Frequently Asked Questions

These are (as the name suggests) questions that are frequently asked (and some not so frequently). For each, a straightforward answer is given. If the answer solves the problem for you, that's great. If not, or if your problem and solution isn't here, contact MatterWare, and explain you problem, and what you've done thus far. If your problem is described here, but the answer here isn't the solution you need, let us know, and we'll make this document better.


Q. I don't have Microsoft Access. Can I still use Family Matters?

A. Yes. Microsoft proves free downloads of Access runtime files to be installed.

Q. I already have Microsoft Access. Do I need to install it again?

A. Generally, no. You must have Access 2010 or later. If yours is an earlier version download a newer runtime from Microsoft.

Q. I already have Microsoft Access, and I know my way around my computer. Can I just copy the files onto my computer?

A. Yes. Family Matters' files (5.00 and later) are simply copied into a subfolder of you Documents structure.

Q. I've downloaded and installed Family Matters, and I get the an error message that Famat500.accde is an unrecognized database format. What should I do?

A. It sounds like you already have an earlier version of Microsoft Access installed on your computer. If yours is an earlier version download a newer runtime from Microsoft.

Q.Can I use Access 2016 to run Family Matters?

A. Yes, Access 2016 is the recommended version to run Family Matters.

Q. I keep getting this same error when I am trying to do a lot of things in Family Matters. Compact database, GEDCOM export, relationship calculator, etc. The error message says: 3052=File sharing lock count exceeded. Increase MaxLocksPerFile registry entry. What can I do to fix it?

A. Microsoft says to set the Registry Key to MaxLocksPerFile to increase the maximum number of locks per file. The default value is 9,500. Set it to a value high enough that the error no longer occurs. 15,000 or 20,000 should be plenty, depending on the size of your database. Make it greater than the number of persons in your database. (Note: This method changes the Windows registry setting for all applications that use the Microsoft Jet database engine version 4.0. Caution: Exercise care. The Registry controls many things in your computer.) 

  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. Type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. In Registry Editor, locate the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Jet\4.0\Engines\Jet 4.0
  4. In the right pane of Registry Editor, double click MaxLocksPerFile.
  5. On the Edit DWORD Value dialog box, click Decimal.
  6. Modify the value of the Value data box as required, and then click OK.

Q. Some (or all) of my JPG picture images don't display on the Picture View. It looks like it loads, but nothing is displayed.

A. Some old scanning software has been known to create improper JPG files. While other viewing programs may accept them, the Microsoft Access graphics converters do not. If this is the case, it's likely that the scanner's driver has since been updated with a new release. First, ensure that you have the newest release for your scanner. Then, if possible, rescan the picture. Alternatively, using your photo editing software, try saving the picture in an uncompressed format, like (for instance) the TIFF format. Exit your photo editing software. Restart it, open the TIFF file, and re-save it as a JPG file.

Q. During the install I received a message stating that the Requested Operation Requires Elevation.

 A. By elevation it means install under a Windows user account with Administrator privileges.


Q. I'm a past user of Family Matters 97. Can I upgrade? What's the cost?

A. Yes, you can upgrade, and there is no cost to do it if you download the files. Family Matters will prompt you to convert your existing database files for you the first time you open them.

Q. I've entered the registration information into the Registration dialog, but it still shows me as not registered. What's wrong?

A. It's important that you enter all of your Name and Location, as well as the User ID and Key Code. For instance, you may have abbreviated your state name when it is not abbreviated in the Location data provided with your registration. 

Q. When I am in the Family Group View, and I click on the down arrow to select a family name in the left most down arrow box, the first records are "0 &".  Nothing is in the record. Where did these come from? How do I eliminate these records?

A. You have inadvertently created families with neither a Primary nor a Spouse. Open them (one by one) on the Group View, right-click, and choose Delete Family.

Q. How do I handle the situation where a person has more than one spouse, and they've both produced children? I can't find how to add an additional spouse in the Person or Group View.

A. Right-click on the person you want to add a new spouse for, and choose Create Family. You will then see a new Group Form, with that person as the primary. Add the other spouse, and the children. Your person will then have two families, two spouses, and two sets of children. 

Q. My sister and I are twins, and hence have the same birth date. How can I set the order in which we will be shown?

A. The program orders children by birth date, and then alphabetically by given name. To force a different order, use sibling numbers for some or all of the children of that family. 

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