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FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 9 Jun 2013 8:38PM GMT
Classification: Query
The new FTM TreeSync feature is a welcome improvement.

Having uploaded a private tree to Ancestry, I wanted to publish a second public version without the media files. An already 'linked' tree can't be uploaded to a second tree as far as I can tell. So, I used FTM to export my tree to disk, without the media files and then reimported it to produce a new tree with the same people but without the photos etc. Seemed to work fine, all names and relationships were still there.

I then uploaded this second slimmed down tree to Ancestry but in that tree, all of the foreign characters in people's names have been replaced by a '?'. The expected characters show up fine in my original linked tree on Ancestry.co.uk and also in both trees in FTM.

Anyone know how I can I fix this issue? Is there maybe a way of setting the import/export character encodings? Ancestry does support the missing (Swedish) characters -- as I said, my original tree looks fine.

BTW, uploading two different versions of the same tree might seem an odd thing to want to do, but I do have my reasons!

I'm using Windows 7 64-bit with English(UK) locale settings. I exported+imported using an .ftm file. The characters I need are: ÅÄÖåäöé

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 9 Jun 2013 10:56PM GMT
Classification: Query
I accomplished the same, using a slightly different process.

I'm running Windows 7 64-bit, with US settings. I do have alternate character sets enabled, since I use several European languages on a regular basis, for business purposes.

I have 2 user profiles set up on my primary computer.

My primary tree, with photos, documents, etc., resides on ancestry.com and syncs to FTM 2012, from one user profile. That tree is private.

From the OTHER user profile, if I open my tree in FTM, it tells me that it is not sync-ed. I then upload that tree, without media, choosing the unlinked option. I upload a new tree version every few weeks - when I have made enough changes to warrant the effort. That tree is public.

By choosing the unlinked option for the public tree, I cannot run the risk of accidentally changing the wrong version of my tree or of confusing FTM.

I have a few names with accented characters, and I have not noticed any issues. Before I upload a fresh version (probably next week), I'll put a few test names in, to verify.

HTH

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 7:26AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks, good idea, hadn't thought of that approach. As I reckon it's probably the export+import which is mangling the characters, that ought to get rid of the problem. I'll give it a go, I guess I'll just have to move all my tree files to a common area which can be accessed by both users.

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 10 Jun 2013 1:12PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 10 Jun 2013 2:32PM GMT
My tree info is on an external hard drive, which can be accessed by both users, but it could be just as easily on the primary hard drive.

I tested alternate characters using my normal process last night. Unfortunately the alternate characters came through as ? rather than in French.

Edited to clarify.

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 6:56AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks for your time spent on this.

I removed both trees from Ancestry so was then able to upload (directly from my master FTM tree) my slimmed down tree without any media files and without linking it to FTM. The idea being that once that's done, I can produce my second full tree with full media and FTM linkage. But, the first slimmed down tree also displays all foreign characters as a '?'.

So, the foreign character problem has nothing to do with the export+import, it seems to happen whenever I upload a non-linked tree to Ancestry. Which is essentially the same issue you're seeing. Wonderful. Now what?!

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 12:07PM GMT
Classification: Query
How are you uploading the tree that is not synced? Are you using GEDCOM? What character set are you using UT-8?

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 11 Jun 2013 12:52PM GMT
Classification: Query
I am using whatever character settings FTM uses out-of-the-box. I tried changing the encoding in my browser (both IE and Chrome), the generated text seems to be Unicode.

Between uploading a fully-linked tree directly from FTM to uploading a non-linked tree from FTM, I make no changes to any of my settings. Yet the fully linked tree has all Swedish characters displayed as expected and the non-linked tree just shows '?' for each one.

I'm not explicitly choosing GEDCOM, I'm using whatever FTM2012 uses when it uploads a tree from the 'Plan' menu tab.

I will try adjusting my locale from UK to Swedish but as it seems to be using Unicode, I don't see that this would make any difference. Especially as it all works fine when I upload my fully linked tree. there seems to be a difference between how FTM uploads linked and non-linked trees.

My non-linked tree has just names, dates and facts with everything else such as media and notes left out. I wonder if some encoding information is also getting lost/excluded during that upload.

Re: FTM upload issue: Foreign characters lost after tree export/import

Posted: 12 Jun 2013 6:58AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 12 Jun 2013 7:36AM GMT
I've now tested this and am happy to say that I've found a solution that works for me. (Thanks for the GEDCOM hint in your reply, kj.) FTM2012 does still have an issue though:

- The problem happens when uploading trees from the latest FTM2012 version to the Ancestry site. It didn't happen in FTM2011, which didn't offer TreeSync.

- Click on the 'Upload and Link to Ancestry...' button on the 'Plan' screen. The 'Upload to Ancestry' pop-up then appears.

- If I leave the 'Upload without linking' unchecked then all characters show up fine in the resulting tree on Ancestry.

- If I however check 'Upload without linking' (screenshot) then all foreign characters show up as '?' in the Ancestry tree. It doesn't seem to matter which other checkboxes are checked/unchecked, the characters always get mangled. It seems this is out of the user's control.

The fix however is to export the tree to a GEDCOM 5.5 file (File->Export->Output format=GEDCOM 5.5), stick with the default settings Destination="FTM 16" and Character set="ANSI"). Then upload the resulting file from the Ancestry site (Family Trees->Upload a GEDCOM). Slightly more cumbersome but FTM now does what I want it to do and displays all foreign characters properly on the Ancestry site.
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