Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dear Randy: How Best to Download Images to RootsMagic?

Reader Lee asked me this question several days ago, and I thought his question and my response might help other readers.

Lee's question:

" I've decided to use RootsMagic 4 as my genealogy program (i.e. no longer use FTM) and just renewed my US membership for one more year.  I continue to find source info from and store images (census, vital records, etc) on both and my laptop.  I'm considering just continuing to add images to and copying them to my laptop for RM4 every few months.  Do you know of any way to minimize my labor in doing this?  It's very tedious to download one image at a time then attach it to RM4.  I'd like to work smarter, not harder, on family history source (including media) management.  Any opinions are greatly appreciated!"

My response:

There is no automatic web image merge into a RootsMagic person file, according to the RootsMagic Tech Support page for it (   Apparently, you have to save the image to your hard drive, then import it into RootsMagic for the person involved.

There are two ways to do this:

1)  The way you said - Save the image in to your hard drive, name the file, and then import it to RootsMagic at your convenience.  You can do this one image at a time, or could add one to many images in one computer session.

2)  Use the WebSearch feature on RootsMagic (it's a View, just like Pedigree, Family, Descendants, and People).  Select from the list of Search providers, do your search, drill down to the image you want, click the orange Save button (upper right corner) within the Ancestry panel, click to save on your computer, name the file on your computer, then go to the Person page for that person, click on the Fact you want it attached to, and click on the Media button for that Fact.  If you use this method, then you can go back to the WebSearch View for the same person to get another image from

 In either case, don't forget to copy the source citation from the Ancestry screen and paste it into the Source item for the Fact.

This is a lot more cumbersome than Family Tree Maker 2011.  Using FTM 2011, the image can be attached directly to the Person in the database, and the source citation (such as it is) is brought across too.

Eventually, there will probably be a Sync program for RootsMagic to and vice versa.  That would be a great feature for RootsMagic 5 when it comes out.  We're getting the first Sync program for FTM 2012 and Ancestry in the fall.  AncestorSync is developing a sync of RootsMagic, Legacy, and other desktop software programs with online family trees like, newFamilySearch and others. 

I hear you on doing things smarter, faster and easier.  Better minds than mine are working on it! 

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(c) 2011. Randall J. Seaver. All Rights Reserved. If you wish to re-publish my content, please contact me for permission, which I will usually grant. If you are reading this on any other genealogy website (other than through an RSS feed), then they have stolen my work.

1 comment:

Linda Gartz said...

Thanks for this overview, Randy. I followed the comments on Kerry Scott's Clue Wagon post about which family tree program to use. I haven't decided yet, but must this summer. I have a MAC. My younger brother, Bill, has a new MAC. Bill did a tree program 20 years ago -- on the Mormon's program (can't recall the name offhand). I've read good things about Reunion for Mac, but my other bro, Paul, has a P.C. I know we can use Gedcom to get the basic info transferred to whatever new program I decide on. I have a TON of documentation that could be added to a tree program. I also have read about the need to show sources for info. I have most source data at my fingertips. I am not techy. I need the most straight-forward, easy-to-learn program possible - but one that will allow add'l details to be added to a person's name (photos, documents,etc). Any advice?
Thanks. Always learn so much from your site.