Help Center Article needs revision: Dates and Places.
It's been a couple of years since I posted suggested revisions to the Help Center article "How do I enter dates and places into Family Tree?" Since there continues to be significant confusion on how to enter place names in Family Tree, I checked there again today and while the current version dated May 31, 2023, is not quite as bad as the old one, it still does not clearly explain the process of entering dates and places and does nothing to help educate users about the dual data entry used in Family Tree. I realize that these help center articles do need to be concise and cannot go into every detail, but this article could be better.
Here for your consideration, and I hope inclusion, are my suggested revisions. My additions are in bold and subtractions are struck through.
How do I enter dates and places into Family Tree?
Article Id: 1417
May 31, 2023
Linking user entered dates and places to
Using standard formats reference values for dates and places in Family Tree improves the accuracy and searchability of the information you enter.
Before you start
- Many places have or have had the same or similar names. People write dates in many ways. Family Tree helps you
standardizeavoid ambiguous dates and places as you enter them.
- Linking entered dates and places to standard reference values for
Standardizeddates and places (also called "standards") improves the accuracy of the search, record hints, and duplicates features of Family Tree.
- The list of standard reference values
standardized versionscan speed up data entry for you.
- When a date or place
does not haveis not linked to a standard, Family Tree identifies it as a data problem and displays a red exclamation point next to itthe message “Non-standardized place (or date)” in red underneath it. To fix this problem, open the Edit box, click on “No Standard Selected,” and select a standard.
- In a date or place field in Family Tree, begin typing the date or place. For places, start with the smallest geographical area. This may be a street address, neighborhood, cemetery or similar feature.
- Tips for dates:
- 29 February standardizes only for leap years.
- Use B.C. or B.C.E. for "before Christ" or "Before Common Era." The standard shows as B.C.
- Family Tree
standardizescalculates using the Gregorian calendar. To enter a date from another calendar, enter the date, type a space, and then enter the Gregorian version of that date (Day-Month-Year). For example, if a birth date occurred on December 31, 2003, you would type: "31 December 2003."
- Enter dates in the Day-Month-Year format and type out the month. For example, if a birth date occurred on December 31, 2003, you would type: "31 December 2003."
In the drop-down list, standardized dates have a calendar icon.
- Tips for places:
- The database of standard reference values for places is not yet complete.
The standards will improve over time. The number of included place names is continually increasing.
- If possible, enter the place-name as it existed when the event happened.
- You can
have the option toenter places in your native language or the native language of that place.
2. As you type, the system displays a drop-down menu
with of the available standards which can be used for the quick entry of a date or place. Click the correct one.
- If at any time the full date or place name you wish to enter appears in the drop-down menu, click in the menu to complete entering that value.
- If the full date or place name you wish to enter does not appear in the drop-down menu, finish typing out the complete value then click on the top line of the drop down menu which shows in red what you just typed.
3. After entering the date or place, proofread the linked standard if displayed.
- If you chose a value from the drop-down menu, the linked standard will not display.
- If you typed out the full value and chose the red type, the default linked standard will display. This will usually be a place name that is one geographical level up from what you entered or an alternate spelling for what you entered.
If the correct standard is not available, retype the date or place. If none of the options match, save what you typed by clicking the first item in the drop-down menu. Family Tree selects a standard if it can. To select no standard, click the mouse somewhere else on the screen.
To change the standard, simply click in the field, and choose the one you want.
- If the displayed linked standard is not correct, click on it to open a drop down menu of available alternate standards and click on the appropriate one. If none are correct, scroll to the bottom of the list and click on “None of the above.”
4. The system will likely prompt you to update the reason why the information is correct. Do this, then click Save.