BMDVerify is a program used by volunteers on the FreeBMD project to check their
FreeBMD is an ongoing project, the aim of which is to transcribe the civil registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, and to provide free Internet access to the transcribed records. Click here for more information on FreeBMD or to search the current database of over 200 million records.
If you are interested in volunteering to help with the transcribing, click here for more information.
This version of BMDVerify runs under versions of Microsoft Windows from Windows 10 back to Windows 95. It does not work on non-Windows machines. If you do have any problems, please check first whether it is covered by the problems section and if that doesn't help then contact me.
Important - this version of BMDVerify only works if you have already installed WinBMD Version 5 or later.
BMDVerify uses the same software to display the image of the birth, marriage or death index page as WinBMD Version 5 and later so before using this version of BMDVerify you need to have downloaded and installed WinBMD Version 5 or later (you can still carry on using other programs e.g. SpeedBMD to do your transcribing - you just need to install WinBMD because doing this also installs the graphics software that BMDVerify uses to display the images).
To use the program, you need to copy the file "BMDVerify.exe" into your PC, run it, give the name of the file containing the scan of the BMD index, then the name of the transcription file produced by WinBMD or SpeedBMD, then follow a few simple steps to enable BMDVerify to line up the scan and then it will display under each line in the scan what you have transcribed so you can quickly compare the two to see if you have made any mistakes - pressing the enter key moves on to the next record and so on. BMDVerify does not alter the file containing your transcription - if you spot an error using BMDVerify then you should use WinBMD or SpeedBMD to correct it.
The latest version of BMDVerify is '3.1.2 / 16-Jun-2015'
Details of the changes made in versions of BMDVerify are here.
You first need to download the BMDVerify program itself - Version 3.1.2 of the program is about 264kb (270336 bytes).
Click on the following link - BMDVerify.exe.
If you are using Internet Explorer, you will see a prompt asking you what you would like to do with this file. Choose the "Save this program to disk" option, then click OK. You then need to specify which folder the program is to be written to - you can use any folder, either create a folder specifically or choose the same folder as you use for WinBMD or SpeedBMD. If you are using Firefox, you will see a prompt asking where you would like to save the file. Again, you can use any folder, either create a folder specifically or choose the same folder as you use for WinBMD or SpeedBMD.
In either case, if you are replacing an old version of BMDVerify with the latest version, you will be told that the file already exists and asked if you want to replace it. Click on the YES button (if it won't let you replace the older version, check that the old version of BMDVerify is not running. If it isn't and you still cannot replace it, press the CTRL, ALT and DELETE keys at the same time, and if BMDVerify appears in the list of tasks that is displayed, highlight it by clicking on the name and then click on "End Task". If there is more than one BMDVerify in the list then repeat the process).
That's it. You are now ready to use BMDVerify.
You may want to add an icon to the desktop so you can double-click on this to start BMDVerify.
To do this carry out the following steps:
1. Using Windows Explorer, find the file BMDVerify.exe that you have just downloaded
2. Move your mouse over the filename and click with the RIGHT mouse button. A small menu will appear, click with the left mouse button on "Send to" and then on "Desktop (create shortcut)"
3. The icon should appear on your desktop
Some people who are using Windows 8, 7 or Vista have encountered problems locating the transcription file produced by WinBMD so they can verify it.
There is also general advice here in the FreeBMD Transcribers Knowledge Base for installing and running WinBMD under Windows 7 and Vista
Click here for an illustrated step by step set of instructions on how to get started with BMDVerify.
To run the program, either double click on the desktop icon if you've created one or use Windows Explorer to display the folder to which you copied BMDVerify, then double click on BMDVerify.exe.
When the program starts, you will need to specify the name of the file containing the scan of the index, a .TIF, .JPG or .GIF file, then the name of the file produced by WinBMD or SpeedBMD containing your transcribed records - BMDVerify only reads this file and never changes it. You then need to carry out a few simple steps so that BMDVerify can work out how to line up your transcribed records with the same record in the scan file, how many columns there are in the scan and which records are at the top of the other columns - follow the instructions shown on the screen. (This is called calibration - you can run this again if you want by pressing the C key or by choosing ReCalibrate from the Options menu).
