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Converting Free Form Sources


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#1 wfb

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:20 PM

Folks,

The upgrade from RM3 to RM4 created quite a number of Free Form sources which I would like to covert to SourceWizard format sources. Each of my Free Format sources include citation details (for example, the text of a death record) that I would like to preserve in the "new" source. I'm tempted to create a new source via SourceWizard and then merge the "old" (Free Form) source with the newly created source. I'm concerned, though, that I may COMPLETELY LOSE all my citation details in the process! Can someone tell me if my approach is likely to work or, if not, is there a better way to upgrade to the SourceWizard format?

Thanks,
Wayne

#2 Vyger

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 08:55 PM

Any attempts I have tried in the past have all resulted in lost citations.

There have been various calls on this forum for a utility to help in bringing RM3 "free form" sources up to date with RM4 "template" sources. We can only hope that the next update will bring such a utility or at least Bruce & team tell us that such a utility is in development.

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#3 wfb

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:21 AM

Vyger,

I was afraid there was currently no way to convert source types while retaining citation details. Hopefully, this problem will be addressed in an RM4 upgrade! In the meantime, will the source "merge" feature at least keep the citations themselves (i.e. preserve the links to the facts associated with the source) in those cases where there are NO citation DETAILS?

Thanks,
Wayne

#4 Vyger

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:52 AM

I was afraid there was currently no way to convert source types while retaining citation details. Hopefully, this problem will be addressed in an RM4 upgrade! In the meantime, will the source "merge" feature at least keep the citations themselves (i.e. preserve the links to the facts associated with the source) in those cases where there are NO citation DETAILS?

I am not sure, hopefully someone else better versed in sources can jump in here.

I tried merging etc when RM4 first came out but when I realised the potential problems and the amount of work I could be getting into I decided to wait for some sort of utility. Even so I have been coming across a lot of sources in my database which now have empty citations and I didn't realise I had lost them at the time.

I think the prudent thing might just be to wait especially as there is an update due anytime soon.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#5 wfb

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:33 PM

Vyger,

I agree that waiting for the RM4 update is probably the safest approach. I recall hearing that the update was due out around March 25th. Do you know if that is still a reasonable expectation?

Thanks,
Wayne

#6 Vyger

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:48 AM

I agree that waiting for the RM4 update is probably the safest approach. I recall hearing that the update was due out around March 25th. Do you know if that is still a reasonable expectation?

It was due out "in a few weeks" several weeks ago so would really be overdue based on that.

However the 25th is a significant date so maybe we will finally make the jump to 4.1 and get a lot of the features we have been wishing for.

The longer I wait for the update, and it's now 4 months since the last, the higher my expectations get so hopefully Bruce & Team will not disappoint. ;)

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

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#7 jonathan

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 04:00 PM

Hi
I used to use PAF. When I converted the data to RM4, all the sources showed as Free-form. I am in the process of changing these to more specific source forms, the in-built ones in RM4. I create a new source using one of the in-built source forms then merge with the existing Free-form source. The citation links are maintained to the individuals in the database, as are links to media or any comments written in the citations from PAF. If you are concerned, use the source/citation report first to identify a source and where it is used. Pick a source/citation that is only used once or twice. Complete the merge then run the source/citation report again to check things are as they should be.
Not had any problems doing it this way. As long as you take your time and be careful in how you merge the sources.
The downside is there are an awful lot of citations in my database, but I am checking the data as I am going through and correcting errors as well.
J

#8 KenCRoy

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 06:05 PM

Hi
I used to use PAF. When I converted the data to RM4, all the sources showed as Free-form. I am in the process of changing these to more specific source forms, the in-built ones in RM4. I create a new source using one of the in-built source forms then merge with the existing Free-form source. The citation links are maintained to the individuals in the database, as are links to media or any comments written in the citations from PAF. If you are concerned, use the source/citation report first to identify a source and where it is used. Pick a source/citation that is only used once or twice. Complete the merge then run the source/citation report again to check things are as they should be.
Not had any problems doing it this way. As long as you take your time and be careful in how you merge the sources.
The downside is there are an awful lot of citations in my database, but I am checking the data as I am going through and correcting errors as well.
J

J,
I am a PAF user considering converting to RM4, but with 360 different sources and who know how many are still in Notes that were never converted properly from PAF 2.3, and some 24,000 persons in my database, this sounds like a lot of work. Lots of citations to double-check.

