Saturday, March 7, 2009


What is a "Ward directory"? In simple terms, it is a photo roster that generates PDFs for easy distribution and printing. I suppose it could be used for other purposes such as a team roster and such, but the main intent in creating the program was for the benefit of LDS wards.

Program Screenshot:

PDF Generation Screenshot:

Text-only PDF Generation Screenshot:


  1. This is amazing, really. I have searched for months for something like I am NOT computer savy in the least little bit and am in charge of making a directory. Only one there a way to make the photo not cut in the bottom right hand corner? Thanks so much for this! email at

  2. Thanks for being the first user (that I know of)! I'm not sure if you got the latest version (uploaded it yesterday), as that is able to do compact text-only ward directories as well as chomp the middle names out when you import the csv/mls file.

    Anyway, there is currently not a way (without modifying the source code) to place the phone number at a different spot other than cutting out part of the picture to give a place for it. I'll go ahead and work on that feature next and shoot you an email when it is available.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Gabe,
    Great work! I've been using AArnott's directory maker for a while now and I have to say that I like your format better. I agree with KB about the picture cutouts though.
    I was wondering, is there a way to generate the PDF and have it omit records without a photo? All I could come up with was deleting the records from the list. I would like to post this on the bulletin board at church and have limited space on the board. Also, could it be made to generate the pages in landscape format? Thanks!

  4. Gabe,
    Fantastic program! Thanks so much for making it. I am having a problem with the photos though. They don't appear to be attached to the csv file i create from the ward website. Is there a setting for this? Do the csv files you've dealt with include the photos?

  5. KB/daltonboy: I have posted a new version that lets you select the "normal" frame or the "cutout" frame.

    daltonboy: I could add an option to print only those with photos.

    As far as landscape goes, I was just wondering what is the motivation for landscape format? If it is to print in booklet format, landscape won't be enough as the ordering would have to change as well. However, many printers do let you print in booklet format and thus you get the 'landscape' for free.

    David: Sorry, the csv file format does not include photos.

  6. This is fabulous! After hasseling with trying to update our current Relief Society photo directory (which is in Word) for the last year, this is wonderful and just the solution we are looking for!

    I am wondering if there is an option to change the picture size? We only want 4 on a sheet and it makes the picture rather large.

    Is there also an option to enable both misc. boxes? We currently list the name, address, subdivision, phone, optional cell, e-mail, and birthday. It would be wonderful to have an additional misc. field. available.

    Thank you so much for making this program available. It really is genius and will save sooooooo much time for us! THANK YOU!

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  8. I assume you have already set the number of rows and columns to give you four photos per page in the options menu. What you can do to make the pictures smaller is set the vertical and horizontal spacing larger (also in the options menu). That will make the program see there is less room for the picture and make the picture smaller accordingly.

    The only way right now to get both misc fields is to use the cutout frame. That puts the phone number in the lower right-hand part of the photo. Since you are only doing four photos per page, you should have rather large photos and have enough real-estate in the photo to allow for the cutout frame. Since the phone number is no longer below the photo, the program lets you use another misc field.

  9. I might be missing something completely obvious, but it won't export to PDF. When I click export to PDF, it asks 'Export with photos?', I click yes, but then nothing happens and I can't find the file anywhere.

    I am using windows 7... I don't know if that would affect anything.


  10. I just tried it on Windows 7. It worked just fine for me. However, my machine has a local install of python and reportlab so that may be playing a role in why it works for me. Tomorrow I can give it a quick try at work on a "clean" windows 7 machine. However, it would help if you ran the program from the command line and that see if it prints out any information as to why it may be failing. Click Start -> search box type "cmd" Click on the cmd program. Type "cd \Program Files\Directory Maker" then hit enter. Then type "DirectoryMaker.exe" That should launch the program. Go ahead and try and export the pdf and please post here any info you see in that cmd window.


    It occurred to me that if you do not have Acrobat reader installed (or a program associated with pdf files), nothing will happen. The pdfs get generated in your user's temporary directory. On windows 7 that is C:\Users\(your user name)\AppData\Local\Temp

  11. It was a new computer and I did not have any kind of pdf reader. I now have adobe reader and it works just fine! Thanks so much! This program is such a life saver.

  12. Thanks for the program! I can't seem to find where it is exporting the PDF file to. I am using a Mac with Parallels (meaning that I am running Windows XP on a virtual machine). I have Adobe Reader installed on the Virtual Machine, but nothing happens when I click to export to PDF. I can't find any temporary folder either. Is there a way to choose where it will export to? Please help! Thanks!


    Click Here to Reply

  13. Laura,
    Try installing Adobe Reader on your Windows Virtual Machine.
    It puts the pdf folder in the user's temporary directory. Probably the easiest way to find it on XP is Start -> Run -> %tmp%

    or type %tmp% in the address bar of an explorer window

  14. Gabe,
    This is a fantatsic program. I only have one question . Is there a way to chose to export/print certian families instead of the whole list?

  15. Thanks Jeremy,

    Not right now. Our family is in the middle of moving, but I could add that feature in the next month or so after we move.

    BTW, please link to this site if you find it useful. I'm not sure how you guys found this program, because even in my googling I find it difficult to find this program. Maybe if people link to it, it will make easier for others to find it.

