NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2011
Legacy Family Tree Basics, Part 1 of 2
By Bill Ellis,
Regular Newsletter Contributor, Computer Users of Erie, PA
December 2010 issue, Horizons, The Official Journal of CUE
cuerie1 (at) verizon.net (click to email author)

Legacy Family Tree Genealogy software

Stop, look and learn. Our hectic life has programmed us to get things done quickly. After all, thereís so much to do and so little time. As an example, I work on my family history almost every day. If Iím not researching my family tree, then Iím entering newly found information into my genealogy program. Iím doing this all the while Iím trying to maintain a home and family, which Iím sure you know consumes a lot of our time. With all these demands, we tend to hasten through most of our least important tasks so we can give more time to the important stuff. At the end of the day, we also would like a little time to relax and unwind.

Even though we enjoy on our computers, I think our computer tasks fall into that least important task list. Hence, we get the computer tasks done quickly, always using the same methods and/or steps that we have always used, because itís quicker, and weíre never really looking at how we could improve on doing these tasks.

Weíre going to look at some of the basics of the Legacy program that we use in our genealogy group. Iím sure that some of these items will help improve our computer and genealogical skills. Iíll be starting at the opening screen, which we usually look at briefly, if at all, before we head to the guts of the Legacy program. This is where we cheat ourselves because we donít take the time to stop, look and learn.

The first thing I like to see, when starting Legacy, is the Legacy Home screen. This gets me into that Stop, Look and Learn frame of mind. If I started Legacy in any other screen, such as the Family View screen, I would simply start entering the family data that I had gathered. Beside the Legacy Home and Family screens, you can also start Legacy by opening the Pedigree, Descendant, Chronology, Index or Research screens. You can also decide to open Legacy by going to the last screen viewed when you closed the Legacy program the last time you used it. The Options menu, at the top of the window, is where you can make any one these choices. Click Options and then click on Customize and go to the General Tab. The Startup View panel in the General tabs section is where you make your selection as to which screen you would like Legacy to start up in.

In addition to starting up in the Legacy Home view, I also like to see the Tool Tips that Legacy has to offer and I start them at the same time. In order to see the Tool Tips, click on the View menu. Click on Tips Window at the very bottom of the pop up window. You can get to this Tips Window from almost anywhere in Legacy. If you want the Tips Window to show up every time you start the Legacy program, as I do, just select that option at the very bottom of the Tips Window screen.

Some of the stuff in this Tips Window is pretty straightforward. Youíll look at some of these tips and say, ďGee WhizĒ I know that, Ďcause Iím already doing this. Believe me, they are not always that simple. So, donít dismiss the feature. Some tips are quite thought provoking. So much so, that you will have to use the Show Me button for an explanation. The Show Me button will guide through whatever steps are needed to complete the task of that particular tip window.

Another great item in the Tips Window is the Whatís New button. Every time you update Legacy the information under this button will change. Thereís a lot of new stuff under this button, so take a few minutes to look through ďWhatís NewĒ. For example, in the latest version, Legacy has added a Best Fit button for the childrenís column. We used to select one, two or three columns to list the kids. In days of yore, large families were the norm. With three columns and five kidís spaces in each column we recorded up to fifteen kids for a family and we could see all their names. However, in later years, when we became more aware of the cost of raising a family, the off springs became fewer and fewer. However, if you selected to use fifteen spaces for kids, three columns with five spaces each, every family got fifteen spaces even if they only had one, two or three kids. The best fit button for children will adjust the columns for each family, depending how hefty their herd of children is or isnít. This gives your family view screen a better look.

Another new feature is a beefier search engine. You can search an entire file for missing information, such as given names, marriage dates, death dates, etc. You can also search for missing sources for facts or events. I know Iím guilty of not entering complete information or sources, mostly because I donít have them at the time of entry. I should have, however, immediately made a To Do list for the item that still needs my attention, so I donít forget it. Alas, Iím not really swift doing that either and the item is soon forgotten. This is just what weíve been talking about. Too much to do and not enough time to do it right. This heftier search options has been a blessing to me, because it helps me correct my ineptness.

Now, I can search for the items I didnít have time to do the first time around and either fill in the missing information or make a proper TO DO list so I handle them at a later date.

The Legacy program can help us work quicker and better if we just take a moment to Stop, Look and Learn.

System Requirements:
Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows ME*, Windows 98*, Windows NT, Windows 2000 (Legacy runs on newer Macs with Windows installed under Bootcamp, Parallel or Fusion. Legacy runs on Linux machines with a Windows emulator like VMWare or Sun's Virtual Box) Note: Runs on both 32bit and 64bit Windows platforms.

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