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PED 4: A Brief Overview   

PED provides two main windows:

  • Input Window

  • Edit Window
    (You can also follow a short online tutorial)

    In Input mode (input window, input pane) PED does all the drawing for you (and very fast, as you will see). After launching PED, you are in input mode. Input mode is optional. In input mode only the menus Input Window, Window and Help are enabled, all other menus are disabled.
            to input mode: press Ctrl+Q
            to edit mode: press Ctrl+W
    or select the appropriate window from the Window menu.
    Paste a pedigree drawing from the input window onto the edit window by choosing Paste onto Edit Window from Input Window menu.

    In Edit mode (edit window, "free drawing" window) you have complete control over the pedigree drawing. Here you can insert free text annotations, legends ....On the other hand, no "internal" relation exists any longer between the members of a family. In fact, there is nothing but circles, squares, lines, and text. This is why you cannot paste a drawing from the edit window onto the input window.
    In edit mode the menu Input Window is disabled. All other menus are enabled. You have to use edit mode to open, save, or print a pedigree.

    With either mode you can edit a symbol (text annotations, haplotypes, arrows, symbol colors ...) by right click on the symbol. Additional help on a selected menu item is provided in the status bar located at the bottom of each window. A context sensitive on-line help is always at your finger tips (Select What's this from the Help menu and click on a menu item, or on any window item, or press the Help button in any dialog window.).

  • Input Window
    After launching PED, the input window will be displayed. Both consultands are already drawn. The male symbol is selected by default.

    Example: Imagine the following pedigree:

    Input Window 1

    Now you like to draw two daughters for II/4.

  • Click on II/4
  • Press Daughter button twice. This is the resulting drawing:

  • Input Window 2

    ... that's all ...

    Click on a symbol, press Ctrl+S, Ctrl+D, or Ctrl+U (or click on the appropriate button at the top of the window) to draw a child (son, daughter, unknown sex) with the partner chosen in the partner drop down listbox (top left).
    To add a "new" partner: choose the last partner in the partner list box.
    Ancestors: Click on button Ancestors to draw parents, grandparents, great-grandparents... of the consultands.
    Move family member: Click on a symbol, and press one of the move keys:

    or choose Input Window, Move member ...

    Delete: Click on a Symbol, press Del, or select Delete Selected from the Input Menu.
    Edit a symbol (text annotations, haplotypes, arrows, deceased, symbol colors ...): right click on the symbol (Editing a symbol is also available in drawing mode).
    Display options: Press Ctrl+O (or select Options from the Input Window menu) to control horizontal and vertical symbol distances, or zooming. More options are available by clicking the More... button (see Edit mode below).

    Finally, you have to paste a pedigree drawing from the input window onto the drawing window by choosing Paste onto Edit Window from Input Window menu. Legends, free text annotations, or special lines (twins, consanguinity...) can only be drawn inside the Edit Window. You also have to use the edit window to open a PED file, save a pedigree drawing as PED or WMF file, or exit PED.

    Edit Window

    The Edit Window:
    By default, a grid is displayed. To toggle grid display, select Screen, Grid. Each cell of the grid acts as a container - much like the cells of a table inside a word processor.

    Edit Window 1

    Each cell may contain a symbol ("human" or "line symbol"), or a text annotation. Most of the time, text will be displayed beyond the borders of its container cell. So only four cells hold the free text annotations in the pedigree above. The haplotypes shown above are part of their corresponding symbols, and so they are stored in the same cell together with their human symbols. This applies to the legend at the left bottom as well. Most "line symbols" will connect centers of adjacent cells. In other words: the vast majority of cells will be empty most of the time...

    Open / save pedigree: You can edit a previously saved pedigree (File, Open, or Preview), a pedigree pasted from input pane (see Input Window above), or begin a new drawing (File, New). File, Save ( or Save As...) will save a pedigree with the current (or a new file) name. Only file names with the extension .PED can be reopened by PED. To save a pedigree drawing as a graphics file to be opended by almost any windows program you have to enter .WMF as file extension (see below for details).

    Draw symbol: Click on a symbol in the symbol bar (below the menu bar). The selected symbol (human or line) will be displayed left of the symbol bar. Click on a cell in the pane. You can put symbols only inside of the grid. To increase grid, just click outside the grid.

    Delete symbol: Click the blank button in the symbol bar. Click on the cell to be erased.

    Enter text annotation: Ctrl+N or menu Window, Edit Annotation. A simple text editor is displayed. A right click on the text pane offers common editing functions. Enter text, select display options, and close the editor. Press the button labelled "T" in the symbol bar. Click on a cell in the drawing pane.
    Edit text annotation: If you are unsure which cell actually contains the text to be edited, press Ctrl+T or select Screen, Show Text Cells to show cell(s) that hold text. Right click on the cell to open the text editor.