Now you are ready to start checking your transcriptions. A box displaying the first transcribed record is shown just below that line in the scan. To move on to the next record, press the ENTER key and so on. You may find that the box slowly moves out of alignment as you move down the column - press the arrow keys to reposition the box. You will also need to do this if there are any hand-written additions at the foot of a column.
You may find it quickest to move down each column three times, the first time checking the name, the second time the district and the third time the page number. Press the PAGE UP key to go back to the top of the current column.
If you find a discrepancy, you should run WinBMD or SpeedBMD, correct the record, save the file to disk, return to BMDVerify and press the R key and the BMDVerify display will change to show the corrected record. Alternatively you can press the M key which will flag this record and you can view (or print) later all flagged records on the Statistics screen.
To reposition the orange box - move the mouse so that it is over the orange box, the shape of the mouse cursor will change to a four-way crossed arrow, press down the left mouse button and move the mouse while keeping the button pressed down and the box will move.
To change the width of the box - move the mouse so that is over the right hand edge of the orange box, the shape of the mouse cursor will change to a two-way horizontal arrow, press down the left mouse button and move the mouse while keeping the button pressed down and the width of the box will change.
To view a different part of the index scan - first go to the Image Options menus and make sure that the "Magnifier" option is off (there should be no tick to the left of the word "Magnifier" half way down the menu) - move the mouse to anywhere on the scan, apart from over the orange box, the shape of the mouse cursor will change to a hand, press down the left mouse button and move the mouse while keeping the button pressed down and you can move to a different part of the image.
To magnify the image scan under the mouse - first go to the Image Options menus and make sure that the "Magnifier" option is on (there should be a tick to the left of the word "Magnifier" half way down the menu) - move the mouse to anywhere on the scan, apart from over the orange box, the shape of the mouse cursor will change to a square with the word "Mag" inside, press down the left hand mouse button and the area under the mouse cursor will be magnified.
(These descriptions are also available within the program by pressing the F1 key)
The Arrow keys - these four keys move the box which displays a transcribed record around the screen. If you press the SHIFT key and hold it down, then press the arrow keys, the box will move in larger jumps. You can also use the mouse or the 2/4/6/8 keys on the numeric keypad (2 is down, 4 is left, 6 is right and 8 is up).
ALT plus Left and Right Arrow keys - if you press the ALT button, hold it down and then press the left or right arrow keys, the width of the box changes. Pressing SHIFT at the same time changes the width of the box in larger jumps. You can also use the ALT plus the 4 and 6 keys on the numeric keypad (4 is left and 6 is right).
ENTER/RETURN key (or the L key) - this moves the box down one line against the index scan and also moves the transcribed record shown in the box on to the next one.
BACKSPACE key (or the O key) - this is the reverse of the ENTER key, i.e. it moves the box up one line against the index scan and also moves the transcribed record shown in the box back to the previous one.
+ and - keys - this changes the transcribed record shown in the box to the next or previous entry without changing the position of the box.
PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN keys - this moves the box and the transcribed record shown to the top of the previous, current or next column.
HOME and END keys - this moves the box to the top of the first column or the top of the last column
M key - this flags the current transcribed record shown in the box (or if the record is already flagged, it removes the flag). Flagged records can be viewed or printed from the Statistics screen
F key - this changes the size of the font used to show the transcribed record. Press F to increase the fontsize or SHIFT and F to decrease the size. If you choose the larger font sizes, you may need to increase the width of the box by using the mouse or by using the ALT plus the Right Arrow key - see description above.
A key - this can be used to adjust the position of the mother's maiden name (births) / spouses surname (marriages) / age at death (deaths) column. Press the A key to move the column to the right and SHIFT and the A key to move the column to the left.
S key - this can be used to adjust the position of the registration district column. Press the S key to move the column to the right and SHIFT and the S key to move the column to the left.
C key - this can only be used during the first stage of Calibration and is used to change the number of columns in the scan from the default value of three.
