About Ben Sayer+

Father and husband. Family historian. Founder, Mint Yogi LLC. Creator, GenealogyTools.com, PracticalCitation,com, and Lineascope.com.

Posts by Ben Sayer

Adding Names in Family Tree Maker

Name Editing Window in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2Storing names in genealogy software seems simple enough at first glance, right? While Family Tree Maker makes it comparatively simple, it’s still a bit tricky when adding name variations, AKAs, suffixes, titles, and multi-word surnames.

Learning how to enter names will speed your evidence capture so you can focus on the fun family history activities: research, analysis, and storytelling. Those fun bits will be easier too! All the information and evidence will be organized.

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Adding Death Dates to the Reunion 9 Index

Index window including death dates in genealogy software Reunion 9 for Mac.The index feature in Reunion 9 for Mac software presents a list of person records in your family file. It is useful for navigating your genealogy tree, linking people, marking people for operations like reporting and deletion, and is an initial step for creating an index of individuals report.

All of these functions are enhanced by the ability to modify the columns displayed in the index. In particular, finding an intended individual is easier when sufficient information is present to differentiate similar records.

Reunion enables you to add, remove, and change the order of columns. You can add a column then tell the software what to display in it.

By default the index displays names, birth date, and birth place. These are usually sufficient to distinguish one individual from another. It’s also helpful to see the death date as well.
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The Secret to Standardized Source Citation Ratings in Family Tree Maker 2012 and Mac 2

Using standardized source citation ratings in Family Tree Maker can help you make solid conclusions about facts. You’ve probably heard of original versus derivative sources, primary versus secondary information, and direct versus indirect evidence. That’s what FTM calls standardized source citation ratings. They also add a rating for clarity of the information–clear versus marginal. And both the Mac and 2012 versions support standardized ratings.

Unfortunately, the feature’s isn’t used by default. The source rating stars are there for you to set. The standard ratings are a bit hidden in the source rating window. The bonus is that by using the standard ratings, the number of stars is set automagically!
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Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and 2012 Feature Comparison

Wondering what’s in Family Tree Maker 2012 and not in Family Tree Maker for Mac 2? I’ve got the answer for you.

I took the Family Tree Maker columns from the Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison and PC Genealogy Software Feature Comparison tables. I think this will answer your question about what’s missing from Family Tree Maker for Mac 2.

The Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 and 2012 Feature Comparison is on the Mac Genealogy Software Feature Comparison page.

I would have cut to the chase by putting a short list of the differences here, but I don’t want to keep it updated in more than one place. Click the link above. It will take you directly to the start of the section on the page. You won’t have to search for it.

Source Citation Find and Replace in Reunion for Mac

People with Found Detail Window from Reunion for Mac Genealogy SoftwareFinding and replacing text in your family file is irregularly needed, but can save you time when you can use it. Turning over this tedious task to Reunion makes more family history research time available to you. That is, provided you carefully define your search criteria and backup your Reunion family file first!

Reunion has search and replace well covered everywhere except source citation details. The fields within the source record are all available to the Find -> Replace feature on the menu-bar–no problem there.

The trouble is that source detail isn’t a field in the source record and it isn’t a field in the event or fact. It’s a link between a source record and an event or fact. This is as it should be; it allows you to cite a single source for multiple events and facts and on different person records.
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January 2012 Update to Family Tree Maker for Mac 2

The Ancestry blog has news today of a set of fixes available now for Family Tree Maker for Mac 2. Here’s what the post says is fixed:

  • Performance and stability improvements
  • Improvements to resolve sync errors
  • Improvements for handling downloaded media in synced trees
  • Syncing of accepted and rejected hints
  • Option to include/exclude Ancestry media in synced trees

I haven’t received my copy yet, so I haven’t tried it out. Let me know in a comment if it fixes any problems you’ve experienced or not.

How to Backup A Reunion Family File

Are you regularly backing up your Reunion family files? Making a backup is important for more than protecting your precious research in the event of hard drive failures and catastrophes. Be sure to make a copy of your family file before making significant changes to your family file. Reunion for Mac’s creator, Leister Productions, even recommends making a backup before you make any changes. Whether you’re that cautious or not, you’ll eventually want to make a backup. There are basically two ways to make a backup copy of a family file.

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Holiday Sale 25% off Family Tree Maker 2012

Family Tree Maker 2012 is on sale starting today. A new copy is on sale for %25 off. An upgrade is discounted 30%. Click here to take advantage of the sale price on Family Tree Maker 2012. If you want more information first, see the GenealogyTools.com Family Tree Maker 2012 Buyer’s Guide.

I don’t know if the the Mac version will be similarly discounted after the Family Tree Maker for Mac 2 pre-sale is over.