Archive for the ‘Products’ Category

The Road to RootsMagic 8: An Important Update

Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

My mom often accused me of not being able to learn from my mistakes. Years ago, I got burned by giving a date for a feature we were adding, and I promised myself I would never do that again. Then a couple of years later, we pre-announced a deadline for finishing work on our Ancestry integration, with mostly the same result. So, of course, I still haven’t learned my lesson, and once again tried to guess a release date in advance, this time for RootsMagic 8.

RootsMagic 8 is the biggest upgrade in our software’s history. I usually just say something like “it will be done when it is ready” and leave it at that, but we began telling folks that we hoped to have it out by the end of this year (2019). It seemed like a safe estimate, but like those other times this has bitten me, I underestimated the effects of outside influences on our development.

I underestimated the number of times we would have to stop work to fix breaking changes made to APIs that version 7 uses. I underestimated the number of times we would have to rewrite libraries we are using in RootsMagic 8. To be honest, I never thought we would have to actually rewrite commercial libraries from scratch because of their deficiencies, but we have actually had to do that multiple times. I also underestimated the amount of time tracking down bugs in other company’s libraries to help them fix issues that negatively affected performance in version 8.

So, where are we now? RootsMagic 8 won’t be released by the end of the year. And if you ask me for a new release date, I’m not going to say. But here’s what I am going to do…

Several months ago, we started doing blog articles with screenshots. But writing them pulled us off of actual software development, and were less than satisfying to you as a user. We want to do a better job of keeping you up to date on where we are, so I have recorded a 30-minute video below to show you precisely what RootsMagic 8 looks and feels like. As development continues, we’ll try to release more videos (although probably not this long) to keep you in the loop.

We know many of you can’t wait to get your hands on RootsMagic 8, and we are excited to be working on it. We just want to make sure that when we release it, you can depend on it working right.

And if you’re adventurous, we are still looking for more beta testers of all backgrounds to help us make version 8 the best it can be.

I want to thank you personally for your patience and understanding. Hopefully, you can see from the video the extent of the improvements and work that we’re putting into this release. We’re really excited by the feedback that we’ve received so far and we hope that you’ll find it worth the wait.

RootsMagic and Ancestry: Working Together at Last

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Search, Sync & Download from Ancestry

Recently, the genealogy world was rocked with the news that Ancestry would be parting with their “Family Tree Maker” (FTM) genealogy software. Thousands of FTM users have since made the switch to RootsMagic. But the question everyone has been asking has been, “Will any other software be able to search and synchronize with Ancestry the same way that Family Tree Maker did?”

Today, we finally have an answer to that question- “Yes!” We’re pleased to announce that we will be working with Ancestry to bring these features to RootsMagic in the near future.

What does this mean for you?

Search, Sync, Import
  1. Search – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to search Ancestry’s extensive collections of historical records from around the world and let you download those records into your own file.
  2. Sync – RootsMagic will be the only software besides FTM to let you share data between your RootsMagic files on your computer with your personal Ancestry online trees. You’ll also be able to download people, events, and even pictures from Ancestry onto your computer through RootsMagic.
  3. Import – RootsMagic will be able to directly import your Family Tree Maker files, without having to go through an intermediate GEDCOM file, giving you the cleanest, most complete transfer of your data. RootsMagic will also be able to download your online trees from Ancestry.

Yes, this is big news and we’re sure you have many questions about it.

Questions

Does this mean that Ancestry bought RootsMagic?

No. RootsMagic is still the same independent software maker that we’ve always been. We’ve simply arranged to work with our friends at Ancestry to make this happen; just as we work with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and other genealogy companies.

Why are RootsMagic and Ancestry working together?

This really is a win-win for both companies and their users. RootsMagic users will have convenient access to Ancestry’s vast collections of trees and records, as well as synchronizing with private online trees. Former Family Tree Maker users will have a path forward, importing their original FTM files while using the Ancestry hints and trees that they’ve come to depend on.

Will I have to buy a new version of RootsMagic to use these features?

If you are using the paid version of RootsMagic 7, these features will be included in a free update to that version.  If you are using a version of RootsMagic older than 7, you will need to purchase an upgrade to 7 to use the features.

When will these features be available?

As is to be expected with something this big, it will not happen overnight. Both Ancestry and RootsMagic are dedicating considerable time and resources to make this happen. We anticipate having many of these features available later this year in an update to our RootsMagic 7 software.

Are you the only other genealogy software working with Ancestry?

Besides Family Tree Maker, yes.

What if I don’t want to upload my data to Ancestry?

Like all of our integrations with other companies, these features are completely optional. You’re free to use or ignore them as you like.

Will I need an Ancestry subscription to use these features?

Use of Ancestry features will require an Ancestry account, even if only as a free Registered Guest. The features and records available to you will depend on your subscription level.

