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The GEDCOM file specification, which stands for GEnealogical Data COMmunication, was created in 1984 by the Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for use in exchanging genealogical information between different programs.  After two internal versions, the first public version of the GEDCOM spec was 3.0 and was released in 1987.  In 1993 a new proposal was released and is known as version 5.2.  In 1996, version 5.5 was presented as the new standard.  Legacy is capable of importing and exporting the formats specified in these versions.

Although the interpretation of the GEDCOM specification varies somewhat from one developer to another, Legacy reads almost every variation, putting the intended information in the correct fields.  Legacy also exports several standard industry formats including Basic (birth, christen, marriage, death and burial information), PAF (Personal Ancestral File format), Ancestral File, and Legacy.