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#24195 Rename Descendants feature

Posted by Doug Couch on 09 March 2009 - 07:57 PM in RootsMagic Wish List

QUOTE(Kevin Wornell @ Mar 9 2009, 04:15 PM) View Post

...I would like to be able to highlight a person (either in Pedigree view or in Family view), right click, input a new Surname for that line. The program would then rename the highlighted person and all direct line descendants that have the old Surname with the new Surname...

I believe I see what you want to do with such a feature; however, I don't agree that it is a good feature for RM to adopt. People use whatever name and spelling they use. While you can make attempts to standardize, those standardized names are not what the people themselves used. Nothing wrong with it necessarily, but it tends to move away from genealogy when "we" choose what their name is/was.

In my mother's family, she was one of 14 children. About half of them spelled their surname Atkins, while the rest spelled it Adkins. Of course, their descendants "typically" spell it how their parent did...so the two spellings continue from the same nuclear family. From what information I have been able to find, Adkins was the spelling their father used; however, if you follow back a few generations, it was Atkinson, which was most likely derived from Atkins, which was most likely derived from Adkins (meaning kin of Adam). Throughout the geographic region where this rather large family group is and was found, people spell this name in many ways. There is no "correct" way. It is simply a matter of how people whose name it was spelled it.

My mother used Adkins, changed her middle name from Marie to Ann abitrarily without legal process. So her legal records show her as Margaret Ann Adkins because that is what she used on legal forms, etc. But it could just as easily be Margaret Marie Atkinson. Her choices overrode her parents' choices. So her birth name is Margaret Marie Adkins, with an alternate name of Margaret Ann Adkins. Since many of her fairly close relatives are still living, and since she always used Ann for her middle name, I keep it in the database how she used it...but Marie is the more proper name because her parents gave her that name.

As you go back into older lineages, this problem increases, for people did not have surnames per se, did not name their children until they came of age, didn't know how to read and write, and had many overlapping conventions defining what they were called...which changed throughout their lives. Their names changed from birth name to grown name, to titles (often plural, and where title actually becomes their name for all practical purposes), to their trade or occupation, to locations where they were born, locations where they ruled or were ruled by others or just lived, locations where they fought in battles, titles of honor because of battles, and other purely anecdotal names that stuck and were widely used. Additionally, they lived or married into spouses' families (plural) from different localities, under different royal and other titles, and often tried to incorporate both spouses' names, establish priorities, please the public politically and religiously, etc., resulting in a single person having a dozen or more names...including translations of these names into the languages of the various family branches involved. Hence a LOT of spellings of a LOT of names, for one person.

An example is Harald I "Fairhair" Halfdansson King of Norway: see some of his information at the wiki page:
He is not necessarily a prime example, but comes to mind...trying to sort him out from amongst other Haralds with similar sounding spouses, etc.

So, if you opt to standardize naming for your own database simply to maintain sanity, that is understandable, but it doesn't fit well into the genealogical name referencing schemes, which necessarily are so widely varied. If you do opt to standardize, always remember to include alternate name references for clarity of those who may read your data later on.

Doug (list member)

#24113 Search for persons with no descendents

Posted by Doug Couch on 06 March 2009 - 03:21 AM in RootsMagic 3

Decided to play with this a little. I came up with the same scenario using an individual list, select children, deselect all others...and then process the data. With thousands of people to wade through, it is worth the processing. I'm sure there is a little shorter way to do it, but here is what I did...and it worked very well to get the list.

1. Reports > Individual list > select showing children, deselect other, (top selector set to everyone in database)

2. Set Print to...to Text file

3. Print report to text file, name and save file

4. With text file open, select all text in file, and copy (Ctrl+C)

5. Open a blank spreadsheet in Excel:

5.a. paste into C1 cell of Sheet 1 (Ctrl+V...will paste automatically to other rows and columns as needed)
5.b. paste into C1 cell of Sheet 2 (Ctrl+V...just a raw backup in case anything goes wrong, so you don't have to repeat the copy-paste later)

6. Create formulas to extract needed data with:

6.a. In blank column B, type the following formula: =IF(C2="","",C1)
6.b. In blank column A, type the following formula: =IF(B1<>"",IF(b1=0,"",B1),B1)
6.c. Highlight cells A1 and B1, and copy (Ctrl+C)
6.d. Highlight cells A2 and B2, press and hold the Shift key...and while holding the Shift key, arrow, page or scroll down the the last row with data, and release Shift key (you should now have a long highlighted pair of columns (A & cool.gif...paste (Ctrl+V) - this will copy the A1 & B1 formulas to all rows of your data

At this point, column A should show only the names of those persons in column C who have no children. Now to get rid of the rest...

7. Highlight the entire spreadsheet with formulas (small square at top left...above row 1 label and left of column A label)...and copy (Ctrl+C)

8. Remove formulas:

8.a. Click into cell A1 of blank Sheet 3
8.b. Do NOT paste with Ctrl C...select Paste Special from Edit menu
8.c. Select Values in top portion of Paste Special dialog...click OK (data only without formulas will be pasted...otherwise the formulas will go crazy when you sort)

9. Get rid of unneeded data: highlight a few entire columns to the right of column A - col B, C, D, etc. and delete all data from them...leaving only col A with the names you want

10. Separate the data rows from the non-data rows: highlight the entire column A and use ascending sort (the non-data rows will be at the top)...then delete all blank rows above your data.


