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This page is an English extract of the German page GEDCOM/CONC-Tag [1], for full details see the German page.

Name and Meaning






An indicator that additional data belongs to the superior value.

Formal Description of Permissible Values

Base: GEDCOM Standard Draft 5.5.1


An indicator that additional data belongs to the superior value. The information from the CONC value is to be connected to the value of the superior preceding line without a space and without a carriage return and/or new line character. Values that are split for a CONC tag must always be split at a nonspace. If the value is split on a space the space will be lost when concatenation takes place. This is because of the treatment that spaces get as a GEDCOM delimiter, many GEDCOM values are trimmed of trailing spaces and some systems look for the first non-space starting after the tag to determine the beginning of the value.

GEDCOM lines are limited to 255 characters. However, the CONCatenation or CONTinuation tags can be used to expand a field beyond this limit. CONT line implies that a new line should appear to preserve formatting. CONC implies concatenation to the previous line without a new line. This is used so that a text note or description can be processed (word wrapped) in a text window without fixed carriage returns. The CONT and CONC tags are being used to extend specified textual values.

Remark for NOTE structure:

There are special considerations required when using the CONC tag. The usage is to provide a note string that can be concatenated together so that the display program can do its own word wrapping according to its display window size. The requirement for usage is to either break the text line in the middle of a word, or if at the end of a word, to add a space to the first of the next CONC line. Otherwise most operating systems will strip off the trailing space and the space is lost in the reconstitution of the note.

Statement of Grammar Rules

Long values can be broken into shorter GEDCOM lines by using a subordinate CONC or CONT tag. The CONC tag assumes that the accompanying subordinate value is concatenated to the previous line value without saving the carriage return prior to the line terminator. If a concatenated line is broken at a space, then the space must be carried over to the next line. The CONT assumes that the subordinate line value is concatenated to the previous line, after inserting a carriage return.

The following is an example of a SOURCE_CITATION subordinate to the birth event being cited that does not contain a pointer to a SOURCE_RECORD. (This is not encouraged.) [This example demonstrates the separation of lines by CONC: always between 2 none-spaces]

1 NAME Fred /Jones/ 
2 DATE 14 MAY 1812 
2 PLAC Tonbridge, Kent, England 
2 SOUR Waters, Henry F., Genealogical Gleanings in Englan 
3 CONC d: Abstracts of Wills Relating to Early Americ 
3 CONC an Families. 2 vols., reprint 1901, 190 
3 CONC 7. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1981. 
3 CONT Stored in Family History Library book 942 D2w 
3 CONC h; films 481,057-58 Vol 2, PAGE 388.

Agreements for CONC

The agreements for CONC are derived from the discussion on the Gedcom-L. They were decided by a vote of the program authors of the list.

Export of CONC

E1 Separation of Text by CONC

A running text must be separated by CONC only at places where no space is immediately before or immediately after the point of separation.

E2 Number of Delimiters after CONC

After the tag CONC only 1 delimiter may be located. The delimiter is a single blank ( between tag and text ). Immediately thereafter, the text of the users input starts.

E3 Exception for Separation of Text by CONC

The requirement E1 may be waived only if the separation according to E1 leads to text parts, exceeding in addition with other parts of the GEDCOM line the maximum number of 255 characters. In this case, the separation should be done after a none-space character.

Import of CONC

I1 Composing the Text of CONC lines

It is optional during composing of the text of CONC lines if the text at the separation point will be trimmed, i.e. whether trailing spaces from the previous line and leading spaces after CONC tag are removed.

I2 Recommendation for Composing the Text of CONC lines

For the default setting during import and under consideration of the export agreements following is recommended for files deviating the GEDCOM Standard 5.5.1: Trailing spaces of the superior line of the CONC line and leading spaces of the text of the CONC line should be considered as part of the text and therefor obtained as text content.

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