  16. Love this program!!

    Customizing fonts, and the plethora of available options really help me please the bishopric.

    One thing that would be super convenient would be the option to import an updated .csv, it is kind of a bummer to have to reattach the pictures to every couple every time you want to update the list.

    Food for thought.. As is the program saves me tons of time.
    Thanks again!

  17. I love this program. I just don't know how to format my CSV document so it makes it look like your example above. When I use my file, it puts the first name in the cutout tab, and the last name where it should go. Then there are a whole bunch of commas in the MISC lines. The phone number must be hidden somewhere else. Would you upload a sample CSV file so I can format mine to look like it?

  18. Gabe,
    We recently found your program online and love it. We have run into a problem though. In the PDF format the pictures are all showing up different sizes. Is there a way to make the photos all the same size so they look uniformed?

  19. Ryan,
    Great suggestion. I implemented that feature. I actually changed the name of the program from Directory Maker to Ward Directory (seemed more appropriate). It won't replace the Directory Maker installation, but will still be able to open the same project files.

    Angie, the MLS format is actually much much more intuitive. I have posted a sample csv that uses the fields I use in the mls format. Hopefully the sample file is self-explanatory enough. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Hailey, I'd recommend taking your pictures in the same direction (portrait vs landscape). I think if you do that they should all be the same size.

  20. Hi Gabe,

    I don't see the sample csv that you posted. Am I just completely missing it? Thanks so much!

  21. Never mind previous post. I found it. Thanks!

  22. I recently downloaded you program because I have been looking all over for an application like this. It works fine for importing data from a CSV file, but when I export it, the PDF's are corrupted. I have tried it both on Window's 7 and XP, but each time the PDF's in the %tmp% folder don't open. My computer with XP, also has Acrobat reader on it. Is it suppose to automatically open the PDF? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  23. I just downloaded the program a few days ago and I'm wondering how the program handles families with the same last name. It seems they're getting uploaded and merged together. How do I separate that? Thanks for your time! This program is already simplifying my life. :)

  24. I am trying to import the data from the MLS system and seem to be having the same problem as Angie was, but I don't see the csv file example you referenced above. Is it still on your blog somewhere?

  25. Sorry guys, I had replied to the last few emails I get when someone posts to the blog. I just now saw that the email is sent from "". So sorry Togerson's and AngelaBeth. I guess you guys didn't get my responses.

    Anyway, it sounds like maybe the MLS format has changed. If either of you (or the next one who encounters this) could send me a sample CVS file with a record (could be contrived) that results in the bad behavior, I could fix it and send you the fixed program.

    The sample csv file I posted is available here:

  26. I have a sample CVS file for you. How can I get it to you?

  27. you can email it to me at gabe b black (all one word) at gmail.

  28. Wow what an awesome program - thanks for all of your hard work! I edit and crop my directory pictures in Picasa, and was about to make a custom Picasa template for this purpose until I found your program. Overall your program does an excellent job at creating a basic directory; there are a few features I think would be great along with a few fixes:

    1. Live sync w/ including pulling images from there (this would really be the ultimate, and there are iPhone apps like the church's official LDS Tools and others out there that do this). This change alone would fix most of the issues below.
    2. Hide address and/or phone number with checkbox to simplify directory.
    3. Specify exact pixel size for output images.
    4. Save settings files as templates (so I can do a small thumbnail directory and a larger version to cut up and put in the display case - without changing 8 different values to switch between the 2 types of PDF exports). Also, the template file could be given to others that will be creating the directory in the future - and the results would still come out the same.
    5. Option to remove drop shadows for images that will be cut out and put in a display case at church.
    6. Hide "H" before phone number with checkbox (this is for a singles ward and all numbers are cell phones but the CSV doesn't specify that).
    7. Cover page with pictures of Bishopric, with customizable title for directory(name of ward, date etc). Right now the Bishopric are buried in with the other pictures.
    8. Option to hide members on photo directory without images.
    9. Batch image import/attachment from folder of images named "lastname, firstname.jpg"
    10. If you change a name, the next time you import a CSV it creates a duplicate record. Is there any way to compare records on address/phone number to see if they may be the same person?
    11. If an updated CSV has a removed person that person isn't be removed from the directory. This would ideally have an interface to approve records being removed to avoid accidents.
    12. Very sluggish performance when you change fonts (takes about 30 seconds for application to respond). Are all of the fonts saved in the file? Are the fonts saved individually for each member record? Is that why it's so sluggish? Everything else in the application is incredibly snappy and fast!
    13. When starting the application, it doesn't automatically open up the ward directory file last used.

  29. Wow, this is awesome! Definately a step in the right direction bringing our ward into the 21st century. I agree with one of the earlier posts though, more misc. lines would be helpful (for email/cell numbers). Not sure if any more updates are forthcoming as the last post was a while ago... I'm hoping that you might still be active. Thanks, Stephenie

  30. How do I get this directory? I am wanting to do our Relief Society- how do I download it?

  31. Try clicking the download button on the upper right of the blog. On the sourceforge page, click on the link next to the text "Looking for the latest version?" I would also check's capabilities for creating directories, as they have vastly improved over the years...