What you have now is a single column with the names of the people who have no children, including their individual number. If desired, you can copy paste groups of these names into several columns until you have all your names available without a 1000-mile-long single column list. SAVE - Then print it out.

I know it's a bit much, but it works very well, and doesn't really take all that long. When typing in the formulas, include all characters as given, such as equal sign at beginning, sets of double quotes with nothing between them, etc.

[example: "","" is dbl-quote dbl-quote comma dbl-quote dlb-quote]

With perseverence, this could be done with one formula column...but this worked now without taking excess brainpower to create.

good luck....Doug

#24040 Fixing Relationships

Posted by Doug Couch on 23 February 2009 - 09:55 PM in RootsMagic 3

QUOTE(BRCTEX @ Feb 23 2009, 06:29 PM) View Post

I'm converting from FTM to Rootsmagic and cannot find in FAQ or Help anything on deleting or removing individuals. I have a child entered twice, once in 1st marriage with step father's name, and again correctly in a prior non marriage relationship under mother's maiden name. To further complicate, he was registered at birth by his mother under a totally different false name. Though I now have his father's correct name, his name was legally changed to the mother's maiden name by the maternal grandparents when he entered school. That is the name he has used for many years. I can probably handle all this in the notes and use of aka, but I just want to delete him from the stepfather marriage.

If I am hearing you correctly, you have the child actually entered twice, not just linked to other parental connections. Before you can successfully deal with it, you must get clear about just what situation exists.

Check in the search-person listing. If the child shows there twice, then the child is (probably) entered twice. If the child appears in the list only once, but shows more than one set of parents, then that is a different issue.

Moving from that for a moment, you want to establish what the child's "name at birth" was if there are multiple names he has been called by. Even if the birth name was false, if it was the name assigned at birth, it is his first and original name. Some people use such a name all their life...and it is their legal name, as well as what they went by. In your case, I was not entirely clear as to just how many names he went by, or was recorded as having at some point. Anyway, establish the birth name. Then use that for his name in the database. Any and all other names are then alternate names, each with their own alternate name fact, and any notes or sources about that particular name fact.

Once you have the name clear in mind, if there are more than one entry of the child in the search-person list, go to each one (noting the individual number {I###} etc, for each one). Look at which if any have the correct birth name. If both have it, select the one who has the best notes information and facts as the one to use permanently. If neither have it, pick the one with best notes, etc., and change the name in the given and surname fields to the correct birth name. Then go to the other one and check to see if there are any notes or facts there which do not appear in the one you chose to use. Copy that information and make sure it gets into the one you chose. On each of these, check to see what parents are linked (are there one, or more than one sets of parents)...and what children of his if any are linked to him. Make notes to be sure you get all of them relinked properly. Then delete...not unlink...the one you did not choose (if there were more than one to start with).

Once you have your notes and are down to one entry for one individual child you are working with. What parents does he have? If they are his birth parents (this does not mean his name or allegations, and is not about what his name was at birth...it could be different)...in other words who are his actual mother and father biologically? If they are linked as his only parents...great. If there are more parents sets linked to him, see if each one is correct...and if any are not, right-click him and unlink that set of parents. Then if needed, add parents sets to him (correctly relinking the ones unlinked...or if there are parents not in the database yet, add them) one at a time until all are there correctly. The same mother might be in all of the parents sets, for instance...but each pair of parents should be unique as a pair.

Once you have done this with the parents, look for the children. Are they there? Does each child show under the correct set of parents? If any are not there, or are under the incorrect set of parents (their biological parents if known), then right-click them individually and unlink and relink as needed. Just as with him, if some were adopted or need to show under more than one set of parents for any reason, link that child to however many sets of parents as he/she belongs linked to, and include notes for that child showing what those different relationships were, and if any were adoptions, use an adoption fact, etc., rather than just generic notes.

At this point, you should have one entry for him, however many correct sets of parents as needed, and whatever children similarly linked correctly.

One final note: If you do not know already how these incorrect parent-child relationships were established, you might want to search your original import GEDCOM in a text editor and see if his name appears more than once. If it does, of course, the problem was carried over from FTM. If not, you might want to review your procedure for entering and linking children to parents, and multiple relationships.

Good luck...

#24007 Removing Multiple Names

Posted by Doug Couch on 20 February 2009 - 02:53 AM in RootsMagic 3

Some additional thoughts...

1. If you arrived in the RootsMagic realm from another genealogy software that you are more familiar with.

2. If you haven't added tons of people, etc., into an imported file.

3. You could open your GEDCOM file exported from the other software (in a text editor such as Notepad) and see if these duplicates exist there. If they do, that's where they came from. If they do not, see the above remedies in other replies. (THIS PART IS GOOD TO DO REGARDLESS OF THE ABOVE)

4. If they ARE in the GEDCOM export which was imported into RootsMagic, you might consider going into your old software, and making the changes in a software you are more familiar with. Then re-export, and re-import, and then hopefully, you will not have the duplicates. The basic procedure is the same in your old software however.

