Friday, July 10, 2009

Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 26: Importing a GEDCOM File

With so many new users of RootsMagic 4, I thought it would be a good idea to demonstrate how to Import a GEDCOM file into the program. I downloaded a GEDCOM from the other day (see Exporting a Tree from

Previous posts in this series are listed in Working in RootsMagic 4 - Summary of Posts.

I have several databases already in RootsMagic 4 format, so I did a File>Close to get to a blank screen, and then closed the program. When I opened RootsMagic 4 again, I got this prompt:

Here, I chose to "Import a File from a different program." I could also have gone to the File menu and selected "Import." In both cases, I see this screen:

RootsMagic 4 can import files from RootsMagic (versions 1-3), Family Origins (version 4 and later), Family Tree Maker (version 2006 and earlier), Legacy (no versions given), Personal Ancestral File (no versions given) and GEDCOM (other programs). Because I downloaded a GEDCOM file from, I chose "GEDCOM" and clicked on "I know where the file is" because I put it in a known place. The other option is to "Search for files." The next screen shows my list of databases where I put the GEDCOM file. I found the right file, and clicked on it and this screen showed:

On the screen above, I am going to "Create a New File" so I input a title for my new database, clicked on the "File location" button in order to tell the program where to put the RootsMagic 4 database (the default is the "My Documents" file - I really don't want it there!). There are several other boxes to check or uncheck.

I clicked on the "OK" button and the GEDCOM Import screen came up with another box asking me "Add a new source to tell where the information in this GEDCOM came from?" with four options:

I picked "NO - Do not add an additional source for imported data." I could have said YES and a new source would have been added for each person and/or event - this may be useful if you have obtained the GEDCOM from another person.

I clicked on "OK" and the GEDCOM import began. I took this screen shot right at the end - showing that the GEDCOM file had 23,010 persons, 9,420 families, 34,360 events, 180 sources, 3,650 citations, and 0 repositories:

The GEDCOM import took less than 20 seconds, which is amazing to me. The RootsMagic screen opened to the Pedigree View with myself highlighted.

This GEDCOM import process is the most logical, fastest and easiest to use that I've encountered.
What other topics would you like me to demonstrate in this series? Tell me in Comments. Don't try to stump me...this is a basic list of tutorials, not for experts!

If you have questions about RootsMagic 4 operations, you can use the Help function in the RootsMagic program. You can also go to the RootsMagic 4 website at and read their Frequently Asked Questions and their Message Boards (you have to register a username and password in order to post).

1 comment:

Elyse said...

Once RootsMagic releases a way to change all of my source citations that I created in Legacy out of free form and into the proper source form, I would love to see a tutorial on how to do that. But alas, you must wait until RootsMagic allows this option.

(I hope that made sense...hahaha I'm a bit tired).

So far, the only way I've been able to change all of the now free form source citations into actual source citations is to recreate the source using their source writer and then merging the two sources. That is too time consuming for me.