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Tuesday's Tip - Options: Data Format (Beginner)

TT - Options - Data Format

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

Options: Data Format (Beginner)

Previous articles in this series:
Customize Legacy
Options: General Settings
Options: Data Entry

The next section in the Customize Legacy menu is Options > Customize > 3. Data Format

Option 3.1 Letter Case of Prefix and Suffix (gbl)

Option 3.1
(click image to enlarge)

If you choose Initial caps Legacy will automatically capitalize your prefixes and suffixes if you enter them in lowercase. Some people like this feature because you can type faster and it also keeps you from making a capitalization mistake. I have mine set to Don't change what I enter because I have a habit of using the suffix field for things other than a true suffix (many times in privacy brackets). If you have been using Don't change what I enter and you change your mind and select Initial caps you will notice the Apply button become active. If you click Apply it will go through your file and capitalize all of your prefixes and suffixes at one time.


Option 3.2 Letter Case of Given Names (gbl)

Option 3.2
(click image to enlarge)

This option is pretty much the same as the previous one but in this case I do want Legacy to capitalize the given names because I am very capable of making a mistake when typing and I have no given names that would be in lowercase.


Option 3.3 Letter Case of Surnames (gbl)

Option 3.3
(click image to enlarge)

I have this set to Initial Caps but there are going to be a lot of people that won't want to do this. If you have a lot of surnames like van der Molen then you don't want to have Initial Caps.

It used to be that UPPERCASE surnames were the norm in genealogy. I think this came about when we dealt a lot with unindexed books. If the surnames were in uppercase you could scan pages pretty fast looking for the surnames. Today this is not the standard; however, there are many people that still prefer it and so the option is here. This will trigger a Potential Problem since this isn't the standard. If you want to use uppercase surnames you need to do two things.

1) Make sure you have this option set to UPPERCASE and then click the APPLY button over on the right to make sure that all of your surnames are in uppercase.

2) Now go to Tools > Potential Problems. Click the Standardization tab. The very last entry is Surname entered as all uppercase. Uncheck that box.

Now you are good to go.


Option 3.4 Displaying Surnames (gbl)

Option 3.4
(click image to enlarge)

These options are for display only. In other words, it doesn't matter how you actually enter them, this is how the will be displayed on your screen. Most people that want their surnames in uppercase want them that way all the time so this option might be a bit redundant; however, /Surnames/ within slashes is a bit different. Sometimes it isn't obvious which is the given name and which is the surname. Slashes around the surname will tell you which is which. A lot of older programs did this and some people like it so we have it as a option. If you had the name Ann /Kelly/ you wouldn't mistakenly thing that her middle name is Kelly and that the surname is missing.


Option 3.5 Format of Names with Titles (gbl)

Option 3.5
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This is how names with prefixes and suffixes will appear in the various reports. I do want Legacy to Put a comma before title suffix so that it reads out John Doe, Jr. I am not sure why you would Put a comma after a title prefix but there must be a reason so if anyone does this post a comment explaining why.


Option 3.6 Letter Case of Locations (gbl)

Option 3.6
(click image to enlarge)

This one works the same way as Options 3.1, 3.2, and 3.3. I have no locations that start with a small letter so I want Legacy to make sure I haven't made a mistake and it will capitalize locations automatically for me. Again, you have an Apply button so that you can convert all your locations with a click of a button. This is very convenient when you have done an import.


Option 3.7 Location Format (gbl)

Option 3.7
(click image to enlarge)

You can see how I prefer to format my locations in reports. I am not sure why you would want to remove the spaces because that wouldn't be good English nor would the option to have inconsistent spacing but apparently some people prefer this and that is why the programmers have included these options. You can use the Apply button to make sure your file is uniform, especially after an import.


Option 3.8 Child List Indicators (gbl)

Option 3.8
(click image to enlarge)

These options give very different displays so it is easier to do this with screenshots. Anything that has to do with a Direct Line means you have to have already set your Direct Line by going to Tools > Set Direct Line or the option won't work.

Use Bold and Underline on the numbers to indicate spouses and continued lines

Bold means the person is married. Underline means the person has children. If the person is both bold and underlined then they are married and have children which is the case in this screenshot.

Bold and underline
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Use § and + at the end of names to indicate spouses and continued line

§ means the person is married but has no children. + means that the person is married and does have children.

Symbols on names
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Indicate Preferred children in Child List (*)

Preferred Child
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Indicate direct-line children in lists (bold)

Direct Line bolded
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I showed you screenshots of the Children's List but some or all of these will also show up on the Name/Search List, Pedigree View, Descendant View, Index View, Edit Children and the Siblings List. On the Name/Search List and Index Views you will only see the Direct Line in bold. The § symbol there means a married name (a ~ means an alternate name). The Descendant View will only  have the Direct Line in bold.


Option 3.9 Living Indicator (gbl)


I like to keep this turned on because it might alert me to someone that is marked living that should be dead or someone that is marked dead that should be living. When I am working with DNA I will kill myself off (or whoever is the anchor person for the DNA gedcom I am uploading). I want the DNA matches to see my name while still protecting those people that truly are alive. Sometimes I forget to resurrect myself from the dead.


Living on
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(click image to enlarge)

Notice that there is a button to Select Color if you want to change it.


Option 3.10 Term for Christening (ff)

Option 3.10
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This is the only option in this section that is (ff). Why? If you have more than one file and these files have different demographics (time, place) you might prefer one term over the other.  This changes the display on the screens but it also changes reports and exports.


Option 3.11 Word for Blank Records (gbl)

Option 3.11
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If you choose Unknown Legacy will automatically insert Unknown on your screens and in reports. I just prefer to leave it blank.


Option 3.12 Potential Problems Indicator (gbl)

Option 3.12
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If you have this turned on you will see  a >> next to their title on the Family View, if you have excluding something from the Potential Problems.

Family View
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And you will see an asterisk (*) on the Individual's Information screen.

Individual screen
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That's it for this section. Next up, Options: Data Defaults.


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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