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UK Quarter dates

UK Quarter dates

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 7:30PM GMT
Classification: Query
I have just recently imported a GEDCOM from Rootsmagic (UK version) where I have been using UK Quarter dates in the format: SEP Q 1860. These imported exactly as written but I found out eventually that FTM2012 is not recognising them as dates. Since there are hundreds of such dates I have been searching the boards to find out a way to change them to a format that FTM recognises without going through them one-by-one. In the end I decided to try the following: export the file to a GEDCOM using FTM, open the GEDCOM file in Notepad and then do a search and replace with each quarter date, e.g, replace "MAR Q" with "Jan to Mar" and so on. Save the file and create a new file importing the altered GEDCOM. FTM2012 seems to deal with this format and automatically changes them into the Bet ... format. Great! But the question is will there be other consequences of exporting and then re-importing?

Re: UK Quarter dates

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 8:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
Ummm ... FTM 2012 has a Find and Replace function under Edit. It's not great but I have used it.

Re: UK Quarter dates

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 9:14PM GMT
Classification: Query
I tried that but it did not seem to be able to find text in date fields, perhaps I missed a setting somewhere.

Re: UK Quarter dates

Posted: 27 Nov 2012 9:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes, you're right. I couldn't pick up "Mar" or "Sep" in a date field. They must be kept internally as numbers, which makes sense from a systems and database perspective.

Re: UK Quarter dates

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 3:03PM GMT
Classification: Query
"But the question is will there be other consequences of exporting and then re-importing?"

Exchanging GEDCOMs with other software programs has pitfalls of its own, as you've noticed already with the Quarter days that FTM doesn't support. If this data is detailed at all, I would be surprised if this is the only problem you have with it.

GEDCOMs generally contain less information than the software programs that produce them. That's because the GEDCOM standard is like a least common denominator for data exchange. So, when you export to GEDCOM, you will lose all of the data that can't go into a GEDCOM. This isn't a big worry for FTM users though, since FTM generally offers functionality that falls short of the GEDCOM standard where other programs offer features that exceed it. Nevertheless, it's something to be aware of, and the only way to see if all the data made it is to compare what you started with against what you exported.

Anyway, I can't answer your question without knowing what you did with the GEDCOM in FTM. Did you import it as a new tree? If so, what you did (export-modify-import) should have no effect. If, however, you imported the data into a larger tree, then you might indeed have lost or changed some data along the way.

Re: UK Quarter dates

Posted: 29 Nov 2012 6:27PM GMT
Classification: Query
Initially I exported the data from Rootsmagic to a GEDCOM and then imported as a new tree to FTM. I input some new data and only found out about the quarter date problem when I used the sort by date of birth in the index. (I had far too many people with no date of birth). At this point I exported to a new GEDCOM created by FTM, modified and then re-imported. I think you have answered the question. I was concerned that the export-modify-import might lose data.
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