
    ->  Am. ∓ UK Ch. Arripay Sunshine JW
    ->  Arripay Bigfoot

In this case the report is saying that Arripay Bigfoot is descended from itself - with the other ancestors that make up the 'loop' given. At this point its over to you to work out which is the misrecorded parentage, and correct it.

How do I integrate an image-based merge form to Breeders Assistant?

A 'merge form' in Breeders Assistant is a form that uses external images for its background, and data from your database is then superimposed on the form at specified places.

Such forms are typically used to integrate entry forms, such as show entry or litter registration forms, into the product. Images of the 'blank' form are used as the form background, and data from the database is 'merged' into the correct places on the form. The result is that Breeders Assistant can fill out such a form for you, placing data from the database in the right places and then you just print the merged form in a single step.

Essentially there are 3 parts to setting up a merge form. First you create the form, then you set the image(s) that will make up the form's 'background' into the form, then finally you 'decorate' it with merge fields from your database. This last step is the longest, depending on the number of fields required.

A. Create the Form:

These instructions assume that you're dealing with a single page portrait A4/Letter sized form. You can adapt this easily for landscape or multipage forms.

  1. Switch to the record type from which fields are to be placed onto the form. E.g. if this is a litter registration form, you want to start off with mating records displayed. If this is a single registration form or show entry form, start with animal records.
  2. Select New Form from the Form menu.
  3. Leave the top option selected - 'Document' Form. Enter a form name below. Click Continue.
  4. Select the form type as 'Merge'. Click Next.
  5. The Form Wizard appears. Select the number of pages that corresponds to your form. Select the printer to be 'Default-Portrait' or 'Default-Landscape' according to the orientation of your form. Click OK.

The new form appears on screen. It will be completely blank at this point.

B. Set the Background Image(s) into the Form:

  1. Select Form Properties from the Form menu.
  2. In the Fixed File Name box, enter the full path to your image file. Your should see a preview of the 1st page. If your form has multiple pages, Breeders Assistant will automatically look for images for the 2nd and subsequent pages by adding a numeric suffix to the image filename you entered for the 1st page. E.g. if you are setting up a 3 page registration form, and you set the image file for the 1st page to be regform.jpg, then Breeders Assistant will expect to see files named regform-2.jpg and regform-3.jpg for pages 2+3, all in the same folder.
  3. Now, select the following options: Alignment North West, Mag 100%, DPI 300, Shift X & Y 0, Fade 0, Bleed ON, Stretch OFF.
  4. Now click OK.

You should see the image displayed on the screen. Don't worry if it does not look too good at this point. Try zooming in.

C. Add Fields:

  1. Select Design Mode from the Form menu.
  2. Zoom in a bit so you can see the 'areas' where you want to place fields clearly.
  3. To add a field, hold down the CONTROL key and drag a rectangle. When you release the mouse a window appears where you configure what is to be displayed in that box. There are many options. The 3 main things are:
    - Id this is a name for the merge field. Can be anything. Merge fields must have unique names within each page of the merge document.
    - Source This determines where the data comes from that will be printed in this box on the form. Anything starting 'Ask-' will result in you're being asked to fill in the data when you print the form. Ask-Text will ask you for text; Ask-Flag is a yes/no question etc. Most of the other options for the source are simply fields from the working record type. E.g Name, date of birth etc.
    - Show As This determines how the data (as defined by the Source) will be rendered in the box. The options here vary according to the type of data specified by the Source. Most often this will be Text - for single line text fields.
  4. Click OK when you've set up the merge field. You'll now get a yellow box on the form - this is just to show you where the field is. The yellow boxes disappear when you exit design mode.
  5. Repeat steps 3+4 to add as many merge fields as you like. To move or reposition or resize an existing merge field, single-click it. A resizing border then appears. To delete a field, right-click and select Delete.
  6. Finally, when done adding fields, select Design Mode again from the Form menu and save your changes.

Now print the form in the usual way.

How can I use a PDF file as the background of a merge form?

