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Tuesday's Tip - Customize the Name List (Beginner)

Customize the Name List

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

Tuesday's Tip - Customize the Name View

I work off of the Name List and Search Lists A LOT. There is a customization you can do that you might not find unless you are one of those people that likes to right click everything to find "hidden" features. 

Open the Name List (or a saved Search List) and click the Detail tab over on the right. This is what you will see.

Detail Tab
(Click image to enlarge)


Now right click or double click on any of the labels (Born, Bapt, Died, etc). and you will see this popup.

Customize screen
(Click image to enlarge)


You have 98 things to choose from and if you choose Event or Hashtag, you have even more, as many as you have entered into Legacy.  Also notice that there are Save and Load buttons on this screen. You can save up to 10 different sets of labels. This is great when you work on different projects.

Save Custom View
(Click image to enlarge)


And here is what my labels look like after I customized them.

Custom labels
(Click to enlarge image)


There are so many different ways to customize your screens so that you see the information you want to see.  This will help save you time when you are researching.


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.


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As a long time (11 year) user of Legacy I never ignore the tips that say "beginner." Honest to goodness I learn new things all the time. This option was a new one to me. Thanks.

Stay tuned! I learned a new trick today from Ken (developer) that I had not idea existed! I am getting ready to write about it now and it will be a Tuesday's Tip soon :) :) :)

Michele, I often use these customizations on the Details tab. Since the small pedigree is already displayed on the tab which shows Father and Mother, I replace those with Spouse1, Marr1 and Spouse2, Marr2. As for FSID, I already changed the last of the 5 fields on the Family tab to display that field (those 5 fields can also be customized).

Is there a way to better utilize the space in the "name list" box at the left? The 9 boxes for tags is not helpful to me and take up a lot of screen space. Maybe add space for maiden name of females, or enlager the name-date column, or add a spouce's name. That would be a great help in selecting my person of interest.

You can send in suggestions here

I agree with Diane - I always learn something from the beginner tips even though I have been using Legacy for a long time also.

Now, how do you sort on the fields selected? Especially, I am interested in being able to sort by birth date.

Thanks so much. Love Tuesday's Tips...always learn something :-)

To sort you will need to export the Name List to a csv file and do the sort there.

Before you get started, if you are using MS Excel you will need to change your date format to 1840-02-14 because Excel can't read pre 1901 dates. If you are using the free Open Office spreadsheet program you won' t have to do this. If you are using Excel, once you have exported you will need to change the format of all of the date columns to "General" and not dates and then you will be able to sort by column.

Also before you get started, in the Name List turn AKAs and Married names off in the Options (unless you really want everyone to export multiple times). Now...

Using the Name List or a Search List that you have created, click OPTIONS > PRINT (in Legacy 8 it will be PRINT). This is where you will set up the report with the fields you want to export. Don't worry about setting the column widths because you will have to redo them anyway after the export because a CSV file is very generic and it isn't going to pay attention to any formatting.

Start with ROW 1. There are some default fields listed but if you need more simply use the customize button. If you need more fields than that, go to Row 2. If you export, this will not be an additional row but rather additional columns. After you have added the fields don't forget to check mark them.

Now export to a CSV and then open the file in your spreadsheet program. You will have to adjust the column widths. You can now sort by any column including the date columns.

Is there a way to print the tip with out all of the other information that apperies on the page. I tried to use Ctrl P but it wants to print 8 pages, but all I need is the information for the Tip. Please HELP.

Thank you, Brian

I have a question, I have and error I can't get rid of I have repair the File maintenance created anew Gedcom, created a new File every time I add an individual I get Error 3049, after Repair I either lose people I have added and Media also , please answer me private no nreed to post
Is it because my database is 171557 individuals or legacy can't handle this much Data
Please help

Please send an email to so that a tech can help you :)

The way I would do it is copy and paste the information into MS Word so that you don't lose the screenshots. You can then reformat the Word document to shrink things down a bit so that it isn't as long.

Thank you Michele for the information. It was exactly what I needed.

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