R key - this reloads the transcription file produced by WinBMD or SpeedBMD. You would use this option if you found a mistake, went into WinBMD or SpeedBMD to correct the mistake and saved the changes to disk. If you have made a lot of changes, BMDVerify may ask you to repeat the Calibration process.
B key - this changes the background colour of the text box - each time you press B, it cycles through the available colours. On certain PCs, the text in the box is easier to read with a different coloured background.
F11 and F12 keys - these change the size of the scan, zooming in or out.
Skip this screen for steps 2 to 4 - Once you are familiar with the way BMDVerify works, you can select this option to avoid returning to the start screen at the end of each step.
Restore Defaults - BMDVerify saves details of options you have selected,
folders where files are held and calibration details for the last ten scans
that you verified. Click on the Restore Defaults button to clear these details.
(Technical note - BMDVerify saves the details in the Windows Registry under the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/VB and VBA Program Settings/BMDVerify. Clicking on the Restore Defaults button removes all BMDVerify details from the registry)
Zoom In and Out - these change the size of the scan, zooming in or out (same as F11 and F12 keys).
Record Prev and Next - Next moves the box down one line against the index scan and also moves the transcribed record shown in the box on to the next one (same as ENTER/RETURN key). Prev is the reverse, i.e. it moves the box up one line against the index scan and also moves the transcribed record shown in the box back to the previous one (same as BACKSPACE key).
Go to top of column - this moves the box and the transcribed record shown to the top of chosen column.
Rotate L and R - this rotates the scan by a small amount, left or right.
Adjust Columns - this adjusts the position of the columns showing age at death, mother's maiden name or wife's maiden name (as appropriate for the transcription being verified) and also the district. It only has effect where the information is in columns on the original scan.
Show Statistics - this displays a separate screen showing statistics about the transcribed scan.
Exit - this quits the program.
Load new scan - this loads details of a different scan into BMDVerify.
Re-calibrate - this repeats the process you have to go through when you start the program to line up the scan and to specify which BMD index record appears at the start of columns 2 and 3. You would normally only do this if you made a mistake in the original calibration.
Reload transcription file - this is the same as the R key.
Show repeated surnames - by default, where a surname is the same as the previous surname, a line is shown rather than the surname itself, in a similar style to the original BMD index. If you click on this menu option, then surnames are shown for all records.
Show statistics - this displays a separate screen showing statistics about the transcribed scan.
Text box colour - Choose a colour from the list shown (you can also change the colour by pressing the B key).
Exit - this quits the program.
Image Options Menu
Zoom, - and + - these change the size of the scan, zooming in or out (F11 and F12 keys can also be used).
Negative - if this is selected, the scan image is shown in negative.
Anti alias and Smoothing - selecting either or both of these changes the way in which the scan image is displayed and may maker it easier (or harder) to decipher.
Print button - the details shown on this screen are printed on your default printer and you can also choose to print out all the transcribed records.
Hide button - this hides the Statistics screen.
File Header/Queries/Warnings/Flagged Records buttons - this changes the information shown beneath the buttons. Note that they only affect what is displayed - if you click on the PRINT button, all the information is printed. The Queries button displays any records where you have entered a "*", "?", "_" or "[" during transcription. The Warnings button displays any BMD records that appear to be out of sequence - however "*", "_", "[", "]" and "foreign characters" such as é and ö, may create false warnings.
If you have any problems or queries, or if you have any comments or suggestions
for the program, please contact me at
If you contact me with an error or problem, please let me know which operating system you are using and, unless you can't use BMDVerify at all, the BMDVerify program version number. You can see this by clicking on "About BMDVerify" on the Help menu.
The box that contains the information entered using WinBMD contains horizontal
lines throughout making the text hard to read.
This can happen if your computer is set up to only display 256 colours. Press the B key to change the background colour to grey which should make the text legible.
Component imagxpr7 or one of its dependencies not correctly registered, a file is missing or invalid
This can appear if you have not previously installed WinBMD Version 5 or later on your PC - see the paragraph starting "IMPORTANT" in the Introduction.
I'm using Vista/Windows 7 and having finished a transcription I cannot find the file. Where is it?
See more here in the FreeBMD Transcribers Knowledge Base.