Bulk delete of various items (person, place, source, citation, media, etc.)

I would like to see implemented the ability to delete multiple items at one time (rather than one at a time). Especially unused items.

Here’s a motivating scenario:

I have a database with two separate trees. I want to split my database into two separate .rmtree files. So, I copied the original database into two new databases, and began the process of deleting the unwanted data from each. Removing an entire tree wasn’t too difficult: I created a group which contained everyone in one of the two trees, and then deleted all the people in that group. But deleting unused places, sources, citations, media, etc. was a one-at-a-time effort. That’s too many mouse clicks for the size of my trees.

A more elegant solution would be to allow pruning of trees (or an entire tree) without having to create a group to do so. Then also give the user the option of deleting other items (places, sources, citations, media, etc.) which would become unused as a result of the pruning.

With RM10’s new search functionality, I have to believe that the underlying code to implement what I’ve described here is largely already in place. Just reuse!


Look at the Enhanced Properties List under Tools or on the Home page. The Unused Lists have a Delete option. You can select all or individually. If you are using drag n drop anything not being used by those individuals won’t be included.

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Thanks, I’ll play with that. Seems to me that a multi-select capability should reside on the “regular” list. Seems like a lot of steps to get to this functionality, and not at all intuitively obvious. I googled “rootsmagic delete unused places” and didn’t find anything close to resembling the instructions you gave.

I guess if you know, you know. But the UI still has a ways to go to make normal Windows functionality part of the code base. For example, in Windows File Explorer, I can multi-select files and delete them all at once. No special menu buried 4 layers deep.

Sorry for the rant. Thanks again.

It was covered in the “What’s New in RM10” video. It’s also on this RM10 Help page - Enhanced Properties List

it sounds like You are an above average user, not all users may be as familiar with methods you describe. For mass deletes – you would not want it easy to do mass deletes – they might get very frustrated

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On the unused citations and such, would it have made a difference if you had made your group and then moved that group to a new database–then made a 2nd group with the other people and moved them to a new database?

Rather than copying the original db, have you tried RM10’s new drag n’ drop capabilities? Drag n’ drop should deliver what you want as long as you choose “Everyone in the same tree” as you drag the person to the new db. There shouldn’t be any data loss or need to delete unused sources, places, etc with v10 drag n’ drop.

[edit: If you experience any data loss or “unused” data being carried over, please let us know.]

[edit2: To comment more generally, from what I can see, combining the new search capabilities with the new drag n’ drop enhancement (no longer a gedcom export) provides the kind of pruning capabilities that you are looking for. (One of the “Mark” capabilities with drag n’ drop is ‘By Saved Search’. ) That said, it is still a multi-step process and results in a new db, which is not as straight forward as what you are requesting. ]

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Unfortunately RM10’s drag n drop is still lossy. You lose all publications, essentially everything that was in the ConfigTable is lost.

I may be missing something from this discussion but I see great value in keeping everything I personally research in one large database. Unused places, sources, etc. cause no problems and there is not much reason to prune them out. Most people have plenty of hard drive capacity, so freeing up space is likely not a big issue for most. When one creates reports, the report is not influenced by anything unused in the database. The program simply uses what is relevant to create documents.

I long ago gave up trying to send portions of a tree or trees to other users. My solution to sharing is to put my database on a large shared database platform such as Geneanet with notes and sources. I then direct others to my database and let them peruse what I have that might be of use to them.

Also, I do not import large amounts of information from the shared databases on Ancestry, FamilySearch, etc. to my working database on RM. I use these, but any information I acquire from these databases, I enter person by person into my database. That way I can access whether it is consistent with what I have, and can choose to cite this information on an individual basis. Perhaps the unused items people want to delete are created from importing gedcom filess of others who have these unwanted items.

That being said I do not attach media items to names in my database. For sharing I assume people can look at my sources of information and go directly to a site such as Ancestry themselves. I do keep a small database on Ancestry attached to my DNA results, and I do attach some media there.

Researching is an art and I try to use the computer as a tool to keep track of where I find things without getting too involved in technical computer issues. New and complicated ways of manipulating data can simply be ignored until we have good reason to delve into them.

That’s unfortunate. Thanks for posting though. I’ve been meaning to test the details of what get’s lost with v10 drag n drop. Your comment provided the needed push. I started a new thread here.

Instead of “pruning” my tree via gedcom or D&D, I copy my database and give it another name. Still have MY original file and now a 2nd one that has NO data loss. This is the database I “prune” by removing people they don’t need. That’s the one they get.