The Road to RootsMagic 8 (Part 6): Multiple Files and Screens

The next features that we want to preview in RootsMagic 8 are improvements in working with multiple files, screens, and even computer monitors.

One feature in previous versions of RootsMagic that our users have loved is the ability to have more than one file open at a time. You can simply open each file and work on either or both at the same time.  You can even drag-and-drop people and whole branches from one tree to another with the click of a mouse.RM8-Multiples-01

Before RootsMagic 8, this feature used a system called “Multiple Document Interface” or “MDI” for short.  In MDI, you have smaller “child windows,” which are contained within the main application window. This worked great in the days when people only had a single computer monitor. But today, if you have more than one monitor, it is challenging to get RootsMagic 7 to place each file in its own screen.

In RootsMagic 8, each RootsMagic file lives in its own separate window. This allows you to “stretch out” and separate them, even with multiple monitors.


And yes, you can still “drag-and-drop” people, families, and branches from one file to another, even across different computer monitors!

Note: Eagle-eyed readers may notice that a person’s edit screen can be used at the same time as the RootsMagic main screen. The edit screen no longer blocks access to the main screen. There is also more than one person edit screen open at the same time. But we’ll discuss these new features in a future article.

And to help keep things straight while working with multiple files, you can assign a color to each one. This color lets you more easily keep track of while file you are looking at and working with.


And here are the colors in action:

That’s it for today’s preview. There’s much more to come!

26 thoughts to “The Road to RootsMagic 8 (Part 6): Multiple Files and Screens”

  1. Looks great; love that you can work on person’s edit screen at the same time the main screen is open.
    That is such a pain now to move back and forth from edit screen to main screen.
    The staff has really put in a lot of thought to make RM8 the best.

  2. Really looking forward to separate windows with color coding (even though I normally don’t use multiple screens) and love the idea of edit not locking out main screen!!!!

    Is it possible to have the SAME file open in two windows?

  3. I’m really anxious to learn if there are any new features for publishing the tree on the web. I work on my tree to be able to share it with relatives and they access the information through what’s published to the web. So that’s where there’s real leverage in IMO.

  4. I love the double monitor. My monitor is a wide screen with the ability to split the view in half.
    I have 2 desktop computers plugged into the same monitor. Thus I can have FindaGrave or Ancestry on one side and RM on the other side and don’t have to switch back and forth to do editing..

    What I’m hoping for is a more robust interface with Ancestry. The current system forces you to merge records one line at a time.
    Say you updated the ancestry file with a more complete name, birth date, birthplace, death date, death place, marriage date, marriage place, on and on goes the update on the ancestry file. It takes 20 minutes to review line by line each entry before you can finally click the accept button and let the computer update the Roots file or vice versa.
    it’s too time consuming.
    by the time you get to the middle of the updates you can’t even remember if it was the RM record that was correct or the new line on Ancestry.
    and you can’t really see both entries at the same time.

  5. I have always used 2, sometimes 3 monitors and will love the color coding with more than one file open. I like all the new colors, too.I will really like the edit screen not locking out the main screen. Great streamlining.

  6. Hey Bruce, You really know how to tempt people – can’t wait for the fascinating event of RM8 – more power to your elbow!

  7. In RM8 wall chart feature, will there be any significant improvements with it? 1) Such as ability to move the people boxes with their respective lines moving with them without manually having to make adjustment in any generation; 2) such as primary ancestor at the top with all children below primary, then the all grandchildren (similar to the old FTM 2006 software).

  8. These improvements are looking great! I’m hoping the Tools from the main window can be accessed from the Edit Person window now. Looking forward to hearing more — and the official roll-out!

  9. I agree with George Park regarding syncing with Ancestry. I would like to see the following two capabilities regarding the sync process for people who do all their updating in RootsMagic and then want to sync to Ancestry:
    1. Make the individual in Ancestry match the individual in RootsMagic without having to go through every individual fact.
    2. Provide a bulk update capability where you can select any combination or all changed individuals to be updated in Ancestry in a single operation.

    In addition, I have a lot of facts in RootsMagic that is intended for my own personal use and not intended for others to see. So I can only sync to a tree that is hidden in Ancestry for viewing by the public. This means I have to separately upload a new tree to Ancestry for others to make visible for others to see and redo my DNA connections, etc. It would be nice to be able to specify what facts are and are not subject to sync with Ancestry.