It is EXTREMELY helpful to know where these duplicates came from, hence the suggestion to explore the GEDCOM, etc. If you don't know how they got there, you will likely be creating more after you finish cleaning up your database now. So, the best (and thus easiest) method is to not generate the duplicates in the first place.

If you used drag and drop features in RootsMagic, then thought it didn't work because the people were not there connected as expected, and then did it again...and again, this would generate duplicates in RootsMagic (one possibility). Those people would be inserted, and reinserted as many times as you did it, without regard for the existence of the same people already there. Check closely in RootsMagic by just one or two names which occur as duplicates to see if each occurence is linked to the rest of your tree. If some are not, that sounds like drag-drop repetitions.

If you did multiple imports, add-on merges, etc., these also can create duplicates if the procedure needed at the time for the type of work you're doing was not followed correctly.

At any rate, do your best to identify how this happened, to avoid problems for yourself in the future. Think what you did through, baby step by baby step (do not generalize, because the program doesn't generalize). Write down notes, and be as click by click accurate as possible. That means you DO NOT say of your actions: I added Mary Smith. You need to specify what clicks you made to add Mary Smith, and how you connected her to parents and/or children...for there are a number of ways to do most anything in RootsMagic, and remembering which method you used may make it easier to identify what you did incorrectly (IF it occurred in RootsMagic at all...and if not, it is very important to know that).

For instance, you can add a child to a set of parents in (at least) three ways: 1)menu selections accessed using your mouse; 2)menu selections using keyboard key combinations; 3)drag-drop from another database window. Each of these has different possibilities for mistakes, such as OOPS, clicked the wrong menu selection, or OOPS, used the wrong key combination, or OOPS, didn't remember to put a check in the box indicating to add as a child, etc. These OOPsies listed are not necessarily related to your dilemma, but just give an idea of the differences of the various experiences of doing the exact same function in the database to which these people were added. Importing and merging adds to that list.

Good luck...


#23972 Two persons in database automatically repeat themselves

Posted by Doug Couch on 16 February 2009 - 05:22 PM in RootsMagic 3

Sounds like the parent is linked to the child, with that parent being referenced/linked to the child as though the child were the parent (in addition to the normal child-parent link), creating a loop.

1. If you check the actual parent of that pair, you should find that he/she is showing 2 sets of parents.

2. Unlink the actual parent from his or her parents set which shows the child inappropriately as parent. (In the current configuration, the actual parent is also child, and unlinking from the wrong parents is needed.)

This should yield the proper relationship. If it does not correct everything, you might consider unlinking all persons in these relationships, and relinking them properly. Then it should definitely show the correct relationships.


#23965 Question Re: working in RM with 2 computers

Posted by Doug Couch on 16 February 2009 - 03:27 AM in RootsMagic 3

Although I usually prefer using copy-paste of the set of working files RootsMagic uses, instead of transferring backup files or GEDCOM files (to avoid the multiple-conversion issues), there are other ways. Since you cited your situation as continuing to do research from your recliner or whatever, that seems to mean you have Internet available to you. Yes? If so, read on...

SYNCPLICITY.COM has a free account available, which allows you to keep 2GB of files on their server. The way it works is this.

Create account and setup syncplicity on your computer.

Designate which folders you want to keep synchronized between computers (can be any number). You don't want it to update all your My Documents, etc., or you might run into a greater than 2GB free account limit. Typically, your RootsMagic working files and backup files folders will not be anywhere near 2GB.

Once you designate that folder set on computer one, you can have the same set on computer two. With both computers setup with the same files sets designated, and both computers accessing the Internet, either will automatically update to match the files on the other. Syncplicity also has a server-based Recycle Bin, which does not empty when you empty the one on your hard drive, giving you additional protection by making files from designated folders available there. Forgot a file? If it's in the designated folders on both computers, it will be there immediately.

For instance: Both computers are setup. Laptop is off. Desktop is on. You do work on the desktop. Syncplicity automatically updates the files on their server when you update files in the designated folders on your desktop. If your laptop was on the Internet at the same time, it would also automatically update. So, you shut down the desktop, go to the laptop and turn it on (with Internet). As soon as it goes online, syncplicity will see that the files on your laptop need to be updated because the last changes were made from your desktop, and will update them automatically. So when you see the checkmark saying the updates are done for those files, you open RootsMagic and your file. Check and see that your file contains the latest changes made on your desktop.

I have used syncplicity with no problems, but have not used it for RootsMagic yet, as I am waiting until I get my new laptop that I will be taking with me for genealogy research trips, etc.

If you decide to give it a try, I would do a separate non-sync'd backup until you try it and see it is doing what it should. Shouldn't be a problem though.


#23946 Rootsmagic has stopped working

Posted by Doug Couch on 14 February 2009 - 10:15 PM in RootsMagic 3

Hi Terry,

QUOTE(terry james @ Feb 14 2009, 05:49 PM) View Post

Good Morning, I now receive that above message and 'windows is checking for solution'. I am running Vista.
Also I cannot find my backup files. can you oblige and tell me the file name and extension. tia

Your post (above) did not say what message or problem you have. You alluded to an "above message"...however, it appears you posted your post as a New Topic, rather than as a reply in a thread of existing posts, and did not quote the post and message you were referring to.