Will I still be able to use RootsMagic to work with FamilySearch, MyHeritage, and other companies?

Of course. This will not affect any existing functionality in the RootsMagic software including sharing data with FamilySearch Family Tree and WebHints. In fact, these relationships give RootsMagic users the ability to access more records from more sources than any other software.

I’m a Family Tree Maker user. Do I have to buy RootsMagic now?

We certainly wouldn’t mind if you did 🙂 But seriously, Ancestry has stated that current versions of Family Tree Maker will work with their services through 2016. So you don’t have to make the switch immediately.

We invite you to look at RootsMagic and its features and, if you like what you see, you’re welcome to make the transition whenever you feel ready. You may be willing to wait until the new Ancestry features are available or you may wish to get started right away. Whenever that time comes, please visit www.rootsmagic.com/ftm for a special discount and instructions to help you make the change.

Will the sync work exactly like TreeSync in FTM?

Ancestry is working on a new API that both RootsMagic and FTM will be switching to (“API” is a fancy word for the system with which Ancestry can communicate with other products).

The API is still in development, buy syncing in both RootsMagic and FTM will likely be a bit different than the current “TreeSync”.  It will still allow you to share names, events, notes, sources, and even media between RootsMagic and Ancestry.

Please visit www.rootsmagic.com/ancestry for more information.

Give The Gift of Family: RootsMagic’s Best Holiday Sale Ever

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

RM_ChristmasTree

With the holidays coming up, we often get requests from our users about buying copies of RootsMagic to give as gifts to their family or friends.  In what has become an annual tradition, RootsMagic owners can buy discounted copies of our software to give as gifts.

A Dozen Years of Holiday Specials!

It’s hard to believe this is our 12th year offering holiday pricing for gifts, and to celebrate we are going to do our best holiday offer ever!

During this special holiday sale, you can order gift copies of RootsMagic 7 *AND* the book “Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic” for just $20 (plus shipping).  That’s right, both the program and book together for $20.  Or you can order copies of Personal Historian 2 *AND* the brand new book “Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide” for just $20 (plus shipping).

Even better, you can order our other products for just $19.95 each, or you can order our 3 best sellers (RootsMagic, Personal Historian, and Family Atlas) plus both the RootsMagic book and the Personal Historian Book together for just $59.95.

ProdRM7BookBundle

RootsMagic 7 / Book Bundle for $20

RootsMagic 7 (Windows / Mac) AND the  book Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic” together for just $20 (plus shipping).  Save $24.90!

ProdPH2Bundle


Personal Historian / Book Bundle for $20

Personal Historian 2 (Windows / Mac) AND the brand new book “Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide” together for just $20 (plus shipping).  Save $24.90!

ProdSuite7


RootsMagic Family History Suite for $59.95

Our 3 best sellers (RootsMagic, Personal Historian, Family Atlas), and both the RootsMagic and Personal Historian books together for just $59.95 (plus shipping).  Save $59.80!

There is no limit on the number of discounted gift copies you can buy during this limited time offer which will expire December 19, 2015. You will receive the full program and book for each copy you order.

To take advantage of this offer, just visit:

http://www.rootsmagic.com/holidayoffer

While ordering online is the quickest and easiest way to order, you can also order by phone at 1-800-ROOTSMAGIC (1-800-766-8762).  With the volume of calls you may need to leave a message to be called back and you’ll need to mention the code HOLIDAY2015 when you call.

New “Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide” Book Now Available

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide

Personal Historian is our unique software that helps you write the story of your life and of other individuals. One of the most common questions we hear is, “Is there a printed book to go along with it?” We’re pleased to finally be able to say, “yes!” with the release of Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide, now available in our store.

This 192-page book was written by me, the author of Personal Historian.

“User Manual” is such an unfriendly word. I’ve tried to make this book much more than a cold, technical description of just another computer application. Because a personal history should be much more than a lifeless description of events, I wanted this book to be a little more colorful and have a little more personality.

Yes, you will find the expected technical descriptions and walk-throughs. But, hopefully, you’ll also find practical tips, new ideas, and needed inspiration to finally bring life to your life stories.

Introductory Price

For a very limited-time, you can get your own copy of Personal Historian 2: The Companion Guide for only $7.95 (plus shipping). That’s nearly half-off its regular price of $14.95. Simply visit our website and add it to your cart to receive the discount.

Don’t wait, order your copy today!

