J works is an macro-enabled Excel spreadsheet based Automated Chromosome Browser Tool created by Jay Pizzaro to sort “In-Common-With” matches from GEDMatch.com and data from DNAGed.com in order to make it easier to read the data. By feeding the names from a chromosome browser with your raw DNA and in-common-with (CW) files in csv format, you can sort by DNA segments into sets of overlapping DNA and also assign the in-common-with status to the names. J Works works with Microsoft Excel. There is a similar spreadsheet available for people that use Excel alternative programs called K Works.
I used J Works when I was looking for my birth family even though I wasn’t able to use it to its full potential because I hadn’t gotten my results from Family Tree DNA yet. I was able to use it with results from GEDMatch.com triangulation of matches to see more visually who had matches in common. In some cases, people did not have contact information but they clearly matched other people that did have contact information. If you are unable to contact one person that you are close to, you can contact their matches and ask the if they know the other person.
The biggest complaints I hear about J Works is that 1) they say they can’t get it to work. The problem isn’t J Works, it is because users don’t understand what is meant when the instructions say that the J Works file and other files must be in the same folder. If you right click on your desktop, then click “new”, then click “folder” you will have created a folder. You can right click and rename it whatever you want. Then you can download a copy the J Works program and paste it in to that folder. The files you download from Ancestry through the Ancestry DNA Helper tool in the Chrome Brower or ICW file from DNAGED.com, you will paste whatever files you are using in to that folder. J Works is only looking for data in that folder. 2) It overloads a computer. Once again not J Works fault. The people using it have old out of date computers with too little RAM memory. This can be overcome by adjusting the number of cM the matches have in common so that the number of results is limited.
To download the J Works spreadsheet, go to DNAGEDCOM.com or the link to JWorks is also located under the Tools menu on DNAAdoption.com.
There is a good instructional guide written by Mesa Foard. Follow this J Works Guide step-by-step. All of us appreciate the work down on this tool by volunteers. They do take donations, so if you use this tools, be sure to let them know that you appreciate their work.