  10. In part 5, I agree with #39 request/comment. In TMG you could use F3 to repeat last entry. Boy does it save time and typing mistakes. Can you guys could throw in this option?? 🙂
    Also, it’s looking good!!!!! Can’t wait and you guys take all the time you need to get it right the first time.

  11. It would be great if you made the color coding menu match the color of the data that you are currently working on as the default color. For example, if you have a branch that is colored with a shade of blue and you go to the, “Color Code People” dropdown menu, it always has the default color red showing instead of the actual color that the person is set to. Sometimes I have to try different selections to see which shade of blue I used on the branch that I am working on (blue, aqua, navy or teal). While the addition of more color selections is a great idea, making the color that your using easier to find would be a great help.

  12. Getting real excited about RM8 being released. Being able to view my file on two screens will be a big help. It’s one of the two reasons I don’t work with just RM. The other is your TreeShare feature. Need something that doesn’t take all day to sort through to “sync” with Ancestry. I know you’re doing your best, and can’t wait for the release.

  13. Looking forward to the new release. I’m a new Rootsmagic 7 user and I can already see how these updates are going to improve the experience. As Patrick said: WHEN???!!!

  14. It’s hard to tell from the limited scope of the image, but I hope this is showing that you can see the colour beside or with the name in the menu, rather than just the name as it is at present. Currently, it is so hard to remember which name goes with which colour, especially with the many variations of blue to choose from. This has been my number one wish for RM for years!

  15. If you posted all the comments about the new edit screen feature there would probably be no room for other comments. You’re programmer(s) really deserve special praise for this. I echo what others have said about having a separate edit screen that doesn’t block the main screen. This is going to be REALLY helpful!

    I’ll also echo a question by John G. Sackis. Is it possible to have the SAME file open in two windows? It would be so nice to look at multiple parts of the same file. Such a feature would speed up searches and file corrections.

    Another question I’ll echo is by Bob Matulka. Are there any new features for publishing the tree on the web? The current feature is rather out of date. Multiple options for file size and display would be great. For example, it would be really nice to be able to also create really simple, text only pedigrees and family groups with HTML hyperlinks for the web in addition to your usual type features.

    Reply: You can open the same file more than once in RM8. No announcements have been made on website creation in RM8 yet.
    Renee, RootsMagic

  16. Can we please have at least 16 colors (that are not gray). I like to color code branches at the Great-Great Grandparent level. There 16 GGG’s.

    These colors should be good in print. Gray doesn’t print well.


  17. I hope the color coding I’ve used in Version 7 will transfer correctly into Version 8. I’m really looking forward to this new Version. Thank you for all your hard work !

  18. Hi Renee
    Thanks for keeping us MAC users up on the issues generated with Apples upgrade changes and the efforts by you (the company) on your efforts to mitigate the fallout created. In particular, your effort to keep version 7 a viable and usable software although a new version is in the works.

  19. Hopefully, there will be the option to make a “Shareable Thumb Dive” as well as “Shareable CD”.
    Thank you.

  20. I pre bought RM8 at Root tech in February. I am obviously still running 7. I link with Family Search, Ancestry, and have files listed in all of the other DNA databases. Will there be any help in managing DNA items for my searches?

  21. Nice feature. Screen real estate is precious and I hope that in the final release the title/search bar and headers are slimmer.

  22. Have you given thought as to having a selection for colors in the right click Tools Menu? I feel that would be so helpful Thanks

  23. Love the fact that the edit screen no longer blocks the main screen. There have been a couple of times I have minimised the edit screen without realising and then wondering why nothing will work.

    Like Bob Matulika I am wondering about web publishing possibilities to my own site. I don’t do this on Ancestry etc as you don’t get the flexibility and the ability to limit access in the way I like.

  24. There have been several requests about improvements in wall charts, but no replies. RootsMagic 7 wall chart is a poor layout. By not having the spouses vertical, trees are too wide. Then there is the several step work around to print the charts in Windows 10. Over 2 years ago your support staff said this would be fixed.

    Reply: This will be answered in future blog post in the series.
    Renee, RootsMagic

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