Table of Contents

Curious about what is inside? Take a look at its Table of Contents:

  •  Introduction
    • Why you need Personal Historian
    • What is Personal Historian?
    • Personal Historian’s History
    • About this Book
  • Why you can’t write your personal history
    • Why are you doing this?
    • The obstacles
    • “I don’t know where to start”
    • “I don’t have the time”
    • “I can’t remember enough details”
    • “I’m not a good writer”
  • Getting started
    • The Welcome Screen
    • Creating a new file
  • Importing Data
    • Importing Genealogy
    • Importing LifeCapsules & Timelines
    • Importing Other Text Data
  • The Main Screen
    • Main Menu Toolbar
    • Status Bar
    • Story Details
    • Time Slider
    • Story List
    • Search Box
    • Filtering Stories
  • Working with Files
    • Open an Existing File
    • Searching for a File
    • Moving or Renaming a File
    • Deleting a File
    • Copying a File
    • Checking and Repairing a File
    • File Options
  • Managing Your Stories
    • Story Status
    • Adding a New Story
    • Editing an Existing Story
    • Picking a Random Story
    • Adding a Journal Entry
    • Deleting a Story
  • Using Categories
    • Adding a New Category
    • Editing a Category
    • Deleting a Category
    • Changing the Order of Categories
    • Changing a Story’s Category
  • Recording People
    • Relationships
    • Dates of Involvement
    • Adding a New Person
    • Editing a Person
    • Deleting a Person
    • Adding a Person to a Story
  • Tracking Places
    • Geocoding Your List of Places
    • Adding a New Place
    • Editing a Place
    • Deleting a Place
    • Changing a Story’s Place
  • The Editor Screen
    • Editor Menu
    • Editor Toolbar
    • Editor Status Bar
    • Story Information
  • The Organizer
    • Organizer Toolbar
    • Organizer Items
    • Moving Organizer Items
    • Selecting Multiple Items at Once
    • Copy Items to the Composer
  • The Memory Solution
    • Brainstorming
    • Step 1: Visualize
    • Step 2: Summarize
    • Step 3: Organize
    • Step 4: Repeat
    • The “O” Word
  • The Composer
    • Composer Toolbar
    • Applying Styles
    • Fonts & Formatting
    • Adding Pictures
    • Importing a Document
    • Spell Check & Thesaurus
    • Readability Check
    • Dictating and Reading Back Your Story
    • Fullscreen Editing
  • How to Write Good
    • Let Your Voice Shine Through
    • Make it Readable
    • Write to Your Audience
    • Write with Strength
    • Finding the Right Word
    • Shaking Things Up
    • The Difference
  • Do I Have Your Attention?
    • Show, Don’t Tell
    • Add Context
    • What’s a newspaper?
    • Let Your Characters Speak
  • Putting It All Together
    • Creating a New Book
    • Managing Books
    • Using the Publisher
    • Printing and Exporting Your Work
    • Publishing a Single Story
  • Protecting Your Work
    • Rule #1: Backup your data often
    • Rule #2: Keep past backups, not just the latest
    • Rule #3: Keep backups in multiple places
    • Restoring from a Backup
  • Good Luck
  • Reference Guides
    • Program Options
    • Dates and Ages
    • Menu Commands
    • Keyboard Shortcut Keys
  • Index

New RootsMagic 7 Software Released

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

SPRINGVILLE, Utah. — November 25, 2014 — RootsMagic, Inc. today announced the official release of RootsMagic 7, the latest version of the award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history easy and enjoyable.  With this release comes an update to the popular “RootsMagic Essentials” free genealogy software.

Family History Made Easy

Family Tree Magazine said RootsMagic is “probably the best all-around genealogy program” and “offers a winning combination of features for both casual and serious genealogists.”

Throughout its 13-year history, RootsMagic has helped people research and share their family trees with innovative features such as moving people from one file to another with your mouse, a SourceWizard to help you document your work, creating a Shareable CD to give to family and friends, and running RootsMagic off of a USB flash drive when you are away from home.  RootsMagic has also received numerous awards, including the award for “Easiest to Sync” from FamilySearch for their work in interfacing with that system.

New Features

RootsMagic 7 adds many new features while making existing features even easier to use.  “This release includes something for everybody,” said Bruce Buzbee, president.  “Whether you want help finding records, or an easier way to share your family history with family, RootsMagic 7 has something new for you.”  New features include:

WebHints

The industry’s only multi-platform record hints, providing automatic hinting from both FamilySearch and MyHeritage.  Simply click the WebHint bulb next to a person’s name:

WebHintsIcon

View the hint summary for both FamilySearch and MyHeritage…

WebHints

Then click through to see the actual records.

WebHintResult

MyRootsMagic

Our all new accounts which let you easily publish and maintain multiple online trees.  From a single screen you can easily publish, view, change settings, refresh, or delete multiple trees.

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Your trees can be public or private (password protected), and since your new online tree is database driven, you can change settings (like privacy settings, home page title and description, etc) for your website without having to re-upload your database again.

PublishOnlineSite

DataClean

Quickly find and fix possible problems with names and places.  You choose which problem types to look for, and RootsMagic will display a list of all names or places with any of those problems.  You can accept RootsMagic’s suggestions, or just part of them, or hand customize the place right from DataClean.

