Open Legacy Files with


From time to time I will be adding items to these pages giving details of how to achieve certain objectives, usually related to genealogy and the use of Legacy software, often in conjunction with other software.

I am not suggesting that the solutions offered are the only, or indeed the best, options to solving problems but simply that they are ways which I have found to work.

* 'V' indicates a video is available

  1. Using Legacy Search V
  2. Search Events, Locations and Married Names V
  3. Create an Ancestry Book
  4. Map with Google Earth
  5. History of British Prime Ministers - Timeline
  6. British Civil Registration
  7. The Murder of Adam Mather
  8. Improve Photo Colour Balance
  9. Transparency with The Gimp
  10. Masking with The Gimp
  11. Web Safe Colours
  12. Create Legacy Web Pages - Part 1
  13. Create Legacy Web Pages - Part 2
  14. Create Legacy Web Pages - Part 3
  15. Using LTools Tidy Legacy HTML
  16. Insert Pictures into Web Pages
  17. Insert RSS Feed into Web Pages
  18. Getting Online
  19. Protect Your PC
  20. Open Legacy files with Open Office V
  21. FamGenContacts Database
  22. Create Direct Line Ancestor Tree
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The icons below are links to any other software mentioned.

  • Legacy
  • PSPad
  • Open Office
  • The Gimp
  • Xara 3D

Open Legacy .fdb files with

Legacy's family file (".fdb") is an Access (".mdb") file and the first thing to do is to copy (NB. Always work on a copy) the file to a convenient place, say, My Documents and manually rename it from ".fdb" to ".mdb". You will see a warning about changing a file name but just ignore this, and click "OK".

Connect Screen

To start the process of opening the file in Open Office, right click on the Open Office Logo on the task bar and select "Database". The screen shown on the right will appear then click the radio button "Connect to an existing database" and select "Microsoft Access" from the drop down menu. You may have to move the slider up as Access is the first on the list.

Click "Next".

On the next screen browse to where you have put the now ".mdb" file and click the "Finish" button.

You will be asked to select a name for the file and it will have the extension ".odb" (I have used "Casual"). Click "Save" and the database will open.

DB Screen

The Data Base Opening Screen

The icons on the left of the screen are self explanatory and clicking on each will take you to that section. At present we just want to look at the files so click on "Tables" and we will see a list of the tables contained in the database. Double clicking any of the table names will open that table for inspection (and editing).

Query Screen

Query Screen

For the puposes of this article, one other function is of interest. The above screenshot shows the screen produced by Query>Use Wizard to Create Query.

Highlighting a column name on the left and then using the arrow to transfer it to the box on the right selects the fields to show and subsequent screens enable multiple sorts, searches and grouping.


For the safety of the data, it is strongly recommended that if changes to the file are made using, they are then copied back into a new ".fdb" file for use in Legacy. The name can always be changed when one is satisfied that the file is correct.

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Open Legacy Database in Video Video

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The above information is given without warranty either expressed or implied

The content last updated 31 March 2010