Thursday, April 2, 2009

Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 6: Creating a Narrative Ancestors Report

I downloaded the free RootsMagic 4 beta release in early March, and easily uploaded my Family Tree Maker file to it. In this series, I'm looking at different features of RootsMagic 4. I'm not doing a comprehensive review, just looking at features important to me.

Previous posts in this series include:

* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 1: Navigation
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 2: Editing Person Data
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 3: Adding a Child to the Family
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 4A: Creating a Pedigree Chart
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 4B: Creating a Pedigree Chart
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 5: Creating a Family Group Sheet

In this post, I'm going to create a Narrative Report of my father's ancestors. In the "Family" View, I clicked on the "Report" menu item and highlighted the "Narrative Report" option:

I clicked on "Narrative Report" and the "Report Settings" menu box opened. I chose 5 generations and "Ancestors and children" in the Report Type column (the other choices were Ancestors only, and Descendants reports in Modified Register, Register, Outline, Henry and D'Aboville numbering systems. I clicked on the "Options" button and selected a Date format, and unclicked all other options (start each generation on a separate page, print uplines, print preparer, print color codes, print notes, include photos, include private facts, include private notes, and strip brackets). I could have changed the sentence template text for people with no entered facts.

I clicked the "OK" button and then clicked the "Layout" button on the right side of the "Report Settings" box. The "Layout" input menu includes a Page tab (select paper size, portrait or landscape, and page margins) and a Header/Footer tab (input information for three sections of the header and footer, select to print the header/footer, and mirror header on even pages):

I clicked "OK" and went back to the "Report Settings" page and clicked on the "Fonts" button. The "Report Fonts" menu box opened, with options for Narrative Text and Narrative Headings. I could select font type, font size, bold, italics, underlined or strikethrough for both choices.

I clicked "OK" to go back to the "Report Settings" and clicked on the "Sources" button. On this menu, I could select from tabs Endnotes and Footnotes, Bibliography, Options and Fonts. On the Endnotes and Footnotes, I chose to print Footnotes at the bottom of the page; to Reuse Endnote numbers whenever possible; and Use "Ibid" in consecutive duplicate citations:

I clicked on the "OK" button to go to the Report Settings menu, and clicked on the "Indexes" button. The "Indexes" menu box opened and the tabs were Name Index, Place Index and Fonts. For the name and place indexes, I chose to have the name, birth and death listed, and two columns:

I clicked "OK" and was back to the "Report Options" box. I have all of my report options added, so I clicked on the "Generate Report" button to create the report.

The five-generation report of my father's ancestors took all of two seconds and created 13 pages. Here is the first page:

And the bottom of the first page (with footnotes) and the start of the second page:

Here is the bottom of the second page:

Scrolling down, the Name Index page is shown below:

There are some problems with this report (and other reports):

* No marriages are listed for any of the children, except for the descendant child.

The text sometimes shifts from standard to italics at random times. It isn't shown in the screens above, but it happened today for the same report - I double-checked the Fonts box to make sure that italics was unchecked.

There is no option to include other spouses and children for people married more than once.

I created a 12-generation report (no notes) in about 45 sections - 343 pages, including the indexes. Adding Notes took 50 seconds to generate a 12 generation report, which had 927 pages. Those numbers are very impressive, I think.

The user can save, print or email the report using the buttons in the very top row on the left side of the screen. The user can save the report as RTF, PDF, HTML or plain text. If saved as an RTF or plain text, the report can be edited, but extensive editing might mess up the indexing.

The ability to create reports is vital for modern genealogy software, and RootsMagic 4 seems to do it consistently and well (except for the items noted above).

In the next post, I will look at the Lists available using RootsMagic 4 and will create an Ahnentafel List.

1 comment:

Earline Hines Bradt said...

Great feature. I used it this week to make a pdf file of my mother's family for a distant cousin, who wanted to update his files. It only took a minute.