Friday, March 27, 2009

Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 1: Navigation

I promised to show some screen shots from the RootsMagic 4 beta release several weeks ago, and dropped the ball due to, well, um, memory? Since then, I did download the first fix to the beta release which made the Reports work better.

I'm not going to do a 25-part series on RootsMagic 4 - but I will hit some of my high points and concerns. After I uploaded my GEDCOM file to the program, I took a look at navigating in the program. There are five ways to navigate from one person to another:

* "Pedigree" View tab - of the highlighted person
* "Family" View tab - of the highlighted person
* "Descendants" View tab - of the highlighted person
* "People" view tab - the list of persons in the database
* The Name Index on the left side of the screen

Here is the screen after clicking the "Family" view tab (just above the green background) for one of my families:

At the top is the person highlighted in blue in the family below, with his/her birth, death and marriage data. In the middle area, the father and mother, with their birth, marriage and death data, are shown, with their parents to the right. In the area below the parents are the children of the couple. To the left is the index of persons in the database.

The user can navigate to a child's family by clicking the red arrow to the left of the child's name. The user can navigate to one of the parents by clicking on the red arrow to the right of the parent's name. The user could also navigate to a person in the name list on the left.

Clicking on the "Pedigree" view tab brings up a five generation pedigree chart with the highlighted person in the #1 position.

Navigation in the "Pedigree" view is by the name list on the left or the red arrow to the right of the person's in the fifth generation on the right side.

Clicking on the "Descendants" view tab shows the descendants of the highlighted person:

To navigate to a person's family on the descendants list, click on the person once to highlight him/her, and then click on the "Family" tab.

Clicking on the "People" view tab brings up an alphabetical list of the persons in the database:

The user can scroll up or down in the list of persons and then highlight a person and click one of the other tabs to navigate to that person.

There is one other Tab on that top line of navigation tabs - the "Web Search" tab. I clicked on "Web Search" and then the drop down list to see what genealogy databases RootsMagic 4 can search:

The web sites that RootsMagic 4 searches include:

* Ancestry ($$)
* Ancestry Message Boards
* Family Search
* Find a Grave
* Footnote ($$)
* Genealogy Bank ($$)
* Google
* Live Search
* Rootsweb
* WorldVitalRecords ($$)
* Yahoo!

I think that this list is the longest of any of the major genealogy software programs at this time. I selected FamilySearch, pressed the Search button (top right) and the results from the "classic" FamilySearch appeared in the center panel (this was pretty quick - 2 seconds?):

On the right side of the screen is a list of the databases that the FamilySearch site searched - the Ancestral File, IGI and Pedigree Resource File. For other web searches, the center panel looks pretty much like the web site selected. There is an "Auto-Search" box just above the Search button (top right) that searches the web site you have selected when you click on "Web Search" tab. The user can navigate forward and backward in the Web Search panel using the green left and right arrows on the top left side of the search panel.

There are many other features to be explored in RootsMagic 4. I cannot show all of them in a short series of posts.

In the next post, I will explore how to edit and/or add information to an existing person, and how to add a new person to the database.

1 comment:

Abba-Dad said...

In both pedigree and descendants you can modify the number of generations to view on the top left. Pedigree can be 5 or 6 generations.

The name list on the left also lets you see people with alt. names (shows a little blue icon). And you can bookmark specific people and get a list of bookmarks as well.

I think you can add more websites to search and can customize what the search query will look like. So your list can be limitless.

There is so much functionality in this program that I don't think anyone can really use all of it.