Photos and Stories Update

September 12, 2013  - by 

Recent additions to our Photos and Stories tool make it even easier to capture, preserve, and share your priceless family memories. Here’s a recap of some of these new features. You can also jump right into the tool to discover them on your own.

Find photos and stories in Google Search

For some time you have been able to search for photos from within the Photos and Stories tool on We recently made the same index available to Google, meaning that Google searches now have access to the words, names, and phrases that are included in the tags, titles, and descriptions for the photos you upload and the stories you share. So, the priceless family memories you add to Photos and Stories just might be found and enjoyed by relatives and friends that aren’t yet be familiar with FamilySearch. Visit Google Search and give it a try!



If you’re seeing small blue dots all over the Photos and Stories pages, don’t rush out to see your ophthalmologist. You are simply seeing a new indicator (“badge”) that tells you at-a-glance how many tagged people, comments, and stories have been added for each photo. There is also a badge that shows how many albums the photo appears in. Since it would be impossible to show all the comments, stories, album names and people names all at once, the badges let you know what more there is without having to click on each item to check.


Personal ID Number—PID

Every person listed in Family Tree is assigned a person identification number—called a PID. The number can be found in several places.


It is simple to link the faces tagged in the photos you upload to people listed in the Tree using the PID. A tag in a photo will show a red dot with an exclamation point, indicating that the person is not linked to Family Tree. Clicking on the person reveals the “Link to Family Tree” option which, when selected brings up the “Identify this person in Family Tree” dialogue box. At the bottom of the dialogue is a place to paste in the PID of the person you want to link to. This is a quick and easy way to make links that will allow other family members to see the photos you upload. If you have the Family Tree open in one window and the Photos tool open in another, it is easy to copy and paste the number into the right place and make the link.


Coming Soon: New file type and site design



Look at the image above: do you notice anything different about the navigation? On the current Photos and Stories navigation, you have options to view all your photos, view by people tagged, view by album, view stories, and search by keyword. We are working on a new classification for uploaded material: Documents. This is frequently requested feature—to be able to designate an uploaded image as a document. Documents will still be taggable (and linked to Family Tree), but with squared-off edges instead of the circles used to tag faces. In addition to introducing the Documents classification, we will also start offering the ability to upload multi-page PDFs.

Adding documents is a step toward a new Photos and Stories site design that will be based around albums. In addition to general refinements to the look and feel, the new design will make it easier to preserve family memories, organize them, and share them with family. Watch for more information about these upcoming enhancements on the FamilySearch blog and in future editions of this newsletter.

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  1. I would really like to be able to add photos of myself, my spouse and my children; even though we are all currently living. Is there a way to do that – even if it is not visable to anyone else.

  2. Uploading photos into is easier; I hope we will catch-up; especially their tag functions.

    The new “documents” section will be of a great help.

    I just wish we could upload “living” persons’ photos because if we go before them, then they may never be added. They could be held in a Que until that person has passed on; they could be released by the entering of a death date or the 110 year rule.

  3. I am excited about all the new things that are being added. I do miss some of the features that have been taken away like History that lets you go back easily to where you were working.

    1. Katherine, you bring up a good point about the History feature which is such a good one! It is still there, it’s been moved. You need to be on a person’s full details page, on the top left is the choice of Tree or Person. Each of these features has a pulldown arrow that will reveal your history.
      Good to know!

    2. History is still there. It’s now called “People”. You will find it on the details page just about the person’s name.

  4. I am so thankful for the photo feature, I have already utilized it. It feels so nice to add pictures 🙂

  5. I would like to know if there is a way to copy these updates without including all the comments below it. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Beverly, if you want to save an update as a Word document without the comments, you can:
      1. Highlight the text you want to save
      2. Click Ctrl+C
      3. Go to a Word document or any other place that will accept copied text, and
      4. Click Ctrl+V

      That should copy the text without any of the comments that others have added to the article.

  6. I have been teaching familySearch FamilyTree in the Cardston Alberta Stake since April after training at the Riverton FHC. You are making it so nice beginning with the Search Record button in the person page and now the photos and stories and the new find button. Simple is good because many of the older generation are now becoming involved. Thanks for all you do.

  7. When did living photo change and how to get permission..when did this start..I have looked for the rules…Help

  8. Stories problem. I have typed stories that I can scan into JPGs but Stories does not accept JPG so I have been converting through “One Note” to convert into Microsoft Word that will accept the story into Family tree. This is do able but rather laborious. It would be wonderful if I could put the Jpg directly into Stories! Is there a way to do that??? Thanks – Love the program !!!!!

  9. I appreciate the blog entries, but sometimes I would prefer to print them rather than just read online. When I attempt to select the text by highlighting and then printing the selection, the format is often a problem, i.e. lines of text cut so that the top half of the letters are on one page, and the bottom half on another, white-space that wastes paper, and headings that don’t align. Is there a better way to print these blog entries, i.e. a print format button or download feature?

  10. with my windows 7 pc or laptop running familysearch in chrome – tagging is not available nor does clicking on a name or red !dot do anything