Date Format Secrets in Reunion 9

I love it when I get questions from my fellow MacGenealogists. It helps me to produce content that will be helpful. Chances are that if you have a question, others have the same question. Dwaine asked this question in a comment yesterday:

When I first started doing research into my family tree, I opened folder using heading such as Births, Deaths etc. In the folder I filed the information under dates the occasion occurred on as follows: If the Birth occurred on January 11, 1940 the file name would begin with 1940 01 11. All subsequent earlier dates would appear in order after this date and, of course dates previous to this dated would also appear in order, low to high, before the January date. Can this format on dates – 1940 01 11 be used instead of Jan 11 1940?”

There are five patterns of date formats that Reunion 9 supports. There are also options for characters to separate the parts of the date (ie. day, month, and year) as well as the case, abbreviation, and display of the month (literal or numeric). Finally, there is a setting for the default century. Making a change in to this preference panel will automatically change how dates display throughout the software.

The preference pane is small and packed with powerful options. I recorded this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Date Format Secrets in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac, to explain it all for you. Have a look at the video. Do you prefer a different setting?

Views in Reunion 9: Switching Views

The family card in Reunion for Mac 9 displays a wealth of information about a family group. Part of the family card is a section called the view. It is below the names of the parents and above the children. The view section is dynamic.

You can alter, add, and remove fields from views. Altering views will be demonstrated in the second video in this series. You can select from any one of seven different views that come with Reunion or to views of your own creation. Creating your own view will be covered in the third video in this series.

In this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Views in Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac: Switching Views, I walk you through:

  • two ways to switch views
  • the seven built-in views

Please open Reunion 9 on your Mac and follow along with the video screencast. You’ll learn the basics of views in preparation for the other videos in the series: Altering Views and Creating Views.

How to Quickly and Accurately Enter Text in any Genealogy Software

Do you find yourself typing the same things over and over again? How about “birth date” or “death place?” How often do you type the current date? You may not even realize it, but when documenting your research you frequently, needlessly repeat yourself. These phrases are just the tip of the iceberg. In this article and video I’ll show you how to avoid much of this typing and still get the information entered, without typos.

A simple, low-cost piece of software and a little help is the secret to avoiding all this typing. I’ll get you up and running in no time. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Download a (free trial) copy of Typinator (if you’re not the trusting type, watch the video first)
  2. Download the MacGenealogist Abbreviations
  3. Play this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: How to Quickly and Accurately Enter Text in any Mac Genealogy Software, and follow along
  4. Add your own abbreviations

This program is useful for more than just genealogy. There’s a great demo video that will show you other uses. Best of all, it’s on sale now! Give Typinator a try; your wrists will thank you. After you give it a try, leave a comment to tell us what you think and share the abbreviations you setup and use.

Short Dates

Short dates are a space saving feature in the Mac genealogy software, Reunion 9. They consist of two dates separated by a dash. Short dates appear below the parent buttons on the family card (see the image below) and can be included in charts and reports.

The short dates on the family card can be set to either the full date or just the year. This setting can be found on the appearance preference panel.

There are name options on some charts and reports that combine a name and short dates. Choosing one of these options enables you to conserve space vertically by replacing two lines of data (name and dates) with one. This option is in the “Name Setup” layout setting for pedigree, descendant, and relative charts as well as descendant reports. This video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Short Dates in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac, will take you step-by-step through using short dates to conserve space in a relative chart.

Here is a Method That is Helping Reunion 9 Users Deal With Unknown Birth and Death Dates

Do you have unknown birth and death dates in your Reunion 9 family file(s)? If you do, then you understand how those holes can impede your family history research. It’s easier to find information when the date range is constrained. When a death date is not known, it is helpful to use the burial date as the upper date limit. Similarly, the christening date (give or take a year) can be substituted for the birth date. Sure, you could try to remember to check for a burial date when the death date is unknown, but why bother when the software will remember for you?

Reunion for Mac 9 has a feature appropriately called “substitute events.” It will automatically substitute one event for another if the later is not populated. The substitution can be displayed where short dates are used, such as the family card and pedigree chart. Don’t worry. The substituted date is prefixed by an abbreviation, so it won’t be mistaken for the birth or death date.

Please launch Reunion 9 and play this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Substitute Events in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac. In it, I’ll show you how to make the necessary changes and how the substitute events display.

Little Known Ways to Include Web Page Links in Reunion 9 Text and Note Fields

Mac loving genealogists can insert links in Reunion 9 text and notes fields and click on them to open web sites in a web browser. This means you can have URLs in text fields and notes as well as having arbitrary, hyper-linked text in note fields. If you too, would like to know how to create the links and or how to use them, open Reunion 9 and follow along with this video from the MacGenealogist Archives: Web Page Links in Macintosh Genealogy Software Reunion 9 for Mac Text and Note Fields.

Walkthrough: iFamily for Leopard V2.463 Update

The version of iFamily for Leopard released yesterday contained some very nice changes; some of them addressing issues I raised in the recent review of the Mac genealogy software. I recorded this video screencast in the (now in the MacGenealogist Archives), What’s New in Mac Genealogy Software iFamily for Leopard V2.463, wherein I walk through the changes in this release.

I think it will be more informative and fun to see the changes rather than just reading about them. Let me know what you think in a comment. Should I continue to make these update walk through videos?

Virtual Tree

MacFamilyTree includes a three-dimensional view of ancestors and descendants called a “virtual tree.” The view can be scrolled in three dimensions to make inspecting relationships easier. Every person in a family history file is represented in the diagram with an icon. The icons are interconnected by lines if they have ancestors, descendants, or a spouse. This view provides a different way of finding unconnected people in your data.

In this video from the MacGenealogist Archives I show you how to open and navigate the view as well as provide a couple of other tips.

How to Transcribe Scanned Images in iFamily for Leopard

Would you like to be able to quickly locate interesting text within your scanned genealogy document images? I often find myself searching a scanned newspaper page image for text that I had previously thought interesting. iFamily for Leopard speeds up this process by allowing one to annotate a scanned image with a rectangular box. Further, it enables one to type in a transcription of the text. That text can then be linked to the box, making returning to it later, very quick.

In this video from the MacGenealogist Archives I walk you through adding an image to a person, transcribing a section of the image, and locating the transcribed section. There is a bonus tip contained in this screencast as well. Please play the video and follow along in your iFamily for Leopard database.

How to See More Information About Children and Parents in Reunion 9

The family card in Reunion 9 can display children and parents as buttons or lists. The list mode displays more information about parents and children. The fields displayed can also be configured. For example, the birth and death places can be added to the view.

This video from the MacGenealogist Archives demonstrates the child and parent list mode and will walk you step-by-step through the preferences.