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#96379 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 11 January 2020 - 03:55 PM in Discussion


I will look into the PDF approach as a a way to distribute a Publisher book. It sounds very promising. And the reader's ability to zoom in an a given media sounds especially interesting.




My tests have shown this  works very well. It is also very easy to drop a book PDF onto a thumb drive for distribution. I forgot to mention, but I am thinking about creating books for each of my "direct ancestors" and make the scope  include spouses, children, etc. and go back as many generations as needed. usually 5-6 will do it. This is working for most of our family lines for my wife and I.


#96372 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 10 January 2020 - 05:13 PM in Discussion

The purpose of my original post on this subject was to determine if there was a way to include multiple media images in a Narrative report. The answer was no. However, because of various suggestions posted in reply, I looked into the RM Publisher function in more detail. I had not really used it previously. As a test I created a book with multiple chapters for the patriarch of one of my family lines. I included his spouse and children in the scope. The cover, title, table of contents, etc were all for the his family's history. I added a chapter for his Narrative report and another for his Family Group sheet. I then included chapters for each member of the immediate family (father, mother, children), for their individual scrapbooks. All the settings for the Book were accomplished in the Publisher tool. All the settings for the media in each person's scrapbook were controlled in the individual's media gallery. This included whether or not to include the media, and the order of presentation for each event. When I published the book, all the details about the family were either in the Family Goup sheet or in the Narrative report. Each person's scrapbook was included in the order of the chapters, and included all the media images with the "include in scrap book" setting turned on. My book now includes a narrative family history, family group details, and many images included in the family member's scrapbooks (presented in the order of the book chapters listed). After publishing the Book, I saved it to a PDF file. This allows the reader to zoom in on a given media to see greater details. This technique seems to provide everything I was looking for, although I'm sure there is a lot more to learn about using Publisher. My next goal is to explore how to expand this technique to include multiple generations.
I want to thank everyone again for their ideas and suggestions.

#96334 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 08 January 2020 - 11:45 AM in Discussion

One more thing (and similar to zhangrau's approach), I have considered using RM's Publisher feature to create a multi-chapter book with the main chapter being a narrative report without photos and with other chapters being photo galleries created by RM. It's an excellent approach. I'm not sure why I haven't gone that way, but so far I haven't.




That's an excellent idea. I'll try it.

I also had thought of using publisher to ceate a report (narrative etc), and to generate a scrapbook, and save both as PDF's. Then combine the two PDF's into one. However, that is basically the same as your idea except a lot more work.


#96333 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 08 January 2020 - 09:18 AM in Discussion

I have yet one more question that perhaps has an obvious answer. Have you tried including documents such as death certificates or census pages in any of your printed scrapbooks? I think the basic problem is getting the images large enough to be legible on the printed page. On the Web as with GedSite, such images can appear as thumbnails or large thumbnails and you can click on them to see them full size. You can't click on a piece of paper. And if you distribute $5.00 thumb drives instead of pieces of paper, can you make the images clickable to expand them if they are RM's scrapbooks? Or can you just have RM make them appear big enough in RM's scrapbooks in the first place?




Yes, I have included such documents in my scrapbooks, and yes, I have noticed the size and legibility issue. I tried changing the scrapbook row/column settings and that did help some. However, most of my readers for my tree data are family members. Most of them are not using their own Genealogy software. A few are using A.com and I have a tree there that I maintain with TreeShare. They mostly just want reports (books), not necessarily printed. Because of the size of the files, I have been saving them to thumb drives and giving those as gifts etc. Of course the images are attached to events/facts in RM, but unless the reader has access they would not see the images in reports unless they are included in a scrapbook. I'm not sure what the answer would be for this. You could put the documents in a PDF and include that on the thumb drive, but that creates a who new set of indexing problems, etc.


If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears.



#96326 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 07 January 2020 - 04:02 PM in Discussion

You are correct, RM7 will only include one "primary" photo per person in the narrative reports.


Some users save their reports in RTF format, open it in a full-fledged word processor, and add additional photos. This will change the page length of the narrative report, so it will also be necessary to update the indices. EDIT: And Table of Contents.


I've taken a different approach. I create a dummy individual named "[scrapbook] Surname". This will be used to create a Person Scrapbook, including as many photos as desired (I've done scrapbooks with several hundred photos).