    Delete text annotation: Show cell(s) that hold text (see above). Click the blank button in the symbol bar. Click on the cell to be erased.

    Add text, haplotypes (or any additional text), and arrows
    (or other items: deceased...) to a symbol: Right click on a human symbol. The dialog window Text and Haplotypes opens. Inside the group Text you can enter as much text as you like (the center entry field will only hold a single character). There is also virtually no text size limit in the 2 columns / 18 rows of the Haplotypes group. The list box labelled Arrows provides several arrows, and other items like adopted, deceased... To cancel selection, click again on an item. Be sure to select the appropriate radio buttons inside the groups Family Member ? and Both Haplotypes ? before pressing OK.

    Deceased short cut: Apart from opening the Text and Haplotypes dialog (see above), you can toggle the deceased line upon a symbol by pressing Shift+Click (Place mouse cursor on a symbol, press the Shift key, with the Shift key still down, click the left mouse button). To remove the deceased line, repeat Shift+Click.

    Symbol as legend: Right click on a human symbol. In the dialog Text and Haplotypes enter text in the Legend entry field. Select Family Member ?, No before pressing OK.

    Cut / copy / paste / insert /delete cells, rows, or columns: These functions are available in the Edit menu. Cells in the Edit window are quite similar to cells of a table inside a word processor. To use any of these functions, you first have to select an area (Ctrl+A or Edit, Select Area...). The cursor changes to a cross hair. Drag the mouse around the area to be selected. Only cells completely inside this area will be selected. For more information select What's this from the Help menu and click on an item of the Edit menu.

    Edit symbols / create new symbols: To change a single symbol in the Edit window, right click on that symbol. Press Symbol... in the dialog that opens.
    To edit the symbols in the Symbol bar, right click on the symbol bar (or select Symbol Bar, Edit). The Symbol Bar Editor opens. Here you can create almost any symbol you want to be added to the symbol bar. Press the Help button for more information.
    Choosing Symbol Bar, Save As... saves the current symbol bar as a file. You may want to create (and save) different symbol bars for different kinds of pedigree drawings. A symbol bar saved as ped.sym in PED's startup directory will be the default symbol bar when launching PED. You can always replace the current symbol bar by selecting Symbol Bar, Open...

    Other Colors: Select Colors from the Edit menu to change the color of text, lines, or background.

    "Free lines": Although you can draw lines like any other symbol (see Draw symbol above), you may want to use free line drawing. Press Ctrl+F or select Draw Free Line from the Edit menu. The cursor changes to a cross hair. Drag the mouse from the start cell to the cell where the line ends and release the mouse button. PED will try to replace the free line by repeatedly putting available "line symbols" in the cells between (but excluding) the start cell and the end cell of the line. If this fails, this line will remain a "free line".
    Free (single) lines with an angle other than 0, 45, 90, 135 ... degrees cannot be replaced by line symbols.
    Double lines
    : select Draw Double Line from the Edit menu. Only horizontal free double lines will be replaced with the corresponding line symbol.
    NB: There must be at least one cell between the start and the end of the line to be drawn. Free lines will be ignored by most functions in the Edit menu. Free lines can only be removed by Edit, Remove Free Lines.

    Free line drawing makes drawing of those more complicated pedigrees a lot easier:


    Display Options: Screen, Grid and Screen, Zoom toggle the corresponding display options. Screen, View controls most of the available display options: In the View Options dialog select appropriate check boxes to show / hide symbol Text and Haplotypes, select Number Position for auto numbering, or choose a font.

    When choosing a font, the font size will be ignored. Font size as well as symbol size are always related to the current cell size. In turn, the cell size depends upon the current window size and the number of rows and columns currently used. In the View Options dialog you can choose the font and symbol size expressed as a percentage of the cell size. So if you zoom a drawing, or resize PED's input or drawing window, symbols and fonts will be resized accordingly: "What you see is what you get".

    Output: To print a pedigree, choose File, Print. The pedigree will be printed centered within the selected borders, and in chosen paper orientation / pen size.

    Save as metafile: Select File, Save As... Name the pedigree <anyname>.WMF, e.g. myped.wmf. WMF files are (Enhanced) Windows Metafiles. You can view pedigree drawings saved in this "universal" graphics file format with your favorite Windows word processor, your desktop publishing program, or any drawing program. Just select Insert, Graphics... from any of these programs.
    When creating metafiles, you can select a background:

    Help is available

    Choose Help, What's this and point at any item you want to get more information about.