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Convert Freeform source to a template source

template conversion freeform

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#1 craigg

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 11:14 AM

I have been unable to find by searching any pertinent discussion about this topic, although I know that there have been similar topics.
I have a few master sources that are in freeform. I use these extensively, thousands of citations, in my database to source common user defined facts. I continue to add new citations, but I would like to convert these sources to a template form, but do not see how I can do that if I need to do it one citation at a time.
My question is, has anyone a fairly simple way to do the conversion on the master source, and without doing anything with each citation.

#2 TomH

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Posted 14 November 2014 - 12:30 PM

There is no simple way, even with SQLite, to convert a source from Free Form to a template-type unless the template is essentially an equivalent to Free Form, as is my custom hybrid template, !MyFreeForm3. For some insight into the problem of conversion, see this discussion started by Jerry Bryan: Question with respect to Changing a Master Source to a Different Source Template. Be sure to read the comments and check out the links at the bottom if you are undaunted.


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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#3 zhangrau

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 01:50 AM

I made the decision years ago to keep my master sources relatively simple. My goal is that a Source Citation should contain enough information to successfully re-find the original documentation if I decide to re-verify something. I make no attempt to follow the many different rules collected by E. S. Mills or others - in fact, the only RM template that I routinely use is the Book, Basic Format template.

 

I have MANY times over the years "converted" a Free-Form source to a "Book, Basic Format" template source. This is really quite easy, and I'm not aware of ANY time that it failed to work as I anticipated.

 

The procedure simply involves creating a new, "Book, Basic Format" source with the Citation and Master Text fields filled-in as desired, and one or two Repositories linked. Then, in the Master Source List, select first the new "Book, Basic Format" source, select the [Merge] button, and select the old "Free-Form" source. All of the Source Details will transfer over from the FF to the BBF source, with no loss of info.

 

I can't think of any reason that this same procedure wouldn't work for any other style of Master Source template, but I have NOT done any testing.

 

So, as frequently recommended, do a backup, and experiment with a copy of your database before you commit to changing your main file.



#4 anzenketh

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 02:49 AM

I am specifically talking about a FamilySearch Records citation. Obviously user supplied citation follows whatever format that user thinks is best for them. However the FamilySearch citations use the Generic Database format that is already in RootsMagic is there a way to convert them? 



#5 TomH

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 08:32 AM

The question was a simple way to convert without having to touch each citation; your answer requires editing of the new fields in the Source Details template, I.e., each citation. That burden is why people have been asking for a conversion tool that would map fields from one source template to another.

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SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#6 zhangrau

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 03:50 PM

No, in fact, I DO NOT have to touch each citation. By merging the Master FF source into the Master BBF source, all of the citation details are transferred automatically by RM.



#7 Laura

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 07:28 PM

I played with this a liitle bit.

I was merging Free form sources into source template sources.

If a source template has a Page field in the Source detail fields, the entry made in the Free form source, Source detail, Page number field is transfered on merge to the Source detail, Page field for a source created from a source template.

This works great for the Book, Basic format template which only has one Source detail field, Page.

It doesn't work as well where the template has multiple fields as only the Page field will have the Free form, Page number data.

If you merge a Free form source into a source template source without a Source detail, Page field, and print the Citations for the Master source, the printout shows the entry in the Free form sources, Source detail, Page number field.

But, when you go to Edit person, Citation Manager, Edit source, there are no entries in the Source detail fields.

The printout could be used as an aid in cleanup of Source details when free form sources are merged into source template sources.
 



#8 TomH

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Posted 15 November 2014 - 10:58 PM

Research Note and Comment for each Source Detail will be preserved in the merge of a master source of one type with a master source of another. And as Laura points out, if both have the Page field or other matching field names, those, too, are preserved. My point is that if the target Source Detail sentence template has new fields, I.e, not ones in the original, they will be empty. And, values for fields in the original that are not found in the target will disappear. Hence, each citation has to be edited if there is a mismatch between the original and target sets of fields. The Book, Basic Format is the only (or almost only) template that has only one field for Source Detail and that happens to match that of Free Form.

I developed !MyFreeForm3 as a template to which Free Form sources could be converted for superior sentence construction with minimal effort, a SQLite script, but to take full advantage of it still requires editing each citation.

Tom user of RM7550 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#9 Nettie

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 05:56 AM

I have done a lot of transfers from old created free form templates to EE with my own changes in format of the template. I also use the Book but  the Book General [Source within a Source]  as many of the sources are such items.  

  • I learned early on [since RM 4] to make a printout of the Source that I am transferring from the free form to a template.  
  • Keep the electronic form on one screen [usually transfer the list to MSWord via .rtf format & yes I use two screens] and work with the new Book General [Source with a Source].  Then I do not loose any information that I had already documented.
  • Because I have used many Journal/Periodicals I created my own template from, Journal Article Serialized, for each magazine, like William & Mary Quarterly, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography etc.. .  
  • These new templates are at the top of my list as I have done with this with Census Records also.  If I am not sure if this new template will work, my initials are used [adt] to the front of the title of template.  
  • When I finally decide to use that template then I add * in front of my initial.   Yes I do transfer what is in adt Journal.... to *adt Journal

 

Yes this takes time and effort but for me it is worth getting them all in one place, as I had not done that back  in FO or RM early days. 

 

This is my way of doing this....


Genealogy:
"I work on genealogy only on days that end in "Y"." [Grin!!!]
from www.GenealogyDaily.com.
"Documentation....The hardest part of genealogy"
"Genealogy is like Hide & Seek: They Hide & I Seek!"
" Genealogists: People helping people.....that's what it's all about!"
from http://www.rootsweb....nry/gentags.htm
Using FO and RM since FO2.0 


#10 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 16 November 2014 - 03:53 PM

I had been converting sources from free form to real templates with SQLite because I hadn't realized that it could be done without SQLite by merging sources. I find that a lot of cleanup is required, probably very similar whether you are using SQLite or merging sources from within RM. Nonetheless, doing the merging thing is worth doing, I think, as compared to deleting all your old citations and replacing them with entirely new ones. The reason is that the time consuming part of all this is not entering the data into the source, per se, but rather chasing down all the citations. So I find it well worth the time to work on the sources a litle bit extra as compared to fighting through all the citations.

 

What I ended up doing (with some advice from Tom) was to add the fields Footnote, ShortFootnote, Bibliograghy, and Page to my user defined source templates. That way, the old data from the free form template would be preserved in the new template. The old data still had to be moved to its proper place in the new template manually, but that's a lot easier than re-entering the data from scratch.

 

To this end, it's worth remembering that just because a data element might appear in a source template does not necessarily mean that the data element has to appear in any of the footnote, shortfootnote, or bibliography sentences in a report. The data can there just for your own usage - as for example, when converting from the free form source template template to "real" source templates.. My "old data" does not appear in any of the footnote, shortfootnote, or bibliography sentences.

 

Here's another related idea I have picked up on. I tend to complain about how many built in source templates there are. Indeed, many of the built in templates differ from each other in what might seem to be very trivial ways. For example, a couple of the built in book templates differ only in whether or not the author's name is reversed in the bibliography sentence. The distinction is important depending on whether or not the author is an individual, whose name in a bibliography should be listed last name first, or an organization, e.g., the Boondock County Historical Society as the author, where the name should not be reversed in an bibliograhpy ("Society" is not a surname that should be listed first). It's possible (and very easy) to have a data element that serves as a switch to distinguish these two cases all within the same source template, without having to have two separate templates, and without the data element which is serving as a switch having to appear in any of the footnote, shortfootnote, or bibliography sentences.

 

Jerry