There are literally hundreds of programs out there to help you organize and maintain your family tree and living history files. I've used several over the years trying to see if any of them compared to what I was currently using in requirements to stay neat and easy. None ever have.
In 1995 I was using Generations. This soon was bought out by another company and I came across Family Tree Maker by Ancestry, later realizing that they had bought my old program and combined it with theirs. This made me very happy as my old program was efficient and easy to use.
So now you have your program and you think you are using it as best as you know how, but you are sure that you are not using it to its highest efficiency. Join the club! Even experienced users do not use all the functions available to them. That's why I've prepared some tips based on questions I've been asked and able to answer over time.
This week, my tip is about Customized View on the People tab. Did you know that you can change the way you view your ancestor or descendants information? In the right hand panel, click on customized view button at the bottom. You can add any fact on the right or remove any on the left and organize them in the order you wish them to appear. You can also create a New Custom Fact and add your own. I've added individual census year facts so I can keep track in a glance of where my families were living each census year. I've also added a "FindAGrave" fact so that I can place the number of the Find A Grave memorial in their file and find it again whenever I wish to.
Along with that, you can change the way each fact is displayed. Go to the Edit menu at the top left corner of your window. Scroll to Manage Facts. Select the fact you want to change then click on Properties. Here you can choose how the fact appears on the right panel.
BONUS TIP: While in the Manage Fact window, click on Data Options for one of the facts. You will see a list of people who have information in that fact property. You can change information in this fact by selecting the person(s) and clicking on the box at the bottom that fits what you wish to do with this.
Example: I had originally placed a burial information in the place of "death" by accident. So I selected Death, then clicked on Fact Options. the list appeared and I selected the right person. I then clicked the first box at the bottom that says "Change selected facts to this fact type" and selected burial in the drop down box. I then clicked ok, and all that information is copied without me having to retype or paste it all again.
I hope that these tips help you! Enjoy your Adventures in Genealogy!
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