RootsMagic 4 Unwrapped – Sources… Have them your way


Sorry… got carried away fixing bugs again.

In our last episode I promised that there was a little more I wanted to mention about the new SourceWizard in RootsMagic 4.  We told you that the new SourceWizard supported Evidence!, Evidence Explained, Cite Your Sources, and the Evidence QuickSheet.  Several readers were concerned about whether our source templates would be slanted towards US sources, or UK sources, or Canadian sources, or whatever.

So what way do RootsMagic 4 source templates slant?  Any way you want them to.  That’s right, in addition to the built-in templates you can now create your own custom source templates.

Source Template Editor

Now don’t let that screen scare you.  To create a source template you just add the fields you want RootsMagic to ask for, then tell RootsMagic how to put those fields together to make the footnote, short footnote, and bibliography.  Yes, the template language is very powerful, but it isn’t overly complicated.

And don’t worry if you aren’t the type of person who would normally venture into creating a custom template.  I suspect there are some RootsMagic users who would be happy to help you create a template just the way you want.

Information and Links

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Reader Comments

Thanks Bruce – this will certainly mean I’ll be there to buy my copy once released.
All the best for Christmas!

What a wonderful tool! This is so helpful for composing our histories. Thank you!

Hi Bruce, Michael, etc..

Looking Very Good.
I just want to take the time to wish both of you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Profitable, Healthy New Year.

Looking forward to our society’s Jan meeting in 09. Hoping to feature ver 4.
Herb…

I’ve wanted this for a long, long time. Thanks!

Well this is terrific! This looks very easy to implement. In conjunction with the previous reveal on sources, it looks like selection (and now creation) of source templates is only a click or two away. The ability to create custom sources when a suitable one doesn’t exist really saves time and promotes consistency within one’s database.

It’s a little more complex than creating a new fact type, but not much.
I can usually find a place for sources to fit, but there are some that don’t fit well in RM3′s list. (This is what happens when you’re working with information that was collected by someone who’s two generations back on the tree.)

This is great. I will assume that there will be some pre-made templates with common source formats.
I have four questions:

Will we be able to take a pre-made template and add or take away fields to make a custom template?

You mentioned that someone could help create a template, does that mean we will be able to somehow send a template to another user?

Will there be the ability to create a field for a web link, so we can link directly to an online source document from within our source citation?

Will there be the ability to link to a source document in a folder on our computer from the source citation?

Another good one. Rather than developing RM3 this re-write is almost creating a new genealogy program well fit for 2009 needs and in my opinion will raise the bar a lot and leave the competition scrambling to catch up.

BTM, would sending you some bug spray help any in getting RM4 out :)

Just the way we would want the sources to be viewed. How wonderful! Thanks for a great job.

If you create your own template, how does the source export in the gedcom? I’m a new user, and am very happy that if I write the source myself in RootsMagic, it comes out in the gedcom with the title tag (or maybe author–both of those appear on the bottom of a “page” in my sources.) and therefore shows up perfectly on my website.

I was one of the people that asked about the ‘slant’. I’m thrilled that you have considered this, and I expect that this will take care of my concern, but I think I’m missing something here. Perhaps it is because your example is a book, and citation for a book would be the same in UK or USA. A government or church document would not and I’d like to know how that would be handled. I have trouble with that now and have to read and re-read the three Shown Mills volumes every time I want to create a new accurately cited source. As somebody who has trouble remembering the minutiae of citation, will this make things simpler for me doing UK research and still have EE quality citations?

Penny, I see this as putting all researchers on even ground, regardless of the records they are searching. Granted, RM4 will ship with a number of pre-made templates. But armed with the “manual” (Evidence Explained) and the custom template capability of RM4, we all can create whatever templates we need. (One time and you’re done.) Nobody can remember the details of the elaborate source models in EE. I would do the same as you, pick up the book (and also compare it with E! and the QuickSheet). Then, for those sources which did not fit into a given template in RM3, figure out how to make it fit or just type it in, again refering to my notes and/or examples of what I did “last time.” I believe these custom templates will mean to me that I don’t have to do all that head-scratching and looking in my notebook for answers. It will save lots of time, less frustrating, thus more enjoyable.

Looking forward to Version 4. A number of relatives are waiting for V. 4 rather than upgrade from V. 3
One wonderful advantage RootsMagic had in the past was an actual textbook of instruction. Hopefully, that will continue.

Will the tool bar include links to recommended web genealogical sites or the abililty to create active links?

Bruce, I may have to give you a big hug at NGS in May!!!! This is perfect. I have already been writing out some custom citations based on 2 or more EE examples in just the format that you are using for RM4.

Merry Christmas!!! (And I hope that you get that bug spray soon .)

BRUCE
RELEASE THE COMMUNITY TEST AND YOU CAN GET 1 GOOD NITE’S SLEEP (IF YOU TAKE A PM TABLET) BEFORE ALL THE QUESTIONS COME BACK TO YOU.
THIS BLOG IS VERY EDUCATIONAL TEACHING GENEALOGISTS PATIENCE.
WE WILL WAIT SINCE WE MUST.

TO BRUCE AND FAMILY AND ALL RM USERS
ONLY THE BEST FOR THE YEARS THAT LAY AHEAD. MAY SANTA PUT VERSION 4 IN YOUR XMAS STOCKING. SEASON GREETINGS FROM SOUTH AFRICA

Do you have a book, as yet, which will help us with Version 4? I do need help! Thank you for the DNA; I will be looking forward to your being able to make DNA more usable! Love it.