We’re Still Working

Still waiting to hear about sources?  Well, I’m still anxious to write about them.  I just wanted to post a brief note to say that I haven’t forgotten about the blog.  We are buried in programming right now and I haven’t had time to do much of anything else.

Based on a couple of comments we have received, some readers apparently think we have RootsMagic 4 finished and are just holding it back while we tease y’all.  I guarantee if I tried that my wife would release it herself.

So hang in there… we’re working as hard as we can to make RootsMagic 4 the program we envisioned, and the program our great users deserve.

RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – A Brief Note About Reports

After my last article on the new report engine in RootsMagic 4, I noticed we were getting a lot of questions and comments regarding individual reports, mainly whether we have enhanced or added a particular report.  Let me clarify a couple of things about RootsMagic 4 and reports.

As I have previously mentioned (and as you have seen from all the new features we have shown), RootsMagic 4 is a complete rewrite.  Many, many hours have gone into its design and development.  Beyond the enhancements in the report engine, it has also been in our plans to add new reports, and enhance existing reports.  While you will see some of these enhancements in version 4, there are many new unfinished reports and enhancements that we are having to temporarily remove in order to get this version out.  These new reports and options will be released in future updates.  We would be happy to put them in before version 4, if you are willing to wait another 6 months for us to release this new version 😉

RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – The New Report Engine

Sorry about the delay since the last blog entry.  I’ve been swamped with programming and presentations so I’ll try to get these last few features out a bit quicker.

As with the rest of RootsMagic 4, the report engine has received an overhaul to not only add new functionality, but to make it easier to share your reports as well.

Choosing A Report

Here’s where you select the report you want to print.  Select a category and choose the report you want (the little report icons will actually have images of the report on them in the final release… not just a bunch of white papers).  The categories are also subject to a few changes before release as well.

When you highlight a report RootsMagic will display a brief description of that report.  You can also type in search terms to find a report if you aren’t sure what it is called.  For example, if you type “ancestor” into the search box you will see all the ancestor reports, regardless of which category they are in.

Report Viewer

The Report Viewer (or “Print Preview”) has been significantly beefed up.  Rather than individual pages which require you to click Next or Previous, the report viewer lets you easily scroll up and down the preview.  And if you need to change one of the options for the report, just click the Settings button (1), make the change and RootsMagic will regenerate the report right there.

You no longer have to choose the destination up front (screen, PDF, RTF, etc).  Just click the Save button (2) from the Report Viewer, choose the format you want to use, and save your report directly from the viewer.

And it is now easier than ever to share a report with your family and friends.  Just click the Email button (3) and RootsMagic will let you choose what format you want to send the report as.

Select one and RootsMagic will create the report file, attach it to an email, and all you have to do is type in the email address (and a message to the person if you want).


And of course the Publisher has been enhanced and simplified to make it easier to combine those multiple reports into a single book.

Other Enhancements

Most the of “graphical” reports (like pedigree chart, group sheet, box charts, etc) are not limited to just PDF anymore.  You can now save them as Rich Text (RTF) files as well (including in the publisher).

And on reports which provide an index, you can now have both a name index *and* a place index.  The place index can be printed with the places either as-is, or reversed to group them together geographically.

And here’s a cool new feature.  When you print a report or book with an index or table of contents, the page numbers in the index will hot-link to the page in the report.  Just click on a page number in the index and RootsMagic will jump to that page.  This works both in the print preview and when exporting your reports to PDF.

Well, we’re almost there.  Just a couple more features to go.  Next up is sources.  And oh what we’ve done with sources.  I may not be able to fit all the amazing new source stuff into a single blog entry, but I’m sure you won’t be disappointed if I have to stretch it out into a couple.

Join us at the Family History Expo in Mesa, Arizona

Just wanted to get the word out about the Mesa Arizona Family History Expo to be held Friday, November 14 through Saturday, November 15, 2008.  This event is being produced by Family History Expos (formerly My Ancestors Found).  If you’ve ever been to one of their events before, you know what a good value they are.  But you don’t have to take my word for it, Dick Eastman and The Chart Chick both have great things to say about the expos.

At the conference, you can choose from over 100 classes on a wide-variety of subjects taught by presenters from all over the world.  You can even attend classes on RootsMagic, Personal Historian, and Family Atlas taught by the foremost experts on the software in the world (cough, “us”).

But for devoted readers of this blog, perhaps the best part of the expo will be a chance to see and play with RootsMagic 4.  You can attend one of the classes about RM4 or stop by our booth for a live demo.

Because we are sponsors of the expo, we’ve been allowed to extend the pre-registration discount price of $75 through Friday, November 7th at 10 a.m.  You can learn more at http://www.fhexpos.com/events/upcoming.php?event_id=43.

So if you’re in the neighborhood or just want bragging rights on the RootsMagic Message Board, be sure to preregister for the Family History Expo today.  See you there!