If you would post again with more information, I'm sure someone can help you. When posting in a thread of existing posts, you must use the [Add Reply] button, or the [" Reply] button. That way your post appears in the threaded group of posts you are interested in. Using the [" Reply] button will include a quote of the post you are referencing in your post (using the button just below the text of that post). It will appear in your post just as my quote of your post appears here.

There is no way I can know a filename and extension for "your" backup; however, I can point you in the right direction.

Typically, the RootsMagic backup files are stored in a folder, with a filename the same as the name of your database, including a date in parentheses, and an extension of .ZIP as they are a set of files stored collectively in a single file. RootsMagic then extracts the inner files within that file in order to restore that backup version of your database.

To find your backup folder, and any backup files which were stored there, open RootsMagic software, and select Options... from the Tools menu. In Options you will see a selection (on the left) called Folders (beneath the category called Program Options). If you do not see Folders under Program Options, there should be a plus sign to the left of Program Options. Clicking that plus sign should expand it to show the option selections under it. When Folders is clicked, a list of folder location settings will display (on the right), among which is one for Backups. The hard drive address there is where you will find your files if you navigate there using Windows Explorer or My Computer.

However, to restore a backup, you do it from inside RootsMagic. If your database is open, close it using Close on the File menu. On the File menu, select Restore Backup... That will bring up a dialog box. In that dialog are two fields. The lower field should show the same hard drive address for backups as you will find above. The top field has a [Browse] button to the right of it. Use that [Browse] button to access any and all backup files you have at the location listed in the lower field. Select the desired file (typically your newest date of backup), and click the [Begin Restore] button. Follow the instructions RootsMagic gives after that.

If you have difficulties, try posting again on the board with more info.

Doug Couch

#23940 Lists -Persons Unlinked to Selected Person

Posted by Doug Couch on 14 February 2009 - 03:53 PM in RootsMagic 3

Alfred's suggestion seems to be exactly what you need. When you do Tools>Count trees in database, it creates a printable list of trees. That means that everyone who is in a tree not connected to your main tree, will show up in or as a separate tree. I just did it on my database to discover people who had been left behind when earlier deleting branches of people inadvertently added. There were all these small trees with one person or three persons, etc. Then I just navigated to them to review and see if they needed to be relinked or otherwise kept, or deleted. In your case, you can color-code those trees.

Example: My main tree showed with me at the root, and with over 7000 people in it. Then there were a few with 2 or 3 in them, and perhaps a dozen with only one person in them. Gave me control over my lost people who disappeared here and there when unlinking, changing relationships, etc., in addition to what I mentioned above.

Good luck...

#23845 European date formats?

Posted by Doug Couch on 03 February 2009 - 01:12 PM in RootsMagic 3

I'd like to add that all the variations which start with the year, then the month, then the day, such as below, are not simply common but very helpful, as when converted to text, that format sorts properly as ASCII text.


Preferably one would opt for the 4-digit year formats in genealogy...but this principle extends across all data storage needs, not simply genealogy. People storing the dates long before data processing or computers often did not use a 4-digit year.

When a program is recognizing data arriving by any means into a date field, the routine recognizing the data should automatically prompt and inquire about any 2-digit years, and/or if the data is irregular for a date field, allowing revision of the data in the prompt dialog. Even if this slows down an import to a crawl, that is better than dealing with date aberrations later on. Import routines could include scanning for date data irregularities throughout the entire origin dataset before proceeding with the import. In such a case, the irregularities could be grouped by type, with a list available of the individuals and events to which this anomaly applies. The user could conceivably be given a set of options per category, to globally revise date data for each anomaly type, and those changes be made and saved back into a revised copy of the origin file prior to import...then proceeding with the import according to a user-accepted choice.

Although the variations with alpha for the month (full, 3-char, etc.) are useful, ALL date formats of ANY variety, which are recognized...and I can't imagine not including a known common format...should be

1. Recognized as a date format
2. Stored in ONE format ONLY, regardless of all settings
(preferably one of the above w/YYYY)
3. Displayed or printed according to user (or default) settings
(display and print settings could be different)


An additional feature could be that for notations specific to a place, time period, particular calendar, etc., could be entered to include a code indicating which of these attributes apply. Then all dates could be displayed in the main setting, but when printing reports, could be flagged to display dates according to what they would have been at the time of the event (with or without a modern equivalent format alongside).

Doug Couch

#23806 RootsMagic & Pocket PC's

Posted by Doug Couch on 27 January 2009 - 07:31 PM in RootsMagic Wish List

The Pocket Genealogist sounds great. However, it indicates supporting "some" data types. Thus, going back and forth must lose "some other" data types.

Although I don't, I can use my pocket PC right now to access my home computer, load RM on my home computer, and view and operate it from my pocket PC (or any other software).

Although I haven't researched it thoroughly, there seem to be a few drawbacks to using a pocket PC.

