An Example of Ending Up on the Wrong Person After Switching Views

  1. I have just started up RM9. I’m on Family View with person 1236 highlighted.
  2. I switch to People List View where there is not a group filter so everyone is being displayed. Person 1236 is still highlighted.
  3. I use the search box to filter for person 16513. People List view now lists only person 16513 and his line is highlighted.
  4. I switch to Descendant View, and person 1236 is at the top of the list. Well, she’s actually second in the list instead of the top of the list which is annoying. But that’s a separate issue.

I understand what’s happening and I don’t know if it’s a bug or a feature. But it sure is annoying. Even though person 16513 is highlighted, person 16513 is not yet selected. So I need to click on person 16513 before switching to Descendant View, even though she is already highlighted. You can tell that person 16513 is not yet selected because person 1236 is still displayed at the top of the left sidebar.

The fundamental problem is that having a person highlighted is not the same thing as having a person selected in this particular case. However, your eyes and your brain identify being highlighted and being selected as being the same thing.

RM9.0.5.0, 64 bit, Windows 10

I do understand that this issue is trickier than it sounds. For example, I can put a name into the search box instead of a number. When there is a name in the search box, then multiple people can be displayed. Only one of them will be highlighted, and it seems impossible to predict which person it will be. But in any case, whichever person is highlighted is still not yet selected. Switching views will not go to that person unless you first click on the highlighted person to select them.

After you enter a name or number in the People List search box focus remains there. The cursor is flashing to show its still in the box. You can delete what was entered and try something else. If you hit the tab key it will move focus to the list where you can arrow up and down. Once focus is on a person hit Enter to open their Edit Person screen. Using Ctrl+1,2,3,4,5 will move between the tabs to each corresponding view.


Great job at explaining this problem @thejerrybryan as when I was mass deleting people-- I would have the box show up that said you need to highlight person to delete SHOW UP SOMETIMES — even though the next person was highlighted in blue, they were NOT selected-- other times after deleting, the next person to delete was highlighted and selected at the same time – no rhyme or reason as to why it happened or did NOT happen.

It sounds to me that we need a different visual treatment between highlighted and selected. It seems to me that something like that would make it clearer in the case Jerry highlighted - and maybe others that people have complained about over the last couple of years.

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Maybe, but it sounds messy, confusing and less efficient than highlighted=selected, certainly for lists that are restricted to only one such item at a time.

Maybe there is some logic for it in operations involving multiple items like merge with one indicating the primary and the other the secondaries.

I really like Renee’s message. It’s short and I’m quoting the whole message rather than just trying to pick out one little bit.

After much further reflection, my conclusion is that there is a bug in RM9 and that’s it’s a very simple bug that should be easy to fix. Namely, filtering People List view by a group or by using the search box or by both should not cause anybody in the list to be highlighted, even if the list contains only one person. The convention should be that a person in the list should be highlighted only when the person is selected. And we know that filtering does not actually select anybody.

RM7’s People View does not have the search box, but it does support the group filter. When you use RM7’s People View to filter by a group, it does not highlight anyone in the list. That’s correct behavior because filtering does not actually select anybody. The absence of a highlighted person is the user’s cue to select somebody.

When you use RM9’s People List View to filter by a group, it always highlights the first person in the list. That’s incorrect behavior because the first person in the list has not actually been selected. The presence of the highlighted person provides the user with a false cue that someone has been selected when in fact no selection has been made

My problem in RM9 has been that moving quickly and on autopilot, my eyes and brain interpret the presence of a highlighted person as also being the presence of a selection and therefore my fingers do not make a selection.

I do not know if this will be fixed or if it will be viewed as working as designed. But I really think it needs to be treated as a simple bug that just needs to be fixed. If it’s working as designed, it’s a terrible design.


As you say, the tab key moves the focus from the search box to the list in the people screen. It also does so in the couples screen, but not so far as I can see (on Windows 11) in the side Index. It probably should.

There is another little oddity with the tab key in this context. Remember that People List View can be filtered by the name or number of a person, by a group, or by both. If you are filtering by a group, you pretty much have to use the mouse to get to the group filter box. I don’t think there is a keyboard way to get to the group filter box.

The oddity is that having used the mouse to get to the group filter box, there doesn’t seem to be a keyboard way to get from the group filter box to the list of people as there is if you are in the search box filter. Namely, from the search box filter the tab key takes you to the list of people and from the group filter the tab key simply seems to take you to another group. I don’t think you can’t get from the group filter box to the list of people with the tab key.

But that oddity is very minor and really is only an oddity and not much of a problem. The much more serious problem remains the one where when People List View is filtered and when the currently highlighted person does not appear in the People List View after the filter is applied, some other person is highlighted. I think a totally adequate solution in those circumstances is simply to highlight nobody while leaving the selected person unchanged. The lack of anybody being highlighted will be the user’s cue in those circumstances to highlight somebody new before changing views or else to return to the currently highlighted person when changing views. That’s the way RM7 did it and for me at least, it worked great that way. I suspect that there was not an intention to change the behavior and that the change was a coding accident.

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One Note: Ctrl+# on numeric pad does not work for W10.
(need to do on keyboard) – at least in my experience

For another example of filters working in unexpected ways see here.