Thanks again for the hint on the "dummy person" approach. I have tried it, but I have a few more questions. Basically I have completed the following:
Created "dummy" person
Created the two "custom" fact types
Tested the creation of a "test" family scrapbook
Where I am still "fuzzy" is on the steps involved to assign media to the dummy person. I assume the process would be to create a media tag in the tree member's profile pointing to the dummy person's profile. However, does this mean I have to create facts in the dummy persons profile for each fact type in the tree member's profile?
Example - The tree member has a birth certificate document attached to his/her birth fact. I am thinking I would need to create a birth fact in the dummy person's profile, and then create a media tag pointing to that fact. If so, what would be the purpose of the two custom fact types? (Alternate Name Separator? Scrapbook list?).
Could you elaborate a little further on the steps required please?
Thank you very much.

#96314 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 06 January 2020 - 09:05 AM in Discussion

Thanks to all who responded.

As I suspected, it's a "one photo per tree member".

The various approaches folks advised are very interesting and I'm going to look into them.

There is also another possibility, "Personal Historian". I've just starting playing with that one, so I'll have to see if it will do the trick.

I'd prefer to be able o generate narrative reports off of RM and not have to deal with a whole other side software.

Anyway, this has been helpful.

Thanks again


#96306 Narrative Reports with Media

Posted by Rick Landrum on 05 January 2020 - 04:10 PM in Discussion

I have only recently begun to use "Narrative Reports" in RM7. I have read the help files and searched this forum. However, I have a question.


In the preferences for the report/ book options I have selected "include photos". My subject has numerous photos in their profile. Some are attached to "Person", some to "events/facts", and some are attached to sources.


To date, I have not been able to get any media to be included in the report except for the tagged as the primary "photo for the person". 


Any suggestions as to what I may be missing?


Any hints appreciated.




#96161 Copying a full branch of a tree

Posted by Rick Landrum on 20 December 2019 - 08:19 AM in Discussion

Drag n Drop between versions has never worked. Neither can you drag n drop between RM To-Go and the desktop version. It has to be done inside the same program between databases.

Thanks Renee,

Got it


#96153 Copying a full branch of a tree

Posted by Rick Landrum on 19 December 2019 - 02:26 PM in Discussion


We don't know for sure, but my guess is that it would be highly doubtful. If I had RM8 already and if I wanted to Drag and Drop some people into it from a totally different RM7 database, I would expect first to open the totally different RM7 database in RM8. I would expect that this would be some sort of import operation that would leave the RM7 unchanged while making a new RM8 database.. If my expectation in this regard is wrong and that it actually converts the RM7 database to RM8 in place, then I would first copy the totally different RM7 database and work in the copy so as to leave the original RM7 base unchanged. Either way, at this point I would have my RM8 database and my totally different RM7 database now in RM8 format, and I would expect to drag and drop between the two RM8 databases.


There is obviously a bit of guesswork here since RM8 is not yet out the door, but my guess is probably pretty close. The reason I suspect an import from an old RM7 database to a new RM8 database will be the way it will work is that I suspect RM8 will have some new SQLite tables or some new columns in existing SQLite tables or both. It would be hard hard (and probably also very unwise) to try to accomplish such an update in place.






I just have been thinking about how to handle RM7 tree members that have not been thoroughly reviewed/revised before I put them in RM8. I get what you are saying about creating two RM8 databases, one from RM7 and the other a "new" and improved version in RM8. I would then only update (or drag and drop) into the new RM8 tree after revisions have been made to the old tree. This way my new RM8 tree would be "clean". Sorry to ramble, well we will just have to wait and see.....



#96146 Copying a full branch of a tree

Posted by Rick Landrum on 19 December 2019 - 09:02 AM in Discussion

Drag and Drop is your friend on this one.


Open both databases in RM at the same time. The two databases will be in two different sub-windows on the screen at the same time.


Drag the common ancestor from one database to the other. A dialog will open asking if you want to copy just that one person, or if you want to copy multiple people. Choose the multiple people option and mark all the descendants of the common ancestor.


First time users of Drag and Drop often get the impression that you can only drag and drop one person at a time, and therefore they have the impression that they will will have to do the drag and drop operation 500 different times. But you can do it all with a single drag and drop, and you can mark all 500 descendants to copy at a single go.


The marking dialog can be a little tricky for a first time user of it. You might want to make copies of both databases to practice on. Once you get the hang of it (which shouldn't take too long), you can do it for real on your production databases.





Do we know yet if "drag and drop" will work from say RM7 to RM8?