1. Only one mini-USB port. This means I cannot utilize any peripherals if such exist for a pocket PC and plug in to use on the adaptor at the same time. I would need (preferably) a plug in full size keyboard such as a roll-up, a mini-mouse (rather than touch screen). Still, I could do without these; however, entering data from a touch screen or micro-keyboard (mine has both) is a total nightmare. (Bluetooth is available for some devices.)

2. The format of the software on-screen is designed for a regular monitor, not for my tiny pocket PC screen, so navigating around is torture. I have done it though when I needed to do something at home.

I do the above using remote access software such as logmein.com. I also use teamviewer.com's, but don't know if they have a pocket PC version.

Having a selectable pocket PC size screen compatible format you could switch RM to would be helpful.

However, there is yet another approach. Instead of a full-size laptop, you could use a mini-laptop such as designed for children. I have one with RM on board (uses WinXP) and it is great, light and extremely compact (fits in a medium size purse). There is no CD/DVD on board, but has 3 USB ports, can utilize a bigger keyboard if desired, or even plug in a full size monitor where available. Has about a 9" screen so is very viewable and usable much like a regular PC or laptop.

Of course, with the mini, I can also use remote access to load and use RM on my home computer (where internet is available), and do my work directly in my main database with no transfering files needed at all. The mini-laptop with great features is available at Walmart for $348 + extended warrantee. I'm planning on buying another one (this one I bought for my wife LOL).

Doug Couch

#23788 Emigration or Immigration

Posted by Doug Couch on 26 January 2009 - 03:12 PM in RootsMagic Wish List

Ditto...RM has it correct. To leave is to emigrate (FROM). To settle into a new area is immigrate (TO). I also had them mixed up some time back, and had to look them up and revise my usage.

#23778 Language Accents

Posted by Doug Couch on 24 January 2009 - 02:26 PM in RootsMagic 3

Also, you can get or make a hard copy of the table for commonly used characters. On PCs, these "extended ASCII" characters are part of most common fonts, and are called by hardware calls to the operating system's subsystems related to font characters.

To access such characters directly (and there are several different tables which access the same characters), you hold down the Alt key while typing a 4-digit number, then release the key and the character appears. This works in almost any program without additional support. Some example codes are given here to give you the idea, however you can search the Internet and find several tables available with a more complete listing, which includes all kinds of punctuation, financial symbols, and other characters in addition to alpha characters.

Where two codes are given, the first is the capital letter, the second is lower case...
listed character code character code... (some are not alpha, but look similar to alpha)

0192 0224

0193 0225

0194 0226

0195 0227

0196 0228

0197 0229

0198 0230


0199 0231

0140 0156

0208 0240

0200 0232

0201 0233

0202 0234

0203 0235


0204 0236

0205 0237

0206 0238

0207 0239



0209 0241

0210 0242

0211 0243

0212 0244

0213 0245

0214 0246

0216 0248

0254 0222

0138 0154


00217 0249

0218 0250

0219 0251

0220 0252


0221 0253


0161 0191

^ 0094 0136

0134 0135
(footnote symbols)

0188 0189 0190

That should get you started...provided here because you won't have Ctrl-T available in all software.

#23711 Accessing Roots Magic through icons

Posted by Doug Couch on 16 January 2009 - 09:28 PM in RootsMagic 3

Of course, you could have a corrupted file in the program, requiring uninstall-reinstall...or you could have a corrupted file in your operating system, requiring...well you get the idea.

However, I once ran into this with RM and other software. I use a 2-monitor system, and I had disconnected the 2nd monitor without resetting properties. When I would open certain programs, the program would appear briefly, remain on the taskbar, but disappear. Turned out it was actually up, but was up on the other monitor...which was absent...a memorized positioning setting. Some programs will automatically revert to the main monitor if the other isn't actually polled and sensed as present, and others will not. If such a situation exists, you can either reset properties (desktop) or simply reconnect the other monitor. In the first instance, the program will now appear on the main (only) monitor. In the second instance, it will appear where (in memory setting) it always was, but not displayed until it had a monitor to display it on.

Anyway, that may not be your issue, but if so...there 'tis.

#23707 Sorting Parents Chronologically

Posted by Doug Couch on 16 January 2009 - 07:27 PM in RootsMagic 3

Your response makes me wonder: Did you go do the procedure offered? Or did you just say what you said? Your response sounded like you did not understand what was being told to you. If your drop-down list, shows them out of order, then perhaps you should do the procedure, then report whether that specific procedure worked to correct the problem or not. These things are easy to misunderstand or assume about when we talk here about them. (If you didn't keep the email with the procedure, check on the forum for it at rootsmagic.com.)

#23654 husband or father/wife or mother and more

Posted by Doug Couch on 08 January 2009 - 11:23 PM in RootsMagic 3

If RM is intuitive enough to know the difference for any report, then it is also intuitive enough to know the difference for the regular display. Question is, has this aspect been programmed to pick up that difference for that purpose? If not, then it should be done whenever time allows.

