Default person for Relationship Calculator

On occasion, I want to check whether or not a number of people in my RM database are actually directly related to me (blood related). I do that by selecting their name, dropping down the tools menu, and then clicking on Relationship calculator.

That opens a dialogue box with the highlighted person as “person 1”, then I have to select “person 2”. Usually this is me. But every time I follow this process, “person 2” has to be selected again. If I’m going through this process for a number of people, it gets to be a pain.

Is there a way to define a default “person 2”? That way, I wouldn’t have to select it every time.

(I realize there is a separate command “Set Relationships”, after which if I click on any person’s name, if they are related in some way, that shows up near the top left of the main roots magic window. But those relationships aren’t just blood-related, they can also be in-laws.)

Thanks for any help you can provide on this.

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Yes, it’s a pain. Yes, I would support an improvement. It’s up to the RM developers.

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On person 2 enter the record number into the search box, it’s faster that way.


Make sure you are displaying the RIN.

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I would suggest starting on your own profile, so you are person 1, then choose person 2.


Thanks for the suggestion. That’s what I am doing already. I want to find out what my relationship is to person 1, so I just type “1” in person 2. But if you are doing this multiple times, it quickly becomes bothersome.

I’m not sure that would help. If I have a certain person in my database selected and pick Tools…relationship calculator, that person is already highlighted as person 1 and it’s simple to include myself as person 2 by entering my RIN number (1). If I only had to do this once, I wouldn’t complain, but I usually want to check relationships for several people. So, what is simple/easy (when done once) becomes annoying when you have to repeat.

If you could set up a default person 2 (to compare to the highlighted person 1), then this process would become much smoother.

That’s a large part of why RM9 is so frustrating throughout the user interface. It’s not just in the Relationship Calculator. Almost everything I complain about in the user interface is simple/easy when I do it only one time. But it’s maddening when I do it all day long. Because it’s simple/easy one time, pointing out the problem seems like whining and surely I should “just get used to it”… But there needs to be some context. Simple/easy one time steps often do not scale up very well to repeated steps.


An alternative to having the ability to set a default person 2 would be for the system to default it to the person last chosen.

You are not the first person to suggest an improvement in this area. However, I have not seen any response from RM. It would be nice to know that RM management recognises that its user interface often requires far too many clicks or keystrokes from its users and that many of us would like these to be reduced significantly.


If they read this forum, they are painfully aware of it.


Confirming requests have been reported to development.

Thank you @rzamor1, and some extra characters required.

I have a related problem. First of all, I do not have a tools/relationship calculator. When I built my database years ago, my mother was the ‘Root Person’. I have now added myself as the root person but all of the many ancestors show, in the top left, their relationship with my mother and not myself. Has this old-timer missed a trick during my very lengthy rest?

Hi Dennis - could you provide some more information? Are you using RootsMagic for your database, and if so, what version? I am using RootsMagic 9; if I want to see my relationship to someone, I select (i.e., highlight) their name, then click on the tools icon (wrench and screwdriver) in the upper right of the main RootsMagic screen, and select “Relationship Calculator” from the dropdown menu. That will open a window - at the top, the button “Select person 1” already has the highlighted person’s name. I click on the button “Select person 2”, which opens the RootsMagic explorer window and then just type my RIN number in the search field near the top. It shows my name; I hit the “Select” button at the bottom of that window, which then closes, and then I hit the Calculate button. Your relationship with the highlighted person is shown.

I am using RM9.i.3.0. Thank you JS. I did as you say, as I have done before. I used myself as Number 1 (That makes me feel better) and my aunt as person number 2. The response is that I am the nephew of my grandfather and his wife… I suspect that the cause is that my mother is the “Root Person” even though I have made myself as the “Root Person” with no effect.
Moreover, as you have pointed out, this would only solve the relationship with a single person and I have many, many ancestors. Identifying each of them and processing them individually takes up so much time that it cannot be justified for me. I would rather do more prime research.
Incidentally, my mothers top left details, still shows her as “self” and not “mother”.
However, your time is appreciated. Maybe an “official” from RM could help? I wait and see.

You may not have made yourself the root person for the purposes of the relationship calculator.

RM has always sort of had two root persons. The first root person is the one that RM goes to in places like Pedigree View and Family View when you tell it to go to the root person. The second root person isn’t really called the root person, but it’s the person used by the Set Relationships process. It sounds like this second “root person” isn’t set correctly.

To set the Relationships person properly, do the following.

  • Navigate to yourself and be sure that you are highlighted and selected. Sometimes somebody is highlighted without being selected.
  • Be sure you are in the main People tab on the left side of the screen
  • Click the Edit icon in the upper right hand portion of the screen. It’s the one that looks like a pencil or a crayon.
  • Choose the Set Relationships option at the bottom of the dropdown list, not the Set Root Person option at the top of the dropdown list.
  • Click on Set Relationships button and you should be done.
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Thank you so much for your comprehensive reply which is very interesting. It is dinnertime down under and so it will be a little time before I can use your advise. Thanks again

Brilliant - that saved me much time. Thanks again

You can set yourself as the root person within the program settings and it will remain until you change to make it someone else. The Root person need not be #1. Do be aware with the relationship calculator that the program does not report all of them, just up to a few generations.

This requires clarification. Do you mean that the program does not show all the relationships in the upper left panel, or do you mean that the Tools…Relationship Calculator does not show all of the relationships? I assume you meant the former and hopefully not the latter!