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GEDCOM imports all sources as Free-form

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#1 magmatic

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 08:16 PM

I am having to move from a different program, and am experimenting with RootsMagic. I have to transfer my data as GEDCOM, and am running in to trouble, as you might expect. All my sources come into RootsMagic as Free-form. Is there a way to convert a source from one type to another? To Book for example? Or do I have to live with that?



#2 TomH

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Posted 02 April 2016 - 10:27 PM

What is the program from which you want to import?

RootsMagic generally imports sources from GEDCOMs by other programs to its Free Form template. There is no easy way in RM to convert sources from one template to another.

The only trick I can think of would be to convert your GEDCOM to a RootsMagic GEDCOM and revise all your sources to the RM standard Book. However, there may be lots of issues in effecting the conversion but at least it could be done with a text editor and maybe some scripting and lots of trial and error.

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.


#3 zhangrau

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 08:23 AM

I have plenty of Free Form sources left over from my very early days in genealogy (late 1980's and early 1990's). Nowadays I use the Book, Basic format template almost exclusively. I find it easy to use, and complete enough to accomplish this key goal: All of my sources should be specific enough to allow myself or another researcher to re-trace my research and verify my documentation. Clearly there are a lot of academic researchers who find value in the complexity and uniqueness of the huge variety of RM templates, I'm just not one of them.

 

I have found no problems in converting Free Form sources to Book, Basic format sources.

 

Step 1 - create a new Book, Basic format source that contains the desired info.

Step 2 - Merge the old Free Form source into the new Book, Basic format source.

 

Here's an example of how I include the ISBN into a Book, Basic Format source:

tFa8Apt.png



#4 magmatic

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 01:12 PM

I am using Generations (yes, I know), which works but has serious issues with modern operating systems.

 

zhangrau's idea to Merge seems like the solution, which I will try if I decide to buy the program. That function is not available in the free version. Thank you.



#5 TomH

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 01:49 PM

The distinctions between what zhangrau does and what I suggested are these:

  • zhangrau's method is sure to work but requires creating a new templated master source for every free form master source, however originated (import, prior creation...); no knowledge of GEDCOM required; all work is within RM.
  • my suggestion applies only to the GEDCOM import process, is not assured to work and even if it does may cause collateral damage, but results in the sources being imported into the Book, Basic Form template (or whatever template you define); requires knowledge of GEDCOM and skills in regular expression search and replace and/or a scripting language.

The comparative levels of effort depends very much on the number of master sources to be converted and your skills set. Very many master sources would argue for a GEDCOM conversion approach.

 

However, there remains the more fundamental question - why bother? On export to standard GEDCOM and to FamilySearch Family Tree, RootsMagic  outputs sources as though they are Free Form, i.e., to only the TITL (master source) tag and to the PAGE (source details) tag.


Edited by TomH, 03 April 2016 - 01:53 PM.

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.


#6 zhangrau

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 03:00 PM

However, there remains the more fundamental question - why bother? .

-

I have come to believe that some sources need to be edited from time-to-time, and editing the Book, Basic format is a teeny-tiny bit easier. That is, when I have a source for a person who has contributed personal knowledge to my database, I don't want to create another source each time they contribute. Rather, I edit the date of the source, and continue using the original. For example, one of my sisters is an occasional contributor. Her source was originally a Free Form with a date of 2000. Now it is a Book, Basic format source, with a date of 2000-2016. The Page field is used to store a date & brief description, and a more complete description of her contribution gets added to the Research Notes field. Is it a big deal? Probably not, and it may just be indicative of how deeply our personal work habits are ingrained into our research documentation....



#7 magmatic

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 04:46 PM

I am porting my data from another program (Generations). I have many sources that came from a book, but the book has various articles. I don't note the page number, just the article title.

 

In the old program, I had a special source type called "Book Article". However, every source comes in to RM as free-form anyway, as discussed about. I thought I would have to covert these things to a book source in the source program before the import. But then, where do I put the article title? The source comes across like the below. The article title starts with the number. (Notice RM does not put a space before the number).

 

        Lloyd Bailey, Sr., Book Article138. Pioneers Ansel and Elizabeth (Bradley) Bailey, Toe River Valley Heritage, I, 1994, Lloyd Bailey, Sr.

 

It would be a good idea to merge these to some other type. I think it was this thread that gave me the idea that a source type does not have to be the true type of the source, if you get my meaning. I can use any source type for anything, as long as it captures what I want to capture. So, I could convert these sources to a periodical source (even thought it is not a periodical) just because the periodical source has a field for "article".

 

Does this make sense?



#8 TomH

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 08:20 PM

"Convert" is not the right term. "Replace" is more accurate. You are going to create templated sources and citations thereof by parsing the Free Form ones which you will then delete. The only field that is likely to be common to both the template and Free Form is Page. If you are content with what is now in Page, then you would save a lot of effort by merging the Free Form Master Source into its templated equivalent. Because Page is in the template, the Source Detail will be preserved.


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 magmatic

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 08:40 PM

TomH, I have not preserved the page number in my sources. I instead specify the numbered article in the book. This is why I want a template that has "article" and thought I would use periodical for that. I would not want to create my own template, because it would not be standard.

 

I don't understand what you mean by Source Detail will be preserved. Yes, if I had a page number, and I entered it in the Page field, then it would be preserved. But I don't have the page number (although I could get it.)



#10 TomH

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:53 PM

"Page" is the label for the [Page] field, the only Source Detail field in the Free Form template. It can contain anything, not just the page number, that is specific to that citation of the Master Source. All of the standard "Book,..." templates but 2 or 3 have that same field but none have any other field in common with Free Form. That is to say that merging a Free Form source into a standard "Book,..." source will lose the values stored in the fields Footnote, Short Footnote and Bibliography in the Master Source (yellow) area but not the values stored in the Page field in the Source Detail (green) area of the Citation Editor.   


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.