#23635 Creating RTF in Publisher

Posted by Doug Couch on 04 January 2009 - 10:47 AM in RootsMagic 3

Hi Jack,

I had noticed RM's Help comment earlier about RTF, photos, etc. Here is something you can research a bit. There is an original Rich Text Format (.rtf), and that format is text only, but allows font attribute enhancements such as bold, italic, color, etc. However, certain RTF editor programs which use the .rtf extension, and which refer to their documents as Rich Text Format, are not pure RTF in nature. An example of this is WordPad by Microsoft. You can capture and save text with photos in that editor's documents...called RTF documents. However, this is a modified RTF format, and is not literally RTF. They could be more clear by calling it Rich Text With Photos Capability Format. LOL

Although I don't use Publisher in the way you are describing, it is no surprise that the software has problems in that area. I have used Publisher for years, including (as an editor) for publishing a half-page format booklet newsletter, both in hard copy with professional printers, and in sequentially paginated PDF. For what it is, Publisher is a great program, one I use in preference to the much more expensive and extensive Adobe InDesign at times because of its direct simplicity to do certain things without a hassle. Of course, that really is comparing apples and oranges.

If you can get a decent output saving/exporting as a Word .doc file, do that instead. Then load the .doc file into Word and see if Word will give you a decent .rtf save/export, because it may handle the WordPad style RTF format conversion with photos better (and may not).

If nothing works for you in this, I'm not sure why anyone would specifically need an RTF file of this rather than a PDF file. The PDF file format (Portable Document Format) was specifically created for exporting multiple formats into a single, cross platform-readable format capable of including all text, attributes, photos, charts, and basically anything that would otherwise have been sent to a printer. If whatever you have does not create a PDF accurately, there are freebies on the web which can be downloaded and used as a printer driver (selectable in the Print dialog) to create PDFs from basically "any" program capable of operating system-based printer output. These work similarly to Adobe's "Adobe PDF" printer driver, one of Adobe Acrobat Professional's options for creating PDF files. Some are better than others, so don't give up if you try one and are dissatisfied.

Good luck, Doug (couchdouglas@aol.com)

#23609 Basic USB 101 Help

Posted by Doug Couch on 31 December 2008 - 03:12 AM in RootsMagic 3

Although very different physically and how they work, a flash drive's storage capability works exactly the same as a regular drive. So, copying whatever you want to it is fine.

Best to organize your databases. You called them "books"...so it is unclear what you're dealing with. If you are talking about RootsMagic database files, then each one has a separate name, no matter where each one is stored. If you have not modified the storage location for any of them, most likely they are all in the same folder. Whatever you set your database files storage folder to be...they're there. If you didn't choose one of your own, they will be in the default folder. Look for a folder which has any files in it with the .rmg extension at the end. You will find SETS of files all with the same name and different extensions (dot whatever). The ".rmg" file is the main file, but the entire set of files with the same name are required for RootsMagic to create the database when you load the ".rmg" file.

Before you deal with the flash drive, separate the various databases into separate folders and open them from there when you want them. Name the folders the same as the databases. Wouldn't hurt to test and make sure they open correctly (i.e.-you got all the files in each set together to the new folders).

Then copy entire folders with their respective databases to your flash drive. That way anytime you want to copy any particular database, you can just copy the entire folder, and paste it elsewhere.

Final note: If you do this, remember that anytime when going in either direction, if you copy the database back to the other location, it will overwrite the existing one. Even though you might want only the newer version, MAKE A COPY OF THE EXISTING DATABASE FIRST!!! In the folder you will be pasting TO...create a folder called "backup"...and create a backup copy of the files about to be overwritten before pasting in the new version to the regular folder. This is not about backup done from RootsMagic...but a copy of the working files. Once you make a copy-paste backup and paste in the new version as well, then when you open the database, make a (RootsMagic function) backup to that drive for extra protection.

If you copy regular working files (sets) back and forth, making backups each time, you will save yourself a lot of heartache. And that is better than using RootsMagic's backup function, which is not as efficient for moving databases back and forth because it requires conversion and reconversion in each direction, making it more possible for error creation and propagation. The program's backup feature should be for an extra redundent backup. It is also better than exporting and importing GEDCOM files, which also require conversion and reconversion in each direction. Copy-Paste is a much more reliable transfer method.

#23527 Curious Dates

Posted by Doug Couch on 17 December 2008 - 04:16 PM in RootsMagic 3

It is rather curious that this forum thinks people became member of it in 04.

#23526 RM 3.2.6 Will not restore Backup

Posted by Doug Couch on 17 December 2008 - 03:56 PM in RootsMagic 3

The solution offered by ibensOn is the standard solution, also available in the FAQ section. However, there are a couple more you might try.

1. Import a GEDCOM created by RM on your original computer...onto the Win95 computer. When prompted, have it create a new database on the fly.

2. Manually copy ALL the files with the same filename as the .rmg file to a disk or flash drive (whichever works), and paste them into a folder on the Win95 machine (doesn't matter what the folder is called). Then attempt to Open that database from the Open dialog on the Win95 machine. NOTE: Manual copies of regular files works better than using multiple conversions used by backup-restore and export GEDCOM-import GEDCOM.

Since this same database is working on the original machine, if it will not open/create properly on the Win95 machine, there are a few possibilities as to why.

1. The installation on the Win95 machine has errors, corrupted a file during installation, or similar. Uninstall and reinstall "might" help.

2. Incompatible versions of, or corrupted versions of system files in...Win95 might prevent perfect file creation for some types of files. That would require some research...and probably come up with nil.