The short answer is that you cannot do this, because Breeders Assistant (version 5) does not support the use of PDF files to define the background of merge forms.

However, what you can do instead is convert the individual pages within the file into images, and you can then use those images as the background for the merge form. This article describes one way you can do this.

  1. Download and install the free 'GSView' utility from the internet. Note you must also download + install GhostScript as this is needed by GSView.
  2. Run GSView, open your PDF file, and get the right page displayed.
  3. Within GSView, select File|Convert then save as a JPEG at 300dpi.
  4. If the PDF has multiple pages that need to be integrated into BA, repeat steps 2+3 for each page within the PDF that you need. You must name the 2nd and subsequent pages with a -N suffix before the extension e.g. you might name the image files corresponding to a 3 page as regform.jpg, regform-2.jpg and regform-3.jpg, all in the same folder.
  5. Make sure the images are oriented correctly. E.g. with a PDF that is landscape oriented you may need to rotate each image with an image editor (e.g. MS Paint) so that they are oriented correctly.

At this point you have created individual JPEG files for each page in the PDF file. In order to use those within a merge form in Breeders Assistant, do this:

  1. In BA, select the appropriate merge form.
  2. Right-click over the form and select Form Properties. Click on the Watermark tab.
  3. In the 'Fixed filename' box enter the full pathname of the image file. For a multi-page form, enter the filename for the first page.
  4. Ensure 'Stretch' is checked.
  5. Click OK.

My PDF-based show/registration form doesn't display the form any more, what is the problem?

We discontinued support for PDF files as the 'background' of merge forms, such as show entry forms, in Breeders Assistant starting from version 5.

What you need to do is convert the PDF file for the form into a series of images (1 per page) and set those into the merge form.

Instructions for doing this can be found in the FAQ article immediately above this one.

How do I adjust the printer device settings?

If the printer that the printer/paper configuration is using is the Windows system default printer, and if you have not set up custom device settings for it within Breeders Assistant - which will most likely be the case if you are using either of the default configurations 'Default-Portrait' or 'Default-Landscape' - then you need to review the settings from the Windows Control Panel. Otherwise, you must change the settings from within Breeders Assistant.

To Adjust the System Default Printer Settings Using Windows Control Panel:

  1. Click the Windows Start button
  2. Select Settings
  3. Select Printers
  4. Right-click on the icon for the printer that is the system default printer
  5. Select Properties
  6. Review/change the printer settings
  7. Close the Printer Properties window

To Adjust Printer Settings within Breeders Assistant:

Use this procedure to adjust printer device settings for a specific printer/paper configuration.

  1. Select Printer/Paper Configurations from the Configure menu.
  2. In the list of available configurations, click on the one you want to change, and then click the Update Configuration button. The Printer/Paper Configuration Properties window opens.
  3. Click the Setup button. Note: if this button is greyed out, it is because this printer/paper configuration is set to use the system default printer, in which case you should adjust the printer settings via Control Panel as described above.
  4. At this point the printer's device settings window should open. What you find here will be specific to whatever kind of printer you have. Review all the settings in here to check they are correct.
  5. Close the Printer Properties window.
  6. Click OK. If asked whether you want to 'calibrate the printer', decline the offer.

Why doesn't it print in color?

This can happen for two reasons. Either the printer device settings are not correctly set, or you have specifically disabled color printing.

To Adjust the Printer Device Settings:

Please follow the instructions in the FAQ entry above.

To Enable Color Printing in the Printer/Paper Configuration:

A printer/paper configuration contains an option to manually disable color printing. You should ensure that color printing has not been disabled in this way.

  1. Select Printer/Paper Configurations from the Configure menu.
  2. In the list of available configurations, click on the one you want to change, and then click the Update Configuration button. The Printer/Paper Configuration Properties window opens.
  3. Make sure that the Color printing enabled option is ticked.
  4. Click OK.

How do I make the pedigree heading deeper?