Ken

#9 Laura

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:18 PM

J,
I am a PAF user considering converting to RM4, but with 360 different sources and who know how many are still in Notes that were never converted properly from PAF 2.3, and some 24,000 persons in my database, this sounds like a lot of work. Lots of citations to double-check.

Ken


There isn't really any need to change sources and source citations from Free form to Source templates sources. Changing Free form sources to Source templates is just an option the user chooses.

If you import PAF into RM4, the sources in the PAF notes will still be in the notes.

So importing PAF into RM4, will make no changes in the status of the sources as they are in PAF.

What you would gain is RM4's various features which would make making any changes such as finding the sources in the notes easier if you did decide to turn those notes back into sources.

Laura

#10 jonathan

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 12:31 AM

Unfortunately that is the "problem" when you upgrade software. Deciding how much of the new features and data fields to retrospectively apply to your database. Using the new source forms and merging with existing free-forms is straightforward. The time is checking the individual citations - filling in extra fields, updating the quality fields and "proof" fields etc. I use a macro editor which speeds up data entry no end, press a couple of buttons and you can fill and change fields a lot less painlessly - less typing and clicking the mouse and always accurate. I think it will take me about 60 hours work to do update the citations on my database of 1100 individuals. But in the grand scheme of things, when it comes to family history research, 60 hours is really a drop in the ocean!
You have to make the call on how "tidy", complete and consistent you want your database to be. RM4 gives you the features, you choose if you feel they are worth using.
J

#11 Glenn

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 10:54 AM

There isn't really any need to change sources and source citations from Free form to Source templates sources. Changing Free form sources to Source templates is just an option the user chooses.

My choice.

If you import PAF into RM4, the sources in the PAF notes will still be in the notes.

So that's why I'm finding all these sources in notes! :o I had been sent a 70,000+ PAF DB via "Big Files" which I was able to cut down to 5100 following my personal protocol. The 65,000 were no where close to being related.

What you would gain is RM4's various features which would make making any changes such as finding the sources in the notes easier if you did decide to turn those notes back into sources.

I'll be doing that by using groups. Key words for my groups are Bible, marriages (will catch a lot from Southeast US). Probably will do one keyword at a time which will create a greater sense of accomplishment! :lol:

Glenn


Good real estate may be based on location, location, location;
but
good sources are based on citation, citation, citation!


Glenn


#12 Renee Zamora

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 12:26 PM

This is how I described the utility to help in bringing RM3 "free form" sources up to date with RM4 "template" sources:

"Allow users to change source template much like they can change the fact type for an event. Instead of merging sources and it's potential losses."

Of course we don't want the losses in the first place! I am mainly focusing on a source transfer utility. Let me know if you envision something different here.
Renee
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#13 Vyger

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 02:56 PM

This is how I described the utility to help in bringing RM3 "free form" sources up to date with RM4 "template" sources:

"Allow users to change source template much like they can change the fact type for an event. Instead of merging sources and it's potential losses."

Of course we don't want the losses in the first place! I am mainly focusing on a source transfer utility. Let me know if you envision something different here.

I believe that is all that is needed, in fact a field mapping utility when changing from one source type to another is what RM should provide. The original source citation information is still help in PAGE etc. but needs to be mapped again to the field names of the new source type.

We are all limited by our visions and abilities

Whilst we can borrow from the visions of others we cannot always deliver.

 

User of Family Historian 6.2.7, Rootsmagic 7.6.0, Family Tree Maker 2014 & Legacy 7.5

 

Excel to Gedcom conversion - simple getting started tutorials here

 

Root