3. The installation of RM on the original computer might have a problem. It may work fine, but have a problem with a file used in creating backups, etc. Uninstall and reinstall of RM on the original machine, and then retrying the backup/restore and/or other methods to the laptop "might" help.

4. The media (floppy or other) might have a problem. Try using a different media (different disk or other method of transfer...not many methods available in Win95 of course). If the Win95 machine has internet, you might try transferring the files over the Internet using email attachment, or remote access (such as TeamViewer.com free for personal, "may" require broadband). If a CDROM is available, you might try burning the files onto a CD.

Walmart has an Acer brand (been around since before Dell and Gateway) mini-laptop with XP on board, 1GB RAM, 120GB drive, etc., for $348. The keyboard is slightly smaller than many, but very usable (I just bought one for a special purpose), and if you really need a bigger one, you can use a USB keyboard such as a flexible roll-up keyboard or other. The screen is smaller than typical, but again very usable, especially if you don't plan to use it for all your work (and when using it more intensely, you can add a monitor and use it with both monitors as one...I do that on my main laptop a lot, using a 22" LCD monitor as primary, and the laptop monitor for a few things I don't want in my way but want easily available).

#23447 Multiple Relationships Fact and Flagged in Views

Posted by Doug Couch on 08 December 2008 - 02:30 PM in RootsMagic Wish List

brother & sister are also father in law/ daughter in law
mother & son are also brother in law/ sister in law

This is sometimes the tip of the iceberg. There needs to be a multiple relationships fact with multiple data sets inside it...showing the additional relationships a person has to the children being viewed in that family view. Then there needs to be a Multiple Relationships flag appearing in the family view so that you are immediately made aware that there have been some raccoons in the woodshed...several of them. This gets way more complex than having natural parents and adoptive parents...but includes some of that too.

Just kidding around here, but you get the idea. There is a need for better handling of multiple relationships.

#23403 Files between laptop and PC

Posted by Doug Couch on 02 December 2008 - 11:07 PM in RootsMagic 3

QUOTE(Jim Belanger @ Dec 2 2008, 07:32 PM) View Post

I copy the backup to my "stick".

Sounds like a good procedure overall, and has the advantage of syncing. I have always preferred the copy-paste of ready to use files, eliminating one level (times 2) of converting/translating document formats, and thus one level (times 2) of potential error-generation. Using the backup file instead is particularly handy though, since it is not a handful of files, which for some reason RM creators decided to maintain as separate files. For myself personally, I just do most all my work at home anyway.

#23397 individual adopted and name changed

Posted by Doug Couch on 02 December 2008 - 06:57 PM in RootsMagic 3

QUOTE(suemax @ Dec 2 2008, 02:35 PM) View Post

I have a situation where a mother died after birth of TB, and she wished for her son to go the the sister and husband of her husband. These people adopted him and changed his name completely- nothing similar at all. I cannot figure out how to put in two names for one person. He even, when older, changed his middle name.

I suggest, rather than pick an arbitrary documentation-supported choice for a person's name (which may change with additional documentation), that you use a standard. Some people use name at birth if known (i.e.-"given name"...as evidenced by the common name for that field), while some use name at death (which is more dependent upon the recollection of the informant than any records). I suggest using birth name...for that is who the person is by name, from the beginning. It is only later that a name is changed, and in some cases, names were changed often, not just once (such as in native Americans changing their name for various reasons, including just to survive). These additional names are confusing, to say the least, but if all are related to one, it should be the first one...not one picked from a list.

As to adoption, show two sets of parents for the same person, and they will show up under both sets of parents. As to a different name post adoption, that is still a name change, and not the original birth name. So, the person would show up in both family groups as the same person, which keeps it clear that they are indeed the same person...and the alternate name facts with notes for each, would clarify any relationships and changes as could be documented. My mother changed her middle name arbitrarily...because she liked the other name better...and used it for life, and yet with no documentation of change, just its use on Soc Sec and all other documents she filled out info for herself. She also got her own birth year incorrect. One of my mother-in-laws changed both her first and middle names, and her husband's father changed his surname by adoption...so it can get quite complex. Add in some multiple relationships where one's mother is also their cousin, etc., and you see what I mean. So...best to have a specific, unchanging standard for all people in the database.

QUOTE(suemax @ Dec 2 2008, 02:35 PM) View Post

Also I wonder why some people do not show up on my person list. One that does not show up is the wife I just talked about. I have to go to her husband to find her. She is not listed at all. Sue dry.gif

About a name missing on the list. Be sure to check for extraneous spaces, etc., which might cause the name to sort differently, even though showing up in the family relationship view. You might even do this: Copy all information for the person beforehand, then delete the person from the database, then reenter them, and relink them to spouses and children.

#23379 Files between laptop and PC

Posted by Doug Couch on 01 December 2008 - 03:11 PM in RootsMagic 3

Additional notes regarding copy-paste of RM database files:

If your PC and laptop are both on a network for transfer, you can use Copy Database... in either direction rather than the manual process above...and definitely rather than GEDCOM export/import.