I.e. you want to make the boxes that comprise the heading taller, so they can show more details. Try this:

  1. Display the pedigree layout you want to change
  2. Select Design Mode from the Form menu
  3. Double-click over the ancestors
  4. Click on to the General tab
  5. Change the height percentage by decreasing it. E.g. reduce by 10%
  6. Click OK
  7. Now double-click the upper left heading box
  8. Click on to the General tab
  9. Now increase the height by the same amount e.g. 10%
  10. Click OK
  11. Select Design Mode from the Form menu and save changes

Why can't I see the record?

If you can't see the active record, check the following:

  • Are you sure the record is the active record?
    - The active record is shown in the record list using highlighted text. The status bar beneath the form display area also displays summary information about the active record. If you can't find the record you want in the record list, perhaps the active index is a selective index (e.g. 'Search Results') that does not include the record you are looking for.
  • Is the form display area visible?
    - If the form display area is not visible, or is too small to be useful, you won't see any record details. If the record list is occupying most of the main window, this might be the problem - resize it.
  • Are you displaying the right form? Look at the words to the right of the Display button - above the form display area. If there is nothing there, its most likely because there are no forms of the active form type. Click Display button to select a form to display.

Why can't I find the OK button in the record details window?

If you have opened a window such as the Animal Details or Contact Details window, and you cannot see the OK, Cancel or Help buttons, the likeliest cause is that you're trying to run Breeders Assistant on a system where the screen resolution is too low.

Breeders Assistant requires a minimum screeen resolution of 800x600. This is a modest requirement by current standards. Note, what matters is the screen resolution, not the physical size of the display. The physical size is in fact irrelevant.

The solution is usually to change the display resolution and/or to switch from large to small fonts. You can do both from the Display icon within the Windows Control Panel.

Why is the pedigree display area empty, with no pedigree drawn?

If you have records listed down the left side of the main window, but the area on the right (where pedigrees are normally displayed) is blank, the likeliest cause is that Breeders Assistant is having problems accessing the printer. It needs access to the installed printer driver in order to generate and on-screen simulation of what will be printed.

There are various likely scenarios when this happens:

  • You haven't yet installed a printer on the computer
  • You have just upgraded either the printer, printer driver, or Windows itself
  • You have transferred your database from one computer to another

In the first case, you must first install a printer before Breeders Assistant can display the form.

The other cases are actually the same problem as far as Breeders Assistant is concerned. What has happened is that your BA database has been customised to use non-standard printer settings that are not compatible with the printer(s) installed under Windows. E.g. you previously customized the printer to use non-standard device settings for a printer driver that's no longer installed. In this situation what you should do is this:

  1. Select Printer/Paper Configurations from the Configure menu
  2. Double-click each configuration one by one, and check they are set correctly; if in doubt, set to use the Windows system printer
  3. Click OK

Why can't I find a record I know for certain I have added?

If you are browsing the record list for a record that you know to be in the database, it is possible that the record list is displaying an index which does not include that record. You can tell if this is the case by looking at the summary line at the bottom of the record list. If it says something like '7/20 records' this means that there are only 7 records in the active index even though there are 20 records of this type in the database. Probably, the record you are looking for is not included in the active index.

Try selecting a different index by clicking in the View box (above the record list).

How do I add a missing title?

You may find that a title you want to use is not included in the standard list of titles included in the program. To solve this, you can add the title yourself to the list of standard titles:

  1. Select Animal Titles from the Configure menu
  2. Click the Add button and enter the details of the new title
  3. Click OK, twice

How do I add a foundation ancestor without affecting inbreeding calculations?

You may want to add a 'special' ancestor record to be used to represent a foundation individual for a breed - a dummy ancestor that will be used as the ancestor for many records - without it distorting the inbreeding calculations.

To help with this situation, there is an 'inbreeding lock' you can apply on an animal-by-animal basis so as to ignore such foundation ancestors.

For such a foundation individual, in the Animal Details window, click on the More tab and select the Inbreeding Lock.

If you can't see the More tab, you need to turn on Advanced Animal Records. To do that, select Preferences from the Configure menu, click on the Misc tab, and you will find the option in there.

Why is it slow entering ancestors or switching animal records?

