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Help with web-based photos

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    Help with web-based photos

    Hi, I'm new to Reunion. I have been maintaining a tree on for years, and I have many photos there. My tree is private. When I imported my GEDCOM file from Ancestry, it also brought over web links to all my photos. It looks like this:

    Image 2019-04-11 at 10.45.19 AM.png

    This is great -- much better than I had anticipated. The web-based photos are represented as icons, not the actual photos. So now I am trying to figure out the best way to import those so I can see the photos in Reunion.

    I have discovered that I can click and drag any photo from Ancestry, and it saves to Reunion (awesome!). But it's several steps and I haven't quite sorted out the workflow. I also wonder if the reason these are links is that my tree is private. Would having the tree public allow Reunion to import the actual photos?

    I would appreciate any workflow suggestions or tips on how to make best use of this great feature.



    No it's not because the tree is Private.

    You would need some intermediary software like Family Tree Maker or RootsMagic - both of which can sync from your computer to your Ancestry tree, and allow you to save all the media linked on Ancestry down to your computer. Then once you've done that a GEDCOM generated from either of those will contain the local (your computer) links to the images which Reunion would understand.

    I'm not sure if the free version of RootsMagic can do this download to your computer or not.

    Roger Moffat


      Hi Kalico,

      Roger is correct -- Ancestry does not provide an easy means of getting those images downloaded. The only way we've found to do that is to use Family Tree Maker as a "middle-man", as outlined in this FAQ.

      We have not tested RootsMagic for this purpose, so I can't say for certain whether or not that would work.

      Mark Harrison
      Leister Productions, Inc.


        Thank you both so much for the input. Since paying $79 for FTM wasn't in my budget after I just bought Reunion, I decided to try my luck with RootsMagic. And voila! I was able to get all the photos using RootsMagic's free version! I used the Reunion FAQ provided by Mark above as a guide and had to do a bit of hunting to figure out where RootsMagic stores the synced image files. RM uses Wine in the background to allow itself to run on a Mac, so the paths it displays are cryptic and not something you can easily locate. As it turns out, it's actually doing something that is quite straightforward: storing the images in a folder in your ~/Documents folder.

        I documented my steps, and hope it will help others!

        These steps involve changing Reunion's default path for images via Multimedia Preferences. Another option, which I have not tried, may be moving all the photos into the standard path first. I don't' know if Reunion automatically searches subfolders of the default path, or if you'd have to put them all in the main folder. Maybe someone else can answer that.

        I did this using the trial version of RootsMagic 7 (not RootsMagic Essentials).

        1. Make a new family tree file in RootsMagic. Use the default path -- it will make a media folder in your ~/Documents folder on Mac, in spite of what the default path says on screen. Whatever you name this tree, that will be the name of the media folder where your images are stored locally (with _media tacked onto the end of the folder name). In this example, I named the tree Italian Family Tree RM.
        2. Click on the Ancestry icon (or go to Internet >> TreeShare for Ancestry) and use the "Download and Connect" interface. Follow the steps to log in to Ancestry and select a tree to download. It will take a while if there are lots of images.
        3. When it's done, you'll see the tree data. Just click "Close". Your empty tree will populate with the new data.
        4. Go to File >> Export and accept the defaults. Your RootsMagic GEDCOM will be in your ~/Documents folder, and there will be a new subfolder there for the images.

        Now we go to Reunion to import...

        5. Go to Reunion and make a new family file. Name it, and choose "import a GEDCOM".
        6. Navigate to the GEDCOM you just downloaded from RootsMagic (now you're glad it has an RM in the file name!). It will be in your ~/Documents folder on Mac.
        7. After import, go to someone in the tree who you know should have media (it might not be the first person who shows up in your view).
        8. Click on that person, and then click on Multimedia (left sidebar) to open the multimedia pane on the right sidebar.
        9. Click on an image, then click on Multimedia Preferences.
        10. This screen shows where Reunion will look for your photos. It is ~/Pictures by default. Click the + button and browse to add the media folder that RM created. You'll find it in ~/Documents, with the name you gave the tree when you first created it, followed by _media. For example, mine is called ~/Documents/Italian Family Tree RM_media (Note: If you have any pictures with the same filenames in your Pictures folder, you might find that Reunion is seeing them....this does not mean it's finding ALL the photos that you imported from RM.)
        11. Remove (using the - button) the ~/Pictures folder from the list of places for Reunion to search for multimedia files.
        12. Click on "Repair multimedia links" and you'll end up with a summary and a report of any files Reunion was unable to fix. (I have had one file failure in each test run so far.)

        There's probably another way to do this, by going to Multimedia Preferences first (skipping 7, 8 & 9). I'll try that on my next import.

        Thanks again for all the help! Much appreciated!
        Last edited by Kalico; 13 April 2019, 04:31 PM.


          Originally posted by Kalico View Post
          I did this using the trial version of RootsMagic 7 (not RootsMagic Essentials).
          The trial/free version of RootsMagic is exactly RootsMagic Essentials

          Glad it worked for you.

          Roger Moffat


            Haha! Well, that's good to know I was trying to sort out the difference between the two since they appear to be offered as two separate software packages (e.g., in their comparison chart), and finally decided to do the "free trial" of RM since it has "more features" and figured I could pay the $30 if I had to. Good to know that I would have made the right choice either way! Thanks, theKiwi


              P.S. I'm super excited because in this process, I even got the comments I made on the pictures! Like this one....

              Image 2019-04-14 at 11.37.28 AM.png

              It's also help me to see which image files were scanned/posted too small (like this one) and find out if I have a replacement somewhere or need to rescan.

              Good stuff!