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future of personal Historian


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#1 Dick-TMG

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 08:53 AM

I am trying to write a story that crosses three generations and many cousins, uncles, etc.  RM7 does not have a good report to organize this but looking at the free version of PH it seems to provide for using a family group and organizing every event chronologically. The paid version I believe also allows for bring the source citations over. I have also looked at the Lifcapsules and see that could also be very useful for writing this story.

 

Now the But. It appears that there have been requests for improvement that date back to 2010 - 2012 that have not been addressed. Also there are no forum entries here that I can find. My version of PH is 2014 and is current.

 

I am concerned that if I put the effort into this product it will not be upgraded or even supported leaving me in the lurch again. (TMG - Not an RM issue so far). Can anyone address the direction of PH?



#2 Renee Zamora

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 10:15 AM

Personal Historian was under active development when we had to pull the developer to help work on the Ancestry features. It is now back in active development. 


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#3 sweetpea

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 06:31 AM

I think Personal Historian has a great timeline feature. I love that feature. However, years ago I tried to write out a few chapters of a story and there were so many issues that I dropped PH out of total frustration and tried other software. 

 

I have used Scrivener to layout some stories. It has a screen that has "index cards" on a cork board. You can type a card and move them around to get the right order. So if you have an additional thought, you can look at the cork board and add a new card, move around. It is great for writing, laying out the stories or memories.  Lots of writers use it and it is available for PC or Apple. However, the problem with this software is that while it is good to write the story and get things in the right order, it does not let me add the photos and lay out the book as I want.  So, I have to save my story as a word doc (easy) and then pull it into another software program. 

 

A couple of us in my family used Serif Page Plus X8 (they might have new version) to publish a couple of family history books. Somewhat similar to Publisher so if you know Microsoft Publisher you should be able to transition to Page Plus.  (save often)  With Page Plus I can layout the photos, set the margins, text, and a whole lot more!!  I can get everything just like I want. Then save as a PDF or publish as an ebook. With Serif Page Plus I make chapters and then pull them into a book. The software is set up to do that. In my opinion (for what that might be worth  :wacko: ) it is better to work on smaller chapters rather than one huge book. Of course there is a learning curve to all new software. 

 

I hope that Personal Historian makes the upgrades and changes that are needed.  They have been a long time coming. I've had my PH for many, many years. Upgraded even.  So many people want to write their stories. I mean no disrespect to them by sharing info about other software. I would love to talk with the developer at Personal Historian and give them some suggestions about things that I would be looking for. If/when they get the software updated, I will certainly investigate. I do believe they can make some great changes and I look forward to seeing them.  



#4 Renee Zamora

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 09:51 AM

You can start a new thread in this Personal Historian forum and let me know what features you are wanting in Personal Historian. I will add them to the enhancement request list. 

 

As you were describing the index cards I wonder if you have used categories and filters in Personal Historian. That helps me focus on projects I am working on, and chapters in a book.

 

I do agree you need to work on smaller chapters. The problem I see is people writing a whole chapter inside of one story. It was designed to help you write it in small bites so you can move things around. Many stories can build a single chapter. Then you filter everything that you want included in that chapter of the book. Eventually compiling the whole book for publishing. 


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#5 Dick-TMG

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 05:42 PM

Another feature that I have been trying to get working is the Lifecapsules editor. I have downloaded the current version several times from Rootsmagic. When ever I start it or eventually try to save a lifecapsule I get a buffer error.

 

This would be a very useful feature that I used with TMG to bring in events that were not directly related to a person but general history events. I had one for the civil war, one for several towns and states that I could include at will in my story generation.

 

I have also been looking for a user manual for the editor but cannot find one.



#6 Renee Zamora

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 08:57 AM

The LifeCapsules Editor is only for version 1. The version 2 was never released.  There was no manual for the LifeCapsule Editor.

 

There is a Personal Historian 2: Companion Guide is available in the store - http://rootsmagic.co...Historian-Book/


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#7 Dick-TMG

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 07:38 AM

Renee

 

I have been working with the versions of PH2 that I have and the PH1 lifecapsules editor just to see if these basic technologies would work for me in my current project.

 

My basic plan is to create a family group in RM7 and then be able to export and import those people into PH2. That works well at this point and provides the consolidation of events into a chronology for all the people imported. Just what I wanted.

 

From there It would be very nice to be able to work with lifecapsules. I am currently putting that type of information into a spreadsheet, which if imported into Access I can create about any type of file to import into a lifecapsules editor. Since the editor only works with PH1 I would need to do something manually with this data to be able to use it.

 

There are some things in PH2 that either are not there or I don't know how to do them even after reading the user manual and searching the forums and the internet. In this case I will have 10 siblings imported with this story but every one results in a different story - a separate birth statement for each. I would like to combine those 10 birth statements into a single statement about births while retaining all the citations for those 10 events. I don't see that as possible at this point. Am I correct?

 

From there I would be able to edit and modify some of these stories but I think I would use this as a guide to go back to RM7 and change them there where possible and then reimport to PH2. But at some point I would then output the PH2 stories to an RTF and then continue to work on the story there. Since I have just now, after about three years, cleaned up the things in TMG that did not import well into RM7 I am aware of the fact that at some point I must make a commitment to a particular path. Once I start making changes in PH2 I am committed because I don't think PH2 will provide an update capability if I find more facts to put into RM7. Likewise once I export the PH2 stories to an RTF I will have left PH2 behind and must continue in just the RTF and making any updates in RM7, PH2 and the RTF if I want to stay in sync.

 

Now comes the question that you will most likely not answer. Will there be a release of PH and the lifecapsul editor that will all work together, in the near future? Like before December this year?



#8 Renee Zamora

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:03 AM

It's in active development right now, but I can't even guess if it would be next month or after December. 

 

The PH2 LifeCapsule Editor was in beta testing right before we stopped development to work on the Ancestry feature. It was almost ready to be released, it was functional but not pretty yet. If you email me I can give you the beta version, you can tinker with it if you want. Open a support ticket Attn: Renee - http://support.roots...us_requests/new


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