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How I moved on from Generations software_May 2011
Posted by: Deborah Allen (ID *****5700) Date: May 19, 2011 at 11:31:37
In Reply to: Re: Moving on from Generations by W.D. Floyd of 2216

I stumbled on this forum as I was searching for a solution to moving on from Generations Grand Suite 5.2 and its "not enough free space on disk" error which gave me trouble when trying to save reports, etc. Since moving to Windows Vista, at backup time I've worked around that error by right click copying the file from the C:\SIERRA file to an external drive for backing up when necessary. I will eventually move to Windows 7 so I thought I'd better update to something other than Generations before I get stuck with no way to open my files as some have described. I go kicking and screaming as I've LOVED Generations (still have the software disk) and have been using it for 10 years!

To solve the commonly described issues of transferring to new software from GENERATIONS, I saved several backup copies first, File > Save Copy to a jump drive before starting the transfer process JUST in case I want to go back and open the original file without changes. I tried to save a copy to 2 different external harddrives but OH NO, can't do that!!!! The only things it would allow was a floppy disk (sorry, not enough space) and a jump drive. It was happy saving to a jumpdrive, Thank GOD!! Make sure your jumpdrive has enough space. Save a copy of GENERATIONS on 2 different jump drives for safe keeping before starting to work with your software. Then go to File Import/Export and Export as a Gedcom to your jumpdrive for importing into your new software. Open your new software and import your gedcom from your jumpdrive. If all goes well and you have no missing info as I clearly DID, then CONGRATULATIONS! If you have missing info especially under EVENTS/FACTS and NOTES, I hope the following will work for you as it did for me.

Because I didn't know which software I would REALLY like even after previewing the views online, I bought The Family Tree Maker first. Right off, I was NOT happy with it as it was SO different from Generations. Then I bought Legacy. LOVE IT as it it much like Generations!!!!! SIMPLE! So both software products are mentioned below and how to transfer and what to watch for. I do like the variety of reports, etc in Family Tree Maker. So I decided to try to use both!

BEWARE: IF you made the same mistake I did in Generations and added info under the FACTS tab or other events under the EVENTS tab such as Cause of Death, Last Known Residence, etc., it may not transport correctly if at all to the new genealogy software especially Family Tree Maker. Also, I made the mistake of creating my OWN note names in Misc. Notes. If you added all your notes under Misc Notes choice on the NOTE tab, then your notes will probably transport to Legacy but did not for me in Family Tree Maker. IF you created other note choices on the NOTE tab besides Misc Notes, by clicking on Note tab, Other notes, and created your own such as Cemetery notes, Funeral Notes, you are going to have problems with missing information in your transfer to both programs. Here is how I solved that problem. REMEMBER SAVE a few copies of your Generations file for safe keeping to a jump drive! ALWAYS have more than one backup copy of your genealogy file anyhow in case you get a corrupted file that won't open, you've got a backup. BACK UP OFTEN!

OK, back to transferring. To ensure that ALL information in your GENERATIONS transfers to LEGACY or FAMILY TREE MAKER, follow the procedure below.
Open your copy of Generations. To MOVE all information entered on the FACTS and EVENTS tabs and personally created tabs such as Cemetery Notes under the NOTES tab TO Misc Notes for transfer, follow this procedure:

File>Delete/Move fields>(Raise that box to the top of the screen so that you can see all the default and self-created options each time) > Move Field Row >
FROM: (choose the first choice starting from top and move down-1 at a time each time or for only the choices you've used)
TO: MISC NOTES (use this choice EVERY time)
OK the warnings
Proceed > Move
REPEAT above procedure until all notes are moved to MISC NOTES under each person in your genealogy file. Check a few sample persons that you know have a lot of notes.
IMPORTANT NOTE: in the FROM field, DON'T choose MISC NOTES when you come to it in the list.

It is a slow process to work down the FROM list catagories but all your info will be moved to MISC notes where it will transfer for sure to Legacy.
NOW once you have done this, now go through the create a gedcom process and save to desktop. Open Legacy and import the gedcom. (After importing, Notes for each person can be found under what looks like a notepad icon under each person.) Since I had already bought Legacy and Family Tree Maker, I went ahead and tried to import the same gedcom I had created after moving my EVENTS, NOTES etc process from Generations into Family Tree Maker. Still in FAMILY TREE MAKER all my notes were missing that I had transfered to MISC notes in Generations. The SOLUTION was to delete the original transfered file in Family Tree Maker. I then went to LEGACY where all my info transported properly, chose File > Export Legacy file and saved to desktop. Then opened Family Tree Maker and imported the Legacy file. Family Tree Maker will open Legacy files. It took about 3 or 4 minutes or so but it opened the file and there were all my notes FAMILY VIEW > CLICK ON THE PERSON'S NAME AND OVER TO THE RIGHT below the picture icon, click on the NOTES icon (yellow), and there will be ALL your NOTES from Generations. It was an easy transfer with no problems from LEGACY to FAMILY TREE MAKER. Why FAMILY TREE MAKER would not transfer my notes through a gedcom, I don't know. I thought it that GENERATIONS notes are called MISC NOTES and FAMILY TREE MAKERS is called NOTES. That's just a guess.
Now I have two software programs with the same genealogy info. I open both at the same time to enter any new genealogy info into both. Every few years I WILL update the software so that I won't get in this predicament again. I will always have to genealogy programs now that I can see the usefullness of it.
After I'm satisfied that all the info is in my new Genealogy programs by comparing a lot of individuals in GENERATIONS, LEGACY and FAMILY TREE MAKER, I personally ran File > Import Easy Tree 5.2 file (the original backup file on your jumpdrive (not the gedcom) to restore my Generations back to the way it was before I started so that I could continually be able to check my old software info against the new until I am entirely satisfied that everything is indeed in the new programs. Then I will uninstall the old software.
I'd like to know this helped someone. If you loved GENERATIONS, I think you would love LEGACY. There are a few minor things I miss about Generations but I do plan on suggesting those changes to makers of LEGACY. DEB

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