#96127 Release Date for RM8

Posted by Rick Landrum on 17 December 2019 - 08:03 AM in Discussion

The current list price to upgrade to RM7 from a previous version or from a competing product is $19.95. The fee to upgrade to RM8 has not been published but RM has said it will increase so let's assume it will be $29.95.

So the question for you is whether $30 is trivial or not. There's a risk that RM8 may not be what you want or may never come out. If that's what happens, is an extra licence for RM7, one for Personal Historian and the associated books of value to you?

You could wait for RM8 release, see what the user reviews say, try out the free Essentials version before purchasing the upgrade.


I think I will fall into the "wait and see" camp.  It's not the $30 so much as it is my time. I'd rather spend it on my research instead of working through a learning curve, and possible bug fixes, with RM8. Hoping for the best.


#96114 Editing shared fact role title

Posted by Rick Landrum on 16 December 2019 - 09:38 AM in Discussion

Thanks Jerry,

That was the problem. I was trying to edit it from the shared fact it's self. When I went to the fact type list I was able to do it just fine.


#96111 Editing shared fact role title

Posted by Rick Landrum on 16 December 2019 - 09:09 AM in Discussion

How can you edit (change or delete) a shared fact role title?

In RM7 The edit function allows you to select a different role, or add a new one, but I have not been able to find how to change the role title or delete a role.(for example, I mistyped a name for a new role and now I want to correct it but can't).

Thanks for any help


#96089 Improved method for Copying Events

Posted by Rick Landrum on 13 December 2019 - 04:23 PM in Discussion

 TreeShare makes a brave effort to work around this problem by storing RM's fact notes as funny kind of sources in ancestry. So the data is not lost, but it is not stored in a very helpful place. This is surely the reason you chose to store your census notes in RM's general person note. It's not an ideal solution, but it's probably the least bad solution available to you.


Yes, that is why I choose the "general person note" as a place for the comment about referring to the head of the family census record for details. I had considered placing that note in the Ancestry "Comments", which would work, but then I would have added another set of steps to have to go to Ancestry and paste in the note. The only reason I'm even concerned about that is because I have several members of my family who use Ancestry.



#96084 Improved method for Copying Events

Posted by Rick Landrum on 13 December 2019 - 09:10 AM in Discussion

Jerry and Tom,

After some days reflection on your responses to my question, I have decided how I am going to proceed as follows.
First, a couple of points.
1) I use RootsMagic as my primary genealogy platform. I use Ancestry primarily, but extensively, as a research source. My reluctance to use event/fact sharing was because I could not transfer shared events/facts through TreeShare to sync with my Ancestry tree.  Actually my goal should have been to make my RM tree as complete and accurate as possible, instead of trying to make my two trees the exact same.
2) We do not know what or how RM8 is going to contain as far as event/fact memorizarion and pasting, or how TreeShare will be changed.
As a result, I have decided to use the following process, (at least for shared census records):
1) Complete the census citation (with notes, sources, and media, for the "head of the family", usually the father.
2) Use the RM Share tool to share this event/fact with members of the census family (very fast and efficient). (Use sharing roles: head, wife, census family member, etc).
The shared census record (with notes, source, and media) will appear in each RM shared person's edit person (profile) screen, and works fine for reports, etc.
3) Post a general "person" note in RM for all census family members, except the "head". This will transfer to Ancestry.
example - [Note: There are shared census records for this person in RootsMagic which can not be synchronized with Ancestry.com through TreeShare - Ancestry readers refer to the head of the family for original census event details].
4) Use TreeShare to maintain the fact/event on my Ancestry tree (recognizing that the census record will only be updated for the "head"). Other census family members will only have the shared census note posted to Ancestry, but RM will reflect the event. Ancestry readers can reference the complete census details by reviewing the census head person's record.
Running Tom's SQLite script later, to convert shared events to regular events, remails a future option if  RM8 does not break that script. However, it seems unnecessary if one accepts the above approach regarding Ancestry with the census details being available in the head persons record.
This seems to be the only viable process for me, at least until we know what RM8 will offer.
Thanks for the the feedback.

#96068 Improved method for Copying Events

Posted by Rick Landrum on 07 December 2019 - 08:05 AM in Discussion

However, watch out for RM8 to break the script. The preview video shows that there is an enhancement to 'share' citations. That will necessitate a change in the database structure and I would expect there to be potential consequences to all of my scripts that work with the CitationTable.

Got it.

Wonder if R8 will have anything new on the "copy events" front......similar to share but just straight memorize and paste??


