Html CSS Menu

ngs.gif (6785 bytes)

The Power of Multiple Databases

by Richard S. Wilson, La Habra, California
Reprinted from the NGS Newsletter, Vol. 25, Number 1 (January/February 1999)

WilsonRS.gif (5006 bytes)Legacy is one of the few genealogy software programs that allow you to use two or more databases at the same time. Most programs only allow you to use one database at a time–to open a second database the first database must close. Legacy not only allows to open two databases at once, but to also have two different views of the same database open at one time.

Opening an additional database in Legacy is a two-step process. The first step is to split your display area into two windows both showing the same database. The second step is to simply open a different database in one of the windows.

Split your display area into two separate windows by using either the toolbar or the menu bar at the top of your Legacy screen. The menu bar is the top bar with words on it (such as File, Edit, Add, View. . .). The toolbar is the row of icons (pictures) just below the menu bar including the one labeled Fam/Ped. Pressing Fam/Ped splits your display area into two side-by-side windows showing the same database. You can do the same thing by clicking on View in the menu bar which opens a pull-down menu on your screen, including New Family/Pedigree Group. Clicking on the New Family/Pedigree Group will also split the display screen into two views of the same database. Either method produces the same results. Use whichever method you are most comfortable using.

The display window with the highlighted bar at the top is the active window in which you can work. You will notice the window on the left is the active window. Also at the top of each window is the name of the database displayed in that window. You can change the view in either of the windows by selecting (clicking on) the pedigree view or family view tab.

To open a second genealogy database, click on File in the menu bar. Next click on Open Family File. . . in the pull-down menu that opens below File. A dialog box appears listing your databases (filename.fdb where filename is the name of that database). Double click on whichever file you want to open (those who find it hard to double click can click once to highlight the file and then click on the OK button to open the database file). The second database will appear in the active window (the one that was highlighted).

One advantage to being able to view more than one database at a time is because it allows you to compare two different databases side-by-side, at the same time. This is especially helpful when cousin George sends you his database and you want to compare the two side-by-side, or when you need to compare a downloaded GEDCOM file to your own records.

You are not limited to just two display windows and databases side-by-side. To open additional databases, repeat the steps above. To change the way the information appears in your display areas, you select Window on the menu bar.

The available options are:

Cascade: This laps each window over the top of the next window so that only the front window is fully visible. The other windows are stacked behind with only their top or title bar visible. This view works well if you have more than three databases open at once.

Tile Horizontal: The windows are displayed one above and one below. On most monitors this makes a very wide but short display.

Tile Vertical: This is the default view. The windows are displayed side-by-side.

Fill Window: The selected display window fills the whole display area.

This same pull-down menu, the one you use to change the way your windows are displayed, also shows you which databases you currently have open. The first database open is SAMPLE and the second database is BOOKDATA. The checkmark beside 1 SAMPLE indicates it is the active, or selected, database.

Another great feature in Legacy is the ability to easily copy records from one Legacy database to another. Converting cousin Georges GEDCOM file into Legacy makes it easy to compare, then copy additional/new records into your own database. Simply open both Legacy databases using the steps covered above. Locate the records you want to copy and simply drag-and-drop them from one database to the other.


Cousin George’s database has more information on John Milton Wilson’s parents. Carefully drag-and-drop the box containing John Milton Wilson’s name from the right window to the exact position John Milton Wilson should occupy on the pedigree displayed in the left window. It’s important to place the copied record in the correct position on your pedigree.

This screen verifies that you are copying John Milton Wilson’s record from cousin George’s database into John Milton Wilson’s record in your database. Using the buttons and options on this screen you can decide how much of cousin Georges data you want to copy to your database.

Selecting any of the inclusion buttons gives you the opportunity to clarify which additional records you want to copy (such as John’s parents). For example, clicking on the Ancestors. . . inclusion button brings up the dialog box. This dialog box gives you additional options about which records to include and copy to your database.

Once you have decided which records you want to copy to your database, and made all your inclusion choices, click on the Start Copy button. This brings up an additional dialog box, giving you the opportunity to add a master source citation to every record you copy. Your source citation should indicate where, when, and from whom you received the new information. This is a great feature in Legacy–the chance to add a note to every record you copy/import into your database.

Once the copy/import is completed, you see a summary dialog box. The information contained in this dialog box allows you to see exactly how many records have been added, as well as the new RIN number where the new information starts.

Clicking on the OK button brings up an information box listing the steps to undo the import if you have made a mistake. Click OK to continue. Since the program knows you are adding data to your existing database, it automatically starts the Merge Two Individuals process. Match merge starts with the two duplicate records of the person you selected from cousin George’s database.

Being able to use multiple databases in Legacy makes comparing and copying data between databases safer and easier than ever before. Before Legacy, copying data from one database to another was much harder and riskier. Legacy brings many powerful tools to the genealogist. Legacy’s powerful merge features will be covered in detail in the next issue.

Program Information
Millennia Corporation
PO Box 9410
Surprise, AZ 85374
Phone (800) 753-3453

Heritage Collector
Collector Suite
more info

Passage Express
Passage Express
more info

Map My Family Tree
Map My
Family Tree
more info

Charting Companion
Legacy Charting
more info

for Legacy
more info

Tree Draw Legacy
for Legacy
more info

Pocket Genealogist
more info

for Legacy
more info

Discover Your Ancestors in Newspapers 1690-Today  All 50 States!
Enter Last Name
Enter First Name

Home | Tour | Features | 20 Reasons to Buy | Legacy Online Store | Reviews | Tips from the Experts | User Comments | Comparisons | Download | FAQs | Links | Calendar | Support | Register OnlineLegacy Users GroupsEmail Lists

Copyright 2014