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ThomasRoberts
25 May 2005, 05:56 PM
My mom has been using Family Tree Maker 8.0 to do her genealogy and I would like to get into it, but there isn't a Mac version of Family Tree Maker. After searching the web for Genealogy software for the Mac, I have decided to use Reunion, but I have some questions before I purchase a copy.

1) My plan is to export what my mom has on her FTM to a GEDCOM file then import it into Reunion. How accurate will the information be?

2) If I import any future files this way, will duplicate information get ignored?

3) Is the current version Tiger compatible?

4) How well does it integrate with a .mac account?

5) The new version claims to add support for Pages, but it does not say how. How does this support work?

johnpritt
26 May 2005, 04:06 AM
Some answers to some of the questions...

3) Yes. Most members have made the migration without any problems.
4) Check out this thread where forum member Steve Jackson has posted an excellent reply to a similar question: http://www.reuniontalk.com/showthread.php?t=360

ThomasRoberts
26 May 2005, 01:51 PM
Some answers to some of the questions...

3) Yes. Most members have made the migration without any problems.
4) Check out this thread where forum member Steve Jackson has posted an excellent reply to a similar question: http://www.reuniontalk.com/showthread.php?t=360

Thank you for your answers. #3 was the most important one with #1 right behind it. I will put my order in for Reunion today from the Apple store. My mom has a lot of pictures, but I do not know if she put them into her FTM file or if she just has them in photo albums, which leads me to a few more questions:

6) If I have to scan the pictures and put them in Reunion myself, what format (jpg, png, tiff) and size (800x600, 1024x768) would be the best?

7) If there are any pictures in the FTM file, how easy is it to extract a copy so I can get them into iPhoto?

johnpritt
26 May 2005, 03:08 PM
Another partial answer here I'm afraid...and more questions than answers, but hopefully this will give you something to consider.

6) jpg is probably the most widely supported. As for size, it depends on the intended audience and whether you think they have high speed broadband connections or not. And of course what the photos represent and the quality of the originals. Personally, i would have thought that 800*600 would be more than big enough, or even 640*480. Also consider your own situation: how many pictures do you have, what sort of upload speed do you have, how much space do you have on .Mac, how long are you prepared to sit waiting for the upload to finish?! For a 1024*768 jpg you're looking at perhaps 200kb or more depending on the quality.

Mary Arthur
26 May 2005, 05:38 PM
1) My plan is to export what my mom has on her FTM to a GEDCOM file then import it into Reunion. How accurate will the information be?

2) If I import any future files this way, will duplicate information get ignored?1) I highly recommend that you take the time to enter the information yourself from a Register report. Much of the 'extra' information (beyond dates and places) will be less than clear, depending on how it was entered but also, you need to decide for yourself how to enter the information and by entering it yourself you will know it - you will be able to see connections and possibly make connections based on that knowledge while searching for other info. I always tell the story of a woman who gave me her parents names when she married my first cousin - several years later I was given her parents names and they rang a bell so I searched for them and found we were fourth cousins (on the other side), you might find this when looking at the index but . . .

If you do import, remember you can trash it and import again with different options - so play around to get the 'best' results - be sure to include your mother as general source, especially if you do not plan to check her information.

2) You will have to match and merge to make sure that the same people are not in the file twice (unfortunately not as easy as it sounds - but the program does most of the hard work, you just have to be careful not to merge the wrong people).

If you can, find or start a users group in your local society.

Mary Arthur,
Reunion SIGlet Leader, Computer SIG,
Alberta Family Histories Society

Steve W. Jackson
26 May 2005, 06:25 PM
Another partial answer here I'm afraid...and more questions than answers, but hopefully this will give you something to consider.

6) jpg is probably the most widely supported. As for size, it depends on the intended audience and whether you think they have high speed broadband connections or not. And of course what the photos represent and the quality of the originals. Personally, i would have thought that 800*600 would be more than big enough, or even 640*480. Also consider your own situation: how many pictures do you have, what sort of upload speed do you have, how much space do you have on .Mac, how long are you prepared to sit waiting for the upload to finish?! For a 1024*768 jpg you're looking at perhaps 200kb or more depending on the quality.
In its current incarnation, Reunion will readily support any image format that is handled by QuickTime. That allows you to use PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF, or whatever else Reunion will actually display in its multimedia window. My advice would be to choose the size/resolution that is most useful to you (at your computer), depending on whether you own original prints, negatives, etc., of the images in question.

As for the size considerations of the image files on a web server, you should be aware that your image files are not copied directly into the folder structure that Reunion uses for generating web cards. If you have your settings so that a media page will be created, there's a preference indicating the maximum size of images (in pixels). Reunion will copy your images and rename the files (to fit within web naming conventions, for starters), as well as adjusting the image that's included in the web cards to fit that maximum size if needed. And since some image types (like TIFF) aren't readily supported in some browsers, they'll all end up being GIF or JPG images. So don't let your available server storage space govern any decisions on the size, quality, etc., of images you keep in Reunion.

