RM source templates (RM-provided or user-created) allow for prompt data input and provide 100% consistency in expression, punctuation, etc
- but, as has been discussed in these forums, cause considerable problems for GEDCOM export.
It would be great if, under the "Source Details" section of the "Edit Source" screen for a free form source, one could customise a set of fields to enable the quick input of variable information
- rather than having to type in that and the text/punctuation each time as is the case now
With the advent of RM4 I crafted a fairly swish set of source templates. Because of the export issue, however, I decided to stick with the free-form format.
I have a set of thirty or so free-form sources which provide for around 98% of my requirements.
I guess I'm what's called a "lumper". I follow a simplified format, eg:
Footnote/short footnote: Registration certificate issued by (BDM Agency name), City, State/Province
Source details: (Format) of certificate: (event) of (Name) registered at (place), (registration number)
With my subscription to a UK-based research service ending recently, I downloaded over 150 census and Church records.
Faced with the mind-boggling task of having to enter the source for each into RM, I created a template in an Excel spreadsheet to enable me to assemble the information.
The variable data is entered in column of cells and is all assembled in a single cell which contains the set text/punctuation and formulae to pick up the variable data. It has formulae to suppress relevant text if an input cell is empty - and a macro button to clear the data entry cell when finished.
The result is simply copied across from the "formula" cell to the "Source Details" for the particular free form source in RM.
It now takes me no time at all to assemble a citation.....and the structure, punctuation, etc, is consistent.
I've gone on to create similar templates in the Excel file for church records, burials, State/Provincial BDM certificates and index entries, etc.
What I've done in effect, is to simply emulate what can be done in RM for the creation of new sources from the built-in templates: adding or editing fields, specifying parameters to create text, etc.
What occurred to me is that it would be grand if this programming capability could be extended to the free form format.
Now my understanding (and I may be wrong in this) is that the problem with exporting standard RM source citations is that the source details are exported as a series of blocks of information not recognised by other programs.
- whereas the source details for a free form source are assembled/exported as a single string of information.