I've written before about individuals without children or spouses in Register and Modified Register reports. Such individuals appear only in the list of children of their parents in Register and Modified Register reports. Individuals with children or spouses appear a second time in the next generation.
Normally, this behavior is exactly what is desired. However, if an individual without children or spouses has lots of data (especially notes), the report would read much better if the individual in question could be forced to appear in both generations - with summary information only in the list of children of their parents, and with complete information the next generation. A solution to this problem is a long term Wish List item.
I have found a solution, but it involves modifying my RM5 database with SQLite. The process seems pretty safe, but it makes me nervous enough that what I actually do is to make a copy of my RM5 database, make the required modification in the copy, run the Register or Modified Register report from the copy, and delete the copy.
Here's the trick after making a copy of my database:
- Add a dummy child to the person in question without adding a spouse to the person in question. For example, if the person in question is John Doe, add a dummy child to John Doe (for example, add "Temporary Doe" as a child of "John Doe") without adding a spouse to John Doe. Make note of the RIN number of the dummy child (also known as the record number).
- With SQLite, execute the following: DELETE FROM ChildTable WHERE ChildID=xxxxx. Replace xxxxx with the RIN number of the dummy child. This will have the effect of unlinking the dummy child from John Doe while leaving in place the family of John Doe where John is the father/husband.
- At this point, John's family where he is the father/husband will have no mother/wife and no children, but the fact that there is a family will cause him to appear with a summary of his data in the list of children of his parents and to appear with all of his data in the next generation. The reason that the same cannot be accomplished from within RM5 itself is that if you unlink the temporary child from John Doe, then the family where John is father/husband will be deleted.
- The dummy child will still be in the database but will be unlinked from any family. The dummy child probably should be deleted, but I don't bother since I'm going to delete the entire temporary copy of the database as soon as I run the report anyway.
- For reasons I don't quite understand, the data for John Doe in the report is followed by much more than the usual amount of excessive white space. I just clean that up manually. There are very, very few people in my database that need this kind of special handling in reports, so the special manual handling is not a problem.
By the way, the trick does not survive a GEDCOM export or a drag and drop. Essentially I have deliberately introduced a structural error into my database to get the desired effect in a report (the structural error is a family with a father/husband and no wife/mother or children), and the GEDCOM export or drag and drop does not include the structural error that I created.