Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Using Legacy to Create a Research Notes Summary

Recently, RootsMagic 4 unveiled a new Research Notes Report.  While RM4 is an excellent program that I use periodically, if you dread the thought of switching programs and having to clean up thousands of source citations, there is a way to produce a similar report in Legacy.  For information about the purpose and use of a Research Notes Summary, see this recent post on the Transitional Genealogists Form (TGF) list by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

The primary differences in Legacy are these:

*Each segment will be identified/separated by a bullet, not a line.

*Comments cannot be blocked and indented; however, you can italicize, bold, and/or underline to highlight them.

*Transcriptions/abstracts and comments must be entered in the Event Note field, not in the Source Text/Comments field.

*If you want a complete timeline, you will need to create "duplicate" events for birth, marriage, death and burial.  You can mark these added events as private so that you can control which reports they print in.


1.  For each document or fact, create an Event (remember that you can add customized Events, so you can call it anything you want).  Enter the date, location, and (if desired) description, then transcribe or abstract the document into the Event Notes field.  Double space, type COMMENTS, enter your comment, and highlight with B/I/U. 

If you want only a summary sentence or two, not the full transcriptions/comments, to appear in other reports, compose that summary and enclose everything else in double brackets [[example]] to mark the raw data as "private."

2.  Click on the Event Sentence Override tab and enter:

[Desc] [Sources]


I would encourage you to experiment with other structures like:

[Notes][Sources] *or*



so you can customize the report to your preferences.

3. Attach the source citation.

4. Save the Event, then from the Event list, ensure you have Set Order chronologically (little black arrows toward the lower right of screen).

5. From the Reports Menu, choose either the Individual Report (if you are okay with only end notes), or the Descendants Book Report (if you want footnotes).  The remaining instructions will be specific to the Descendants Book Report, but you will need to make similar changes if you use the Individual Report.

6.  From the Options tab, ensure Index Options, Title Page, and Generate Table of Contents are unchecked.  Set the number of generations to 1. Under the Heading Layout tab, change the title to Research Notes Summary for [FullName], for example.  From the Wording tabs, erase any of those pesky canned sentences that interfere (you can always reset to default later).

7.  Click on Report Options and set each tab as desired; the most important ones IMO are: under Privacy, check Print Private Notes (if you have used the double brackets described above), and/or Include Events Marked Private, if necessary, under Include, check Event Information (I leave almost everything else blank),  under Sources, check Print Source Citations as Footnotes, and  under Format, click on Event Narrative Format and select Bullet Point each Event.

You are now ready to print.  However, you may want to print to an RTF file and make some minor changes in a word processor, such as deleting the "First Generation" subtitle, the basic BMD sentences that will be out of sequence, and the children's information.

This process is not as complex as it may sound.  The main problem I have is remembering to consistently enter the data as I have described in the Event Notes field.

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