Safely Move from Free-form Citations to Source Fields in Reunion

As you saw in a previous video about the dangers of free-form citations, genealogy software Reunion for Mac allows you to create source citations by entering source information into a free-form text field, but there are pitfalls to entering citations this way.

The free-form citation field in Reunion for Mac is exported with a GEDCOM tag that may not import as desired. Most of the source fields on the other hand, will export with well supported tags. Moving your free-form citations into source fields will help you preserve the effort you’ve put into your genealogy research.

In this video I show you a process I developed for safely moving free-form citations to source fields. It even works when the source is used for multiple people and events.


  1. Linda Wilky says

    One of the most useful and helpful videos yet. I am very glad you showed this census one so clearly, since it’s such a “big” group of sources for most of us. I wanted to be sure how to do it properly before I tackled any of them. Thank you again!

  2. says

    You’re welcome Linda. Thanks for commenting. It helps me develop and prioritize topics to cover.

    —-Ben >@<

  3. Jeff Ford says


    When you get to the free-form text window at about the 3:40 mark, you say that you want to CUT the relevant portions out and paste them into the proper Source fields. Wouldn’t you want to COPY those portions and paste them so that when you finished with your cut and pasting that you would still have the free-form citation in its original form? That way you could check and see if you missed anything in the transfer process. I know you have the original copy of your family file, but as you said in the beginning, you don’t want to touch that until you finished working in the copy/duplicate file. That’s the way that I would do it. Copy and paste instead of cut and paste.

    • says

      Hi, Jeff.

      Your way works too.

      You and I have different means of achieving the same result. I prefer to methodically cut and paste each piece so that what remains in the free-form citation represents work remaining to be done. You’re correct that I feel safe doing it this way at least in part because I work with a fresh copy of the family file.

      Best regards,

      —-Ben >@<

    • says

      Hi, Elisabeth. Thanks for passing on that news and feedback. Let me know if I can help you any other way.

      For anyone not familiar with the email list, you can learn more at

      —-Ben >@<

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