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Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree shows how rewarding and informative building a family history can be. Genealogy instructor Jeff Sengstack teaches how to find lost ancestors, connect with living relatives, and collaborate with others to grow a family tree. He explains how to use the Family Tree Maker application along with Ancestry.com and other internet sites to track down census data, immigration records, and other important documents, and then organize family tree data. Jeff also presents tips on how to scan old photos, create video slideshows, and build family web sites. Exercise files accompany this course.
Download Jeff's free genealogy tips from the Exercise Files tab.
I want to talk about three file-oriented topics: backing up your file, restoring a backed up file, and exporting your file. Now Family Tree Maker automatically backs up your file every time you close Family Tree Maker. It's in the Default Preferences. You can go up there and go to Tools > Options > General. It says Automatically back up family file, and it automatically backs it up to your folder on your hard-drive where your current family tree file is. So it's not necessarily a safety backup or as much of a safety back up as you might want it to be if you accept the defaults.
So you really do once in a while want to make a backup of your family tree file, and all the media associated with it. Just in case you lose your entire hard- drive, or in case you want to let's say give the whole thing to somebody else to work with. So I am going to talk about that first, and the other two topics after that. So let's go to File > Backup. It opens up this dialog box. It says, what's the backup file name going to be? And by default it gives it the date, plus the name of the file. It says, where do you want to store it? Do you want to put it on removable media, meaning a CD-ROM or something like a Flash drive that you can remove from your computer? Do you want to put it where you currently have your files? Do you want to put it some place else? Well, I would say in our particular case, we want it some place else besides our current directory.
So I am going to go to the Custom directory. By default, it goes inside your documents. But you can change that. You can have it go some other locations that you care it to go. So I'll pick the Desktop just for this exercise. Normally you would it put on another hard- drive or something like that. I'll click OK. Then it says, do you want to include the media files? That's a big Yes. So whatever you've linked to inside your family tree will be included with the backup. In case things go wrong, you can always go to this particular backup and get all your media as well. So that preserves your media. So it's going to be a very large file if you have got lots of media linked inside Family Tree Maker.
But if you do follow this, then you click OK, it'll make up, they call it FTMB file, Family Tree Maker Backup file, and put that wherever you told it to put it. I am going to click Cancel out of this for now, rather than go through the whole process of saving or backing up this file. I am talking about restoring a file from a backup. So I go File > Restore. This is a few loose things. We can say I need to go use my backup file, or my restored file and start from scratch from that. So I am going to go up to my desktop and track that down inside my Exercise Files.
There it is my AutoBackup.ftmb file. Now, this is the one that's created every time Family Tree Maker is closed. So I am using that for this example, but I could use the one that I stored at another location, on another hard-drive or on a CD or something like that, for that kind of restored backup. So I'll click on this and say Open. Now, it's going to say you don't want to name it the same thing you named it before just in case things get confusing or go wrong. So I am going to name it something else. So I am going to save it to Restored. Now, notice it's a FTM file, which is the standard file extension for Family Tree Maker, not FTMB backup, but just Family Tree Maker and I click Save and I am going to click Save to put it inside the place where I've been saving things before.
This is inside the default location for Family Tree Maker, inside Documents as opposed to inside of Exercise Files, and I'll click Save. Now, that's going to restore this from that backup back inside that default, and here we are. We are back. It looks like nothing has changed. But we are now using the restored version, the one that was backed up automatically before when we closed down Family Tree Maker the last time we shut it down. Finally, I want to talk about exporting files. Exporting files are basically a great way to share Family Tree Maker with other genealogist or other people doing family tree research on your tree.
The way you do that is in the same process as the other two things. You go File, besides Backup, and Restore. You've also got something called Export. Click that. This dialog box is a little different than the one you have seen. It says, who do you want to include? The entire file or certain individuals? If you select Certain Individuals then it give you this different view, where you can pick people one at a time, and say Include, Include, Include or Include All, which kind of defeats the purpose of instead of entire file, or you can say I'll pick this person. I'll pick on the Johann Sengstack, the first, Johann Hinrich right there.
And I say I want all of his descendants. That's another way of doing it, 17 people because that's just that branch of the family tree. So there are various ways to select individuals to include. So we will include those 17 for now. And do you want to make it as a Family Tree Maker file which would be for Family Tree Maker 10, 2010 I mean, where you can pick another file format. It could be for previous version of Family Tree Maker, the 2008/2009, which is when they changed Family Tree Maker dramatically in 2008, or the Standard 5.5 GEDCOM, which is Genealogical Data Communication file. 5.5 is the current standard, or the GEDCOM for previous version of Family Tree Maker, version 16 or 19 now.
I would normally go with GEDCOM 5.5 because that's the most easily shared file format. But notice when I do that, things are unchecked, because these guys cannot be included with the GEDCOM file. These are things that are not allowed under the GEDCOM 5.5 standard. I do want to privatize living individuals, and I do not want to include private facts. So I uncheck those guys. Then I click OK. Then it says, how do I want to name this? And it gives you a sort of a default name again based upon the name of the tree and the date. I would like to change that to something like SharingSengstack like that, and I'll click Save, and it'll automatically export those 17 names as a separate file.
Then I can email it to somebody, and they can open up in virtually any gamily tree program, not just Family Tree Maker, but just about any family tree software, Macs or Windows, and view those Family Tree Data files. So that's basically how you export a file, how you back it up for like preservation purposes, and then also how you restore a file from a backup.
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