#96064 Improved method for Copying Events

Posted by Rick Landrum on 06 December 2019 - 07:42 AM in Discussion


That said, have we not already discussed my other technique? Use RM's shared events functions and then run my script to convert the shares into standard events? That should be the most efficient approach.


Actually, I did not think of that approach. I have sucessfully used this script before, so that would work.

Thanks for the help.


#96058 Improved method for Copying Events

Posted by Rick Landrum on 05 December 2019 - 04:12 PM in Discussion


I was aware of that, but mostly my need revolves around a family unit and not a group per se. I could add them all to a group and then use the script to update them but that sort of seems like "six of one or a half dozen of the other".  :rolleyes:


I had also thought of placing a note with the Head's census record referring to the other family members. However, that gets messy when others review the info unless they have the complete tree. However, something like that may be the best option, short of using the process I previously described, at least until an "event copy" functionality is available.



#96055 Improved method for Copying Events

Posted by Rick Landrum on 05 December 2019 - 09:31 AM in Discussion

Looking for a short cut -
For reasons previously discussed at length in this forum, I do not use shared events. However, since you can not copy and paste an event in RM from one tree member to another, I have been using this technique:
Share the event with the person to be copied to, go to that person and create a new event of the same type. Copy and paste data from the shared event to new event field by field. Also memorize and paste sources, and tag media to the new person. Next unshare the "copy to" person for the event from the "copy from" person.
This works, but takes for-e-v-e-r, especially if copying say a census record from the father to the wife and to each of the children. Many families have many children.
I am searching for a "short cut" process to accomplish this.
Any suggestions??

#95974 Changing Parent for all children in Family

Posted by Rick Landrum on 22 November 2019 - 08:39 AM in Discussion

Have you tried


1 Close RM

2 Open RM

3 File Database Tools (run all top to bottom)

4 If any tool finds a problem repeat steps 1 thru 3 until no problems are reported.

4 Close RM

5 Open RM

6 Check family

That worked fine - must have been phantom records



#95966 Changing Parent for all children in Family

Posted by Rick Landrum on 21 November 2019 - 03:46 PM in Discussion

Thanks Renee,

That worked


In my specific example I ran across today, the mother had 10 children. The father was "unknown spouse". I linked the mother to the correct husband/father and used the family method you described. The children now belong to that family. I unlinked the mother from the unknown spouse.


Now I have a slightly different issue. There were 10 children. I now have 12. The last two have no information, but child #11 and #12 are listed. RM will not let me delete them. It keeps telling me I have to select the person to be deleted (or unlinked). How do I get rid of these two phantom children?



#95964 Changing Parent for all children in Family

Posted by Rick Landrum on 21 November 2019 - 09:44 AM in Discussion

Is there a way to change a parent for all children in a large family at the same time?

Example -

10 children, associated to same mother

discovered father was listed in error

need to change father for all children to correct father


Can do one at a time, but wondering if it can be done in mass?



#95911 Historic vs current event locations / places

Posted by Rick Landrum on 13 November 2019 - 08:09 PM in Discussion

Pretty much just like I thought....I'll watch the place details though...hadn't thought of that.

Thanks again


#95908 Historic vs current event locations / places

Posted by Rick Landrum on 13 November 2019 - 01:27 PM in Discussion

One last question in this regard.


What happens when you merge places? From what I have seen in my own updates, it appears that all records with a given place are updated to reflect the change when merged. For example, if the place list has a dozen different versions of "anywhere USA', and you update one of them and then merge the others to it, then everywhere that those places were posted would be updated to reflect the primary place description and notes after the merge. 


I just want to be sure I'm not missing something before I do much of this.




#95907 Historic vs current event locations / places

Posted by Rick Landrum on 12 November 2019 - 09:33 AM in Discussion

Thanks to all for the feedback. I think I have my main question answered. I am not a "genealogist", at most I guess I am an "amateur genealogist". However, I do have a desire to "get things right". My audiance (family and friends) are not genealogists either. They just want to know when and where something happened, expressed in a way that they can understand. It appears there are many differing opinions about how to handle place names.


I think the best solution, for me, is to follow Jerry's initial advice. Enter place names as they existed at the time of the event, enter clarifying notes as needed, turn off  RM's "County Check", use RM's Gazetteer as a quick reference, and use the most authoritative research available to help explain the name used in historical context.


I have run numerous report tests including events with place names entered in this way, and everything seems to work fine.


Thanks again