= Steve =

Steve W. Jackson
26 May 2005, 06:31 PM
1) I highly recommend that you take the time to enter the information yourself from a Register report. Much of the 'extra' information (beyond dates and places) will be less than clear, depending on how it was entered but also, you need to decide for yourself how to enter the information and by entering it yourself you will know it - you will be able to see connections and possibly make connections based on that knowledge while searching for other info. I always tell the story of a woman who gave me her parents names when she married my first cousin - several years later I was given her parents names and they rang a bell so I searched for them and found we were fourth cousins (on the other side), you might find this when looking at the index but . . . I wholeheartedly agree with Mary's advice here. When I got my first major breakthrough on one family line, I still hadn't figured out much about using Reunion (I had purchased my first copy a few weeks earlier). But what I received was in the form of a lengthy Register Report that I studied for days. I had no choice but to enter the data I wanted from it by hand, but I learned so much about what was in there by doing exactly that. That's not even considering the distinct advantage I later realized I had from simply entering it in the form that I preferred, concerning source references, etc.

There's something to be said for importing GEDCOM files, the family files of others, etc., but the knowledge gained by carefully going over that early report for me was priceless.

= Steve =

ThomasRoberts
27 May 2005, 01:31 AM
Thank you all for your help. After reading all the comments I think it will be better to enter all the information manually because:

1) Entering information manually, starting with my immediate family, will allow me learn how the Reunion application works (entering, changing, deleting information/pictures/sounds, viewing information on the screen, searching, printing and/or exporting family information to files/CD/emails, etc.).

2) Even if ALL the information is entered correctly from a GEDCOM file, I would have a copy of my genealogy but no knowledge of it (i.e. copying a classmates homework). Entering the information myself will allow me to learn the names, places, occupations, etc. of my family, which is what genealogy is all about. Right?

3) I spoke with my mom this evening to find out if she scans the pictures into her Family Tree Maker and she said she is afraid to because her computer (Dell running Win98SE ca. 2000) locks up the majority of times she uses the scanner. This means I am going to have to scan pictures into Reunion and fill out information about the picture if I am able.

My reason for asking about picture formats and sizes is because pictures can be put in chart boxes and I wasn't sure what I needed to do to get the best results.

I ordered Reunion from the Apple store and it is already in transit so I should have it no later than Tuesday. The only thing left for me to do is organize and structure the sources of my information.

theKiwi
27 May 2005, 08:05 AM
If you are going to scan the pictures, you probably want to scan them only once, so you should scan them at the best possible resolution that you are able to produce with your scanner and store on your computer.

Reunion will scale the pictures to the sizes needed to put onto charts and reports from the larger images, and you'll have a decent file if you ever should want to print the image out at a larger size.

In the past I've always scanned images at the maximum optical resolution of the scanner, but with scanners now going well over 2400 dpi that's probably not necessary, but if you have smallish original pictures, I'd scan them at at least 1200 so that they can be enlarged when printed if required to get better sized printouts.

Roger

Michael
27 May 2005, 12:07 PM
5) The new version claims to add support for Pages, but it does not say how. How does this support work?When Pages was released, we realized that we would need to make some minor changes to allow Reunion to communicate with Pages. This support was added with the Reunion 8.06 maintenance update.

You can select Pages as your default word processor by choosing Options -> Reports in the top Reunion menu bar. In the Report Options window, click on the "Word Processor" option in the sidebar. You can then click on the "Word Processor" pop-up menu button and choose "Pages."

David G. Kanter
27 May 2005, 04:12 PM
. . .Entering information manually. . . .I'd caution against deciding to manually enter everything. That unnecessarily discounts all the basic information (names, many life-cycle event data) whose keystrokes have already done--and much of which will be imported well from a GEDCOM--and introduces (another) opportunity for typographical errors upon entry.

I wholehearted endorse the suggestion that you get as complete a report as you can using the Family Tree Maker program. But rather than using that report as your source for manually entering everything into the Reunion Family File, after the GEDCOM input I'd begin your record-by-record validation walk through everyone's record in the Family File. I'd use the report to confirm what's OK and what needs to be moved, corrected, or completely re-entered. That way you'll get the detailed understanding of all the information and a better appreciation for what Reunion does, but with, I'd expect, a significant saving in keystrokes and your time.

I'd also suggest you do some trial inputs so that when you get to the Gedcom Input window and choose the Option Fields tab, you'll see how Reunion intends to parse the GEDCOM. You're likely to see where it plans to create some new fields (name beginnning "_New") for a GEDOM Tag it didn't find in that Family File. If you choose, you could then use the Options->Define to create those fields--and then start another re-input. When you are satisfied that data will, to the extent possible, be parsed in the fields (and types) you want, then do a final GEDCOM input into an empty Famile File and begin the record-by-record review agains the FTM report.

ThomasRoberts
27 May 2005, 05:08 PM
My copy of Reunion arrived a few minutes ago and I have already installed and updated it to 8.0.6 so now I can enter information and learn the application before I "get serious". I am sure you all already know of these sites, but the two I am going to start with are:

http://www.ancestry.com
http://www.rootsweb.com