If you have the no. of generations for inbreeding calculations set very high, this can cause the program to slow down greatly e.g. when entering ancestors.

What you need to do is to reduce the no. of generations for inbreeding to a more reasonable level, e.g. 12, and this problem will likely be resolved.

To do this, select Preferences from the Configure menu, click on to the Inbreeding tab and then reduce the no. ancestors used in the calculations.

NOTE: each time you increase the no. of generations for inbreeding calculations by 1, the time required by Breeders Assistant to compute the coefficient of inbreeding is roughly DOUBLED. So if you set this to 20 generations it can take up to 256 times as long as if you had set it to 12 generations!

Why is the currency symbol wrong?

You may find that the currency symbol used by the program is not what you were expecting. E.g. if you live in the UK you may find it's been set to a dollar sign ($).

When Breeders Assistant is installed, it sets the currency symbol by inspecting the regional settings of your computer - i.e. those settings as configured in the Windows control panel. If these are not set correctly, the currency symbol will be incorrect in Breeders Assistant. Once installed, the program always uses its own idea of what the currency symbol is; this means that changing the regional settings of your computer after you've installed Breeders Assistant will not change it - but you can change it within the program.

To change the currency symbol within Breeders Assistant, do this:

  1. Select Preferences from the Configure menu
  2. Click on the Currency tab
  3. Enter the required symbol in the Currency symbol box
  4. Click OK

NOTE: the above procedure will only fix the currency symbol as used within Breeders Assistant. You might also want to alter your computer's regional settings so it is correct for all other applications too. Bear in mind that, as described above, this will not affect the currency symbol used within Breeders Assistant once it has been installed. To adjust the regional settings of your computer:

  1. Click the Start button (i.e., the Windows Start button - nothing to do with Breeders Assistant)
  2. Click Settings
  3. Click Control Panel
  4. Find the icon for Regional Settings, and double-click it to open the Regional Settings Properties window
  5. On the first tab that's displayed, ensure that the selected country is correct
  6. Click OK

How can I customize a descendant/ancestor/etc analysis?

You can use design mode to change forms such as Descendants Analysis, Ancestors Analysis, Reverse Pedigrees, Linechaser Info etc. e.g. to include user defined fields. The example that follows shows how to modify a descendant analysis form, but the same technique applies to all these forms.

If you use design mode with a descendant analysis form you'll notice it simply contains an output field like this:


If you change this to be something like:


then it will include the field code for <User1> in the table, expanded for each descendant.

Please note that the syntax (field) means the same thing as <field> EXCEPT that it is 'expanded' in the context of each of the located descendants. If you instead used:


then the <User1> would be expanded from the subject record (the one whose descendants are being sought).

This same technique can be used for most if not all of the descendants and ancestors listings/analyses including the breedings report and linechaser info.

Why is the record purchase/sale option greyed out?

The Record Sale option is only enabled when you are recorded as the current owner of the animal concerned. Set yourself as the owner first, then you will be able to use the 'record sale' feature.

The Record Purchase option is only enabled when 'you' are not recorded as the current owner of the animal concerned. Make sure you are not set as the owner, then you will be able to use the 'record purchase' feature.


Do you have a phone contact?

We prefer online communication as the main way to get in touch with us (contact the customer service help desk).

Is there a printed manual?

No. A comprehensive help file is included instead, this is accessed through the Help menu within Breeders Assistant.

Do you have a foreign language version of Breeders Assistant, in French/Spanish/etc.?

No. Our program is in English. However, there are things you can do to customize it for other languages.

Firstly, use the Terminology option on the Configure menu. Here you will see a long list of terms. You can select each one, then translate them. These terms are used in many places in the program, including the default text for many places on the forms.

The second thing you can do is manually customize the forms you use. To do this, get the form displayed in the main window, then right-click over the form, and use Design Mode. Then, double-click over the parts of the form you want to customize. When finished, right-click over the form against and turn off the Design Mode.

However, there are many parts of the 'user interface' of the software that are fixed in English, and cannot be translated by the user. We have no plans to produce any true foreign language versions of this software.

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