Creating sources with source templates from sources in free form

Along the lines of other questions and comments already posted about source citations, I would like to be able to develop source citations to replace sources sources created with with the free form template by copying the text from the free form template into built-in templates. Is there any hope for this?

Templates have defined fields into which you can paste copied data. The key in going from a freeform template, where the information is all one field, is breaking it up into the templated fields to create the Footnote, Short Footnote, and Bibliography.

Thanks. I was hoping there would be an easier way to do that.

I am not sure if I understand what you mean when you say regarding a Free Form template “the information is all one field” and you have to break it up “to create the Footnote, Short Footnote, and Bibliography.” This is the Free Form template I use:

It is going to be a very laborious process. Maybe some AI development could take a footnote sentence, recognise from it what the appropriate Source Type would be and parse the sentence into the values that need to be placed in the appropriate fields, identify what fields need further input, go out onto the web and find what’s missing and plug that in, satisfy itself that the result is good and delete the original Free Form citation.

Ask yourself why you would even want to go to this effort. Is there critical information missing from your FF citations? Is it just a matter of style? What difference will it make to you and to anyone else for you to go to the effort?

Good question. I was hoping to have more consistency in my sources as I didn’t know what I was doing when I used free form source templates. Maybe I should leave the free form sources as is and use templates for the new ones.

Not a bad idea. But don’t get hung up on having to use templates - they can be a trap. Another approach is to use a template to help craft the sentences you would want to put into your Free Form fields. The fidelity of export of footnotes to other software is typically better from Free Form than from most built-in templates with a few exceptions that can interpret RM’s custom GEDCOM for templated sources.

Terry, when using this template don’t you enter all information for a footnote in one line, then enter an abbreviated version of the same information to create the short footnote and repeat again to create a bibliography? As the OP was asking about taking an existing free form citation and using that information by copy/paste to a new citation in a templated format that uses data fields, she would need to parse individual pieces of her free form citation to the data fields to create the new citation.

That is exactly what I was hoping to do.

Since there is no right or wrong way, I would say do what is comfortable. I use modified templates for uniformity. First filling in the data fields means there is less chance of me missing a key fact and second the formatting work is already done.