Also, using remote access, if your location where you are working with your laptop has a broadband hotspot or networked Internet plug-in port, and you are able to access the Internet on your laptop, you can actually open the RM database on your home PC and edit it directly instead of going back and forth between laptop and PC versions. Then you're doing your database editing on your laptop, but the changes are actually occurring on your PC (only).

A free remote access software (with free account) may be found at LOGMEIN.COM. I have used it for quite some time without problems. I use it to help senior neighbors to whom I've provided a recycled computer (which I get free), by working with them as they learn the computer. If you sign-up only for the free version, it is free. Drag-drop and other features disappear after the 30-day trial, but remote access remains, does not time out, does not bludgeon you with ads, and most importantly, allows you to remotely access your PC at home without someone on the other end approving that access. Takes a little practice, but then is (after login) very stable and as easy as using your home PC (although a little slower). They even have a mobile unit software download for accessing your account by PC phone (I have done this using a tilt-phone with Windows Mobile). You would not want to run RM and try to operate it by PC phone (as that would drive you crazy), but you do have that capability to check on anything on your home computer even when your laptop is not available. Even though drag-drop is not available on the free version after trial, I have pulled up my PC from afar, found the file I needed, attached it to an email and emailed it to myself at the remote location. Say, uh, you forgot to update your RM database before leaving on a 100-mile journey?

#23378 Files between laptop and PC

Posted by Doug Couch on 01 December 2008 - 02:49 PM in RootsMagic 3

IF your database on the laptop has changed...AND IF your database on your PC has not changed since you left it (i.e.-there is not someone else editing it while you're away)...then you can simply copy-paste the entire RM database files set. To do that...

AND BELIEVE ME, THIS IS FAR FAR BETTER THAN EXPORTING/IMPORTING GEDCOM FILES!!! (Just takes a little preparation to save yourself countless GEDCOM-generated miseries.)

1. Locate your RootsMagic files and the folder containing your (PC main) database.
===a. on your laptop
===b. on your PC

2. On your PC, make an empty backup folder, naming it the name of the database + BK

3. On your PC, enter the folder where your (PC main) database resides. [Note: If you have more than one database in the same folder, be sure to copy only the files with the name of your PC main database.] Copy all the files (of your PC main database).

4. On your PC, enter the new folder (with suffix BK), and paste the database files into there (as PC main BK). This will allow you to have a backup in case you think one thing and do another. This database copy should be exactly the same as your PC main (before the following laptop-related procedure).

5. On your laptop, enter the folder where your (laptop main) database resides. [Note: If you have more than one database in the same folder, be sure to copy only the files with the name of your laptop main database.] Copy all the files (of your laptop main database).

6. Through whatever means of transfer you are using...
===a. On your PC, enter the folder where your (PC main) database resides.
===b. On your PC, paste the files (copied from your laptop) into your PC main database folder, overwriting the files there (ONLY AFTER YOU HAVE MADE A COPY AS GIVEN ABOVE...THE BACKUP COPY SHOULD BE A "REGULAR COPY" RATHER THAN A "BACKUP").
Note: If the method of files transfer from laptop to PC does not allow copy-paste per se, then select the files of the laptop main database, and transfer them to the PC main database folder, overwriting those files (after backup copy is made).

This will work easily, accurately, without any need created to merge or worry about what data went where. Exporting and importing GEDCOM files is a risky business at best, and when it includes ANY type of merging requirements to get it all together as you wish, using this simple copy-paste method will bypass all that nonsense, and update your PC's database to match your updated laptop's database. If you're using GEDCOM import/export, you're begging for headaches. This will not give you a headache if followed as given. Once you know where your files are located, it's a breeze.

Final notes: If you happen to have more than one database in the same folder, take the time to create separate folders for each database, and move the files for each one to its own folder. The only time you would not want to do this, is if you have two or more databases that you use constantly, and would be likely to want to update more than one of them when you're out and about with your laptop. In that case, you can leave them in one folder, and when you do the above copy-paste procedure, just copy-paste them all at the same time, to assure that all of them are updated together. Since the copy-paste is a short process, it shouldn't make any difference.


#23347 Duplicates

Posted by Doug Couch on 22 November 2008 - 09:17 PM in RootsMagic 3

Yes, as most have said. merge not delete. When you delete duplicate people, you may have some data in one and not in another...and deleting loses one set of data. Merging, keeps all data for the person; however ends up with certain multiple facts...which you can then decide between.

The important thing is figuring out why you are getting the duplicates. Duplicates often occur when using drag-drop between databases. The selections allowable tend to overlap for some things. Furthermore, RM's drag-drop is not that intelligent of a function as yet.

Example: When you are adding a spouse, etc., RM will ask if you want to use an existing name, even though the name OBVIOUSLY could not be the correct person...unintelligent move. The reverse of this type of move is when drag-dropping people who are exact or very close matches, it does not provide a walk-through comparison list to allow you to merge.

This should be developed. When such a list is presented (such as was available even in dinosaur Family Tree Maker 4, although not with drag-drop), it should also give side-by-side selectable facts to choose between (or concatenate as an additional option...i.e.: this, that or both). It is unfortunate that such a useful function as drag-drop can save tons of time, and yet create new problems requiring more time. Time to pause on developing new functions and finish up on some like this, that have never really been completed.