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Tuesday’s Tip – Expanding and Contracting Locations (Beginner)

Tuesday’s Tip – Expanding and Contracting Locations (Beginner)

Tuesday's Tips provide brief how-to's to help you learn to use the Legacy Family Tree software with new tricks and techniques.

Expanding and Contracting Locations (Beginner)

Question from a Legacy user:
How do I change all instances of USA in my locations to United States?

Before you get started backup your file. Whenever you are going to do something that has a global impact on your file you always want to backup first. Now on the main toolbar select View > Master Lists > Location. On the right side of the screen select Options > Expand/Contract Location Parts.

Here is the Expand/Contract Location Parts dialog box. Check the box that says, Add "United States."  It won't add United States to the USA that is already there but rather it will change USA to United States. If you didn't have USA or United States at all this option will add it. Hit Continue.

 Expand and Contract Location Parts dialog box(click image to enlarge) 

This is what the Master Location List looks like before the change:

  Before screenshot(click image to enlarge)

 And here it is after:

After screenshot
(click image to enlarge)

If you now choose Add “USA” it will change all of your United States entries back to USA. You can also do this with the names of states and there are additional options to expand/contract names associated with other countries. To see all of the abbreviations that Legacy will recognize and convert, select the option you are interested in under Parts to Work On and then Preview a list of Codes/Names.

Did you notice that if you have  just the country listed (, , , United States or , , , USA) you will have to edit that one by hand. Why?  If you were to decide to remove the USA or United States completely it would end up deleting your entry so this is a fail-safe. To manually edit this one location highlight it and then click Edit down below. 

Edit Location dialog box
(click image to enlarge)

There are many changes you can make in Legacy that will change things across your entire file which is not only a time saver but it helps keep your entries consistent. Just remember to backup your file first in case you change your mind.


Find tech tips every day in the Facebook Legacy User Group. The group is free and is available to anyone with a Facebook account.

For video tech tips check out the Legacy Quick Tips page.  These short videos will make it easy for you to learn all sort of fun and interesting ways to look at your genealogy research.

Michele Simmons Lewis, CG is part of the Legacy Family Tree team at MyHeritage. She handles the enhancement suggestions that come in from our users as well as writing for Legacy News.  You can usually find her hanging out on the Legacy User Group Facebook page answering questions and posting tips.

Certified Genealogist is a registered trademark and the designation CG is a service mark of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, used under license by Board certificants who meet competency standards.


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