Uploading Documents in PDF Format to FamilySearch.org

October 21, 2013  - by 

New tools now available on FamilySearch.org can help you capture family memories that can be preserved and shared for generations to come. For most families, these memories can take many forms beyond just photos and stories—documents, obituaries, and audio or video files, to name a few. FamilySearch is working hard to add support for as many of these different formats as possible.

A first step is a new option to upload and specify a family memory as a “Document.” An important part of this new designation is the ability to upload, at long last, PDF files. This new feature is now in beta on the site. Here’s how it works:

New option in the navigation

Tool Bar w Documents Tab





The Photos and Stories navigation now contains a “Documents” option. Clicking this button brings you to the “Add Document” page. You’ll notice that the Documents features are currently in a beta trial period. Once we have had a chance to test it with enough users, it will be the default experience for every user.

Add a document

You add a document in the same way as you do a photo. When the Documents Agreement page appears, you must click the agreement box, indicating that you have read and agree to the terms of the agreement. If you do not click the agreement box you will not be able to upload a document.

Document Agreement check box








After you have clicked the agreement button, you will be taken to the page that allows you to upload a document. As part of this update, the file size upload limit for documents (or photos for that matter) has been raised from 5 MB to 15 MB each.

Click Box to Enter








Change a photo to a document

What if you have already uploaded photos of documents as JPEGs or PNGs on the site? You can easily change the designation of any previously uploaded item from photo to document and vice versa using the Options dialogue at the bottom right of the new image viewer (until the new viewer is live, you can access it by clicking the View image in BETA viewer button on any photo page).

View Photo in Beta Viewer 2







Click the Options tag at the bottom of the image to expand the Options menu. From there, click the Change to document link.

change to Document








Share a document

Just as is the case with photos (and stories, albums, and a person’s photos page), you can share your documents through social media or email.

View documents

PDF documents on the site are opened in an Adobe Acrobat window, so navigation within the document should be familiar. You can zoom, jump from page to page, print, or save, among other features.

PDF upload, and the ability to preserve documents as documents, have been some of our most frequently requested features. Give them a try, and let us know what you think.

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  1. We are having difficulty adding a PDF file from Windows to the gallery in FS. We are using Chrome. Also the document is typed in Word. When we follow the online instructions it appears in my grandmother’s memories as ‘unsupported’. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also how long does it take for my other memory entries to be verified? Thank you

    1. That’s odd! It won’t let you upload a pdf? Are you still having problems with this? Also, as far as I know the memories are approved immediately.