- I can't imagine making a shareable CD of my entire database. Therefore, any time I'm going to make a shareable CD I'm almost certainly going to do a GEDCOM export/import or a drag and drop to create a smaller database, and I will make the shareable CD from the smaller database.
- Because I had to use GEDCOM export/import or drag and drop to create a smaller database, I put the effort into solving the problem I complain about so much where GEDCOM export/import or drag and drop loses carriage returns at the end of my notes. However, the solution required the use of SQLite. I will outline that solution in a separate message. I still look forward to a solution to this problem that's native to RM5. I know that I'm not the only user who controls white space in reports with carriage returns at the end of notes, and I know I'm not the only user who makes a smaller database before creating a shareable CD.
- Having made a smaller database, there are a lot of easy but very detailed actions that you need to take before creating the shareable CD.
- You have to go to Lists -> Media Gallery to get thumbnails created. If you forget to do this then your shareable CD will not have thumbnails.
- You have to decide what default options you want on the shareable CD for the home person, the sidebar, and the main view (Pedigree or Family) by establishing these defaults in your smaller database. If you forget to do this, you will not be able to change the defaults on the shareable CD itself. I find the home person especially problematic because I would like to make the person to whom I'm giving the shareable CD the home person. Also, if in the future I'm making 20 or 30 shareable CD's for a family reunion, then I will have to make the shareable CD's one at a time and change the home person each time for each cousin for whom I'm making a CD.
- The process of making a shareable CD asks for a good bit of information to be placed on the CD (my contact information, narrative about the CD and the family that's included on the CD, etc.). I discovered that because of various issues that I ran into, I tended to run the process over and over again until I got everything just right. But the information that I had already typed in was not remembered, and I had to type the same information in over and over again. I discovered that this information is stored in a file called RMMenu.cfg. So I made a copy of this file in the same folder and ran the process again to create the shareable CD. This time, I didn't retype the same information and I was planning to replace the new (and empty) RMMenu.cfg with my copy. But RM5 outsmarted me because in addition to making a new and empty RMMenu.cfg, it also deleted my copy. But I outsmarted RM5 because I run Dropbox and Dropbox had a copy of my copy. I restored that copy and replaced the blank RMMenu.cfg with my own copy that had all the correct information. There is a terrible need for RM5 to handle this situation much more gracefully.
- As it is making your shareable CD, RM5 is not really writing to your CD. It's really creating a collection of files which later will be written to your CD. As the last thing it does when creating a shareable CD, RM5 asks you if you want it to create your CD or if you will create the CD yourself later. I strongly recommend not allowing RM to create your CD. Instead, I recommend choosing the option to create the CD yourself later. At that point, go to the collection of files on your hard disk that are intended to be written to the CD and test them out. The files will be in a folder called RMShareableCD which will be a subfolder of the folder which contains your RM5 database. The file you need to run to test your CD is called rmmenu.exe.
- Finally, burn the CD yourself. If you are not comfortable doing so, your options are not great. Your only real option would be repeat the entire process in RM5 and at the end tell RM5 to create the CD for you (see item #5 above). And by repeating the entire process in RM5, you have to type all your information in again or learn how to deal with the RMMenu.cfg file (see item #4 above), and you have to be willing to commit your files to the CD without first being able to test them (see item #5 again). I think a better solution would be an option where a user could create the files for a shareable CD without writing them to the CD, and then after testing the files the user could choose from RM5 to write the files to the CD without having to recreate the files.