PlaceClean-2

File Compare

Compare any two RootsMagic databases for a side by side comparison.  Easily transfer people, names, events, notes, sources, or media between the two files.

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Plus dozens of other enhancements and features

Free “RootsMagic Essentials”

RootsMagic 7 is also available in an updated, free edition named, “RootsMagic 7 Essentials”.  RootsMagic Essentials contains many core features from the RootsMagic software and the two products are fully-compatible with one another.  “Many people are curious about their family history and don’t know where to begin,” said Michael Booth, vice president.  “RootsMagic Essentials is the perfect way for someone to get started, risk-free.”  RootsMagic Essentials is available for download at http://www.rootsmagic.com/try.

Available Now

RootsMagic 7 is now available online at http://www.rootsmagic.com/rootsmagic or by calling 1-800-766-8762.  New users may purchase RootsMagic 7 for only $29.95.  Users of previous versions of RootsMagic and it’s predecessor, Family Origins may purchase RootsMagic 7 for the upgrade price of only $19.95.

About RootsMagic, Inc.

For over 20 years, RootsMagic, Inc. has been creating computer software with a special purpose- to unite families. One of our earliest products- the popular “Family Origins” software, introduced thousands of people to the joy and excitement of family history.

That tradition continues today with “RootsMagic”, our award-winning genealogy software which makes researching, organizing, and sharing your family history fun and easy. “Personal Historian” will help you easily write and preserve your life stories. “Family Reunion Organizer” takes the headaches out of planning those important get-togethers. And “Family Atlas” creates beautiful and educational geographic maps of your family history.

For more information, visit www.rootsmagic.com.
Source: RootsMagic, Inc.

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

Monday, October 20th, 2014

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

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

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.

2014-10-01_14-55-55

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

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

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.

 

RootsMagic Adds Direct TMG Import

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

RM-TMG-Blog-Header-2014-09

On July 29th, Wholly Genes Software announced that they would be discontinuing “The Master Genealogist” (TMG). Since then, quite a number of TMG users have contacted us directly and on our message boards asking what their options were for converting their data to RootsMagic.  While data can be transferred to RootsMagic via GEDCOM, TMG loses many details as it exports to GEDCOM including witnesses, roles, source templates, and more.

We have just released a new RootsMagic update (v6.3.3) which adds a direct TMG import. This direct import not only imports basic genealogical information from TMG like names, events, notes, and media, but also imports witnesses (with roles), source templates, and sentence templates. In fact, RootsMagic has the most complete TMG import available anywhere. Of course, due to different data models and template languages, no import can be 100% perfect but we have prepared a guide to make the transition as smooth as possible.

And to make it even easier for TMG users to transition to RootsMagic, for a limited time we are offering TMG users a competitive upgrade price of $19.95 for RootsMagic. To find out more information about the TMG import and to get the TMG upgrade price, visit:

http://TMGUpgrade.com

We know that change isn’t always easy, so if you know a TMG user who is contemplating moving to another genealogy software, feel free to let them know about this update and our special pricing for TMG users.

Tip: Finding Errors in Your Data with Problem Alerts

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Problem Alerts

Have you ever noticed a little triangle symbol next to a person’s name in RootsMagic and wondered what it meant?  It means there just might be a problem with some of the information you have entered for that person.  That little symbol is called a “Problem Alert”, and will show up if RootsMagic thinks there is an issue you might need to look into.

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To see what RootsMagic wants you to check out, just click on the little symbol and the problem list will open for that person.  There may be just a single problem, or there may be multiple problems.  Some problems are limited to just that person, like dying before they were born.  Other problems might require looking at more than one person to figure out, like being born before their parents.

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In addition to displaying a list of potential problems, the problem list also gives you a number of things you can do with the highlighted problem.  Edit Person will open the edit screen for the person, which is great for those individual problem types.  Edit Family will open a screen listing all of the family members for those problems which may lie with either the person or a family member.  And sometimes a potential problem isn’t a problem at all (maybe great aunt Martha really did live to be 106).  The Not a Problem button tells RootsMagic that the highlighted item isn’t really a problem and should be removed from the list.  And what if you don’t have time right now to figure out what the problem is?  You can click Add to To-Do List to put that potential problem in the person’s to-do list so you can work on it later.

If for some reason you don’t want problem alerts to appear, or if you want to choose what types of problems RootsMagic should look for, do “Tools > File Options” from the main menu, then check whether to use the alerts or click the “Problem options” button.

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When you click “Problem options”, the following screen will let you choose which problems RootsMagic will look for.  In addition to selecting the types of problems, you can also adjust the range of values RootsMagic uses for various problem checks.

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If you want to see Problem Alerts in action, here is a short video we put together for you.

So don’t wait around to see if there are any problems in your data… let RootsMagic find them for you automatically!