Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 24: Adding a Media Item

See all posts in this series at Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 Compendium.

One of my major criteria for selecting a "preferred" genealogy management program is the ease in adding media items (images, audio, video) to persons and events. I want to demonstrate the media addition creation process in Family Tree Maker 2012, both for my own education and, hopefully, to help others navigate this process.

For this demonstration, I'm going to attach the 1850 U.S. census record to Isaac Seaver (1823-1901), my second great-grandfather.  I already have a source citation for this Fact, and have the image of the census page in my computer files.  Here is the process I went through:

1)  Starting from Isaac's Person page in the "People" workspace, I highlighted the Census Fact for 1850:

2)  I made a mistake here out of ignorance - I clicked on the "Media" tab in the right-hand panel rather than on the Source citation in the "Source" tab.  In the "Media" tab, I clicked on the "New" button down arrow and saw a menu that included "Add New Media," "Link to Existing Media," "Create New Smart Story" or "Scan Media."

3)   I chose "Add New Media" and the "Select media item" window opened to my computer files and I navigated to where I had stored the image:

 4)  I selected the 1850 Census file for Isaac Seaver from the list, and clicked on "OK."  A small window opened as shown below:

The "Copy to Media Folder" window above wanted me to pick between "Copy the file to the Media folder for this tree and link to it there" or "Link to this file where it is (without copying it)."  I chose the "Copy the file to the Media folder for this tree..." There are a number of Media Categories offered for the user to check - I chose "Census."  Lastly, I checked the box at the bottom of the window to "Always use this selection without prompting me."

5)  I clicked "OK" and was back to Isaac Seaver's Person page

In the screen above, the Media item is shown in the "Media" tab in the right-hand panel.  When I clicked on the "Source" tab to see if the media item was linked to the Fact (it was) and to the Source Citation (it was not!).  That is because I linked it to the Census Fact using the "Media" tab, but not to the Source Citation for the Fact. 

6)  In order to link the image to the Source Citation, I clicked on the "Source" tab, and double clicked on the Source Citation (I could have used the "Edit" icon also), and the "Edit Source citation for ..." window opened.  I clicked on the "Media" tab and was given the choice to "Add New Media" or "Link to Existing Media" on the right-hand side of the window. I chose "Link to Existing Media" and the media gallery of images opened, and I chose the 1850 Census image I had just entered:

7)  I clicked "OK" and returned to the Person page.  When I clicked on the "Sources" tab, the Media icon showed that Media was attached to the Source Citation on the list.  When I clicked on the "Media" tab in the right-hand panel, two Media items (for the 1850 census) appeared:

Why are there two?  Because I added the image to both the Fact (without the source) and the Fact Source.  From now on, I think that I will add the image only to the Fact Source.

8)  I clicked on the "Media" Workspace button (top of the screen) and on the "Media Collection" tab, which included the 1850 Census image.  I highlighted the 1850 Census image, and the image name and file folder link to the image appeared in the lower right-hand corner:

9)  When I click on the "Detail" tab in the "Media" Workspace, with the 1850 Census image highlighted, I see the image and in the lower panel, I see that the image is attached to both the Fact Source (but it does not list the Person or the Fact summary) and the Fact (it lists the Person and the Fact summary, but not the Fact Source):

Note that the image attached to the Fact or the Fact Source is not attached to the Person (if I highlight the person's name on the Person screen). 

10)  So while I made a mistake above by not just linking it to the Fact Source, I learned something about adding Media to Persons and Facts. 

I'm not sure which is the better way - attach it to the specific Fact Source (and not have it listed in the "Media" workspace as attached to a person and person's Fact) or attach it to the Fact (and have it listed in the "Media" workspace as attached to the person and the person's Fact).  What do other researchers recommend?  I'm pretty sure that I don't need to attach it to both!

The other issue for me was to choose between keeping the image in my computer file folder system or adding it to the Family Tree Maker Media Folder.  I chose the latter because that way I don't have to chase it down in my computer file folders; however, it does create a copy which uses more computer hard drive space.  I have recently re-organized my file folder system again, and if I did that again the link to the image would have been broken.  What do other researchers recommend? 

This task was relatively easy to perform, was not very complex, and worked quickly.


Cousin Russ said...


My take on your two questions. Having thought a lot about these tow issues, here is my take.

There are three places to attach a Media file. 1) Person, 2) Fact, 3) Citation.

#1 - A photo of a person, or persons and will show up in the Left side of the screen, in the People Workspace, Person Tab, Media file.

#2 - You described that one

#3 - Citation

My take on #3 is that that Citation, especially a Census Record will be used many times. Linking the Media to the Citation makes a lot of sense to me, that way I don't have to worry about it.

A good example for me, was some Sons of the American Revolution Records I worked on the other night. There were 3 Media Files that were the Application. All I had to thing about is using the Citation with those three media files attached.

I haven't run into a Fact Media file yet, so if you have an example of a media file you would attach to a Fact, I'd like to try it. The only one I can think of, maybe, is a Wedding photo for a Marriage Fact.

Link or Copy:

There isn't a right nor wrong way to do this. I us Link because of 1) the Back Up process within FTM2012, and 2) I would always have an extra copy of that media file.

I keep my Photos on an External Drive and I keep my Back Ups of my FTM2012 files on another External Drive.

I may want to do an edit on an image within Family Tree Maker. I do NOT want to Edit the original file, as you would when you do the Link To option.

All I can say, it try it out and see what works best for you.

I can only share my experience.

Thank you,


Dave Lynch said...

In my tree, media items are a representation of something and attached to that something. I would add the census to the census source since it is a representation of the source (citation, actually) and not either a person or a fact. I would attach a photo to a person if it was a depiction of that person.

Lee said...

I can't find that option to copy a media file to the media folder when I add a new media file. Using ftm2012

Cousin Russ said...


When you use the Add New Media, you will be given the option to Link to or Copy that Media File into FTM2012.