Tip: How to See When You Last Edited a Person in RootsMagic


Date Last Edited

You stare at the list of names you have entered into RootsMagic over the years, and think to yourself “I wonder how long it has been since I’ve worked on that guy’s line?”.

As you make changes to your data, RootsMagic keeps track of the date you last edited each person.  You may not have noticed it, but if you look in the bottom left corner of a person’s edit screen, you will see the date you last made a change to that person.

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This is done automatically for you, and it isn’t something you can edit directly.  There are a number of useful purposes for the “Last Edited Date”, and I’m here to show you a couple of them.

First, if you would like to just see which people you recently worked on, you can customize the People View in RootsMagic to not only display the date last edited, but also to let you sort your database by that date.  Switch to the People tab in RootsMagic, and click the “Customize this view” button.

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RootsMagic will open a form that lets you choose which columns you want to display in the People view.  On the left side are the available columns, and on the right side are the columns you want displayed in that view.

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There are 3 steps to adding a column… 1) find and highlight “Last edited” in the list of available columns, 2) click “Add to view”, and RootsMagic will move that field into the right column, and 3) highlight “Last edited” in the right hand column and use the “Move up” and “Move down” buttons to choose which position to display that column.  I moved it to right after the “Sex” column as seen below, but you can put it anywhere you want (except the very first column which is always the person’s name).

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Once you have added the “Last edited” column, you can easily sort the People view on that date by just clicking the header over the column.  Clicking it a second time will sort the list in the opposite order.  You can quickly and easily see either the people you have edited most recently, or the ones you haven’t touched in the longest amount of time.

There are a number of other areas where you can use the “Last date edited”, but the most useful is probably when you are selecting people.  Whenever RootsMagic lets you select a group of people for something (such as a report, creating a GEDCOM, or creating a named group), it will display a list of the people in your file where you can check (or “mark”) the people you want to select.  That screen will have a button named “Mark group” which will display a menu letting you choose to “Select people by data fields”.

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The screen that then pops up lets you enter the “criteria” for marking people, and one of the fields you can select by is “Date last edited”.  By selecting that field, you can select people whose “Date last edited” is before a date you enter, or after a date you enter, or you can even do something like:

Date last edited IS AFTER 1 JAN 2014

AND

Date last edited IS BEFORE 1 JUL 2014

to select people you edited between January and July of 2014.

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The “Last date edited” is available in most places where you want to search, select people, sort, or even display in custom reports.

So while you may not remember whom you last edited or when, RootsMagic does. And with a little customization, RootsMagic can give you exactly what you want to know.

Tip: Recovering Lost Registration Keys


Lost Key

Have you misplaced your keys again?  Not your car keys, but the registration keys for your RootsMagic software?  If so, you’re not alone.  Requests for lost or misplaced registration keys is our number one tech support issue, but you can actually retrieve them yourself.

Just visit our website at http://rootsmagic.com and hover over the Support menu at the top, then select Request a Lost Product Key.

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On the page that appears, enter your email address (the one you used when you ordered the software) and click the Request button.  All of your registration keys (for any products you have ordered from us), will be emailed directly to you.  You can then print out or save that email for future use.   The email will also include links to download the software associated with your key.

Lost Key Screen

So the next time you “lose your keys”, just follow these easy steps to have the RootsMagic locksmith help you out.

Tip: Customize the Add Person Screen to Save Time


Customize Add Person

Have you ever mumbled under your breath because RootsMagic didn’t include the field you always want to enter on the Add Person screen?

When you add a new person in RootsMagic, the first screen you see is the Add Person screen.  It allows you to quickly enter the name, sex and a few basic events before adding the person to the database and opening the full edit screen.  By default those “basic events” are birth, death, and burial. Depending on your research areas and methods, you may need to often enter other events such as christening, baptism, census, or wills. You can easily add and remove event types from this screen by clicking the “Customize this form” in the lower-left corner.

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When you click the Customize link, RootsMagic displays the Customize screen where you can add additional fact types to the form.  Click the “Add fact to form” button and you can select the fact type you want to add to the form.  There are a couple of limitations to the fact types you can add.  First, you can’t add an alternate name fact, since it is completely different from the normal fact types, and second, you can’t add a “family” fact type (like marriage, divorce, etc), since those facts are attached to families and not to an individual.

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Let’s say you decide to add a Christening field to the Add Person screen.  After clicking “Add fact to form” and selecting it from the list, the new field is added to the end of the list of fields.

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It’s easy to rearrange the order that the fields will appear.  Just click to highlight any field, then use the arrow buttons on the screen to move that field up or down to the desired position.  You can repeat this for any of the fields.  If there are any fields you don’t need, just highlight that field in the list and click the Delete button.

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Once you have added the fields you want, and have rearranged them as desired, click the OK button and RootsMagic will return to the Add Person screen with the new set of fields you selected.  You can continue adding the person, or just cancel from the Add Person screen and RootsMagic will remember your layout when you add people in the future.  If you add more fields to the Add Person screen than can be displayed, RootsMagic will add a scroll bar to the screen so that you can scroll down to the additional fields you add.

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So if you find yourself constantly adding a particular fact to everybody you enter, spare yourself the mumbling and take a second to add that field to your Add Person screen.

 

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Tip: Finding a Person by Nickname or Married Name