Media - attach to Citation only? or borth Citation and Fact?

Curious why you would only attach media to citation?
Should media be attached to both when possible?
If only one - - I would lean to citation first? but curious why would not do both?


I attach media to both.

Generally speaking, my view has been that attaching media to a citation in RM is what is more logical because in a sense the media file is the source. This is very much the way media files and sources work together in online trees such as at Ancestry and FamilySearch. Indeed, the whole notion of a citation is almost meaningless in those environments because you can click on the media as a source file and just see it appear on the screen without going through all the gobbledygook of a properly formatted citation.

My view further has been that attaching media to facts in RM is more convenient because you can see that there is a media file available directly from RM’s Edit person screen and you can click on it to see it more easily from there than you can by drilling down into a citation. So my view has been that the only reason I attach media to facts is because RM makes it so inconvenient to even know if there is a media file attached to a citation, let alone to allow you to see the media file in any sort of easy way.

Lately, I have changed my view a bit. I still attach media to both. But my reason is now a little different. I’m starting to publish my RM data online using a tool called GedSite. Unlike RM itself, GedSite will display media files right along with facts and GedSite will display media files right along with citations. So by attaching my media files to both in RM, I automatically attach my media files to both in GedSite when I import my RM data into GedSite. I like the way it looks on the Web pages created by GedSite.


Thanks – you point on other software occurred to me also. So really there is not reason not to put them into bother unless those two extra seconds strongly matters to you. I do not see it as being redundant I would say that if you are going to choose only ONE of them and have citation — there is logic to attaching the citation. thanks for Sharing your thoughts.


Thank you for addressing this issue. I was really confused about the media not showing up in the fact screen. Now that I understand it, I think I will attach it to both as well. It just makes sense.

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All depends on your media. In my case, I have an Obit fact and I used to attached the media to that fact. I am currently moving away from the Obit fact so the only place to attached my obit media is to the citations. Not all media will have a clearcut fact to attach it to.

Yes that is true not facts have media and/or clear cut media. But to me in most cases if you attach to citation it would make sense to also attach to fact.

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Nothing to do with clear cut media, I am talking about no clear cut fact. There is simply no point in attaching media to a fact in many cases. It is not like it does you any good, you can’t print it in reports and such. I assume that if one has done their job and extracted the information shown in the media, then there is really no reason to look at the media on any regular basis.

I guess there is one thing that requires that I add media to a fact and that is as a placeholder. For example, if I found a birth certificate online, then I would attach it to the birth fact temporarily until I properly cited a source. This happens a lot when I am actually working on someone else and stumble upon an item pertaining to maybe a child in the family. I am not working on the child, but I don’t want to lose the media item that I found. When I finish my task, then I can later go back and work on the child, cite the source as appropriate, attach the media to a citation then delete it from the birth fact. If I don’t get back to the child right away, no harm because I have the media item attached and the information about that media in Notes.

I just thought of one other case where I attach media to a fact. Marriage photos, if I have one for a couple, then I attached it to the marriage fact instead of to each party individually.

I have quite a few user defined facts the are similar to the built-in facts. For example, I have a user defined Marriage Record fact to go along with the built-in Marriage fact.

In the case of the Marriage Record fact, I include a transcription of the marriage record in the note and I attach an image of the marriage record to the fact. I do not include the transcription of the marriage record as a note in the Marriage fact and I do not attach the image of the marriage record to the Marriage fact. I can include the Marriage Record fact in narrative reports or not include it in narrative reports, whereas the Marriage fact is always included in narrative reports. This gives me the flexibility to create narrative reports that include a lot of my research details in the body of the report or to create narrative reports that include all the basic information in the body of the report without including all my research details.

I also create a citation for the marriage record that includes a transcription of the marriage record in the Research Note and which has an image of the marriage record attached to the citation. I attach this same citation both to the Marriage fact and the Marriage Record fact. All and all, it’s a bit of extra work, but I think it’s well worth it for the flexibility it affords.

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I’ve considered doing something similar, but going back to revise my database seems too cumbersome. Also I also make use of narrative reports quite a bit, but I’m curious how you manage to include different facts in different narrative reports. The only way I’ve seen to do this is by one of the following approaches:

  • make certain individual facts private by default and then include them in the narrative by including private facts when creating narrative report (this is problematic, because then I have to remember to make a certain fact type private every time I add to individual)
  • by editing the fact type list, mark to exclude certain fact types in narrative reports, but then if wanting to include in some narrative reports, going back to include in narrative reports (this is cumbersome, because of the need to go back and adjust fact types for potentially multiple fact types before creating report)
    Curious if you’ve found a better way to do this. Perhaps I’ve missed something obvious.

That’s about it and it’s cumbersome.

I have been known to make a copy of my database as a “printing database”. In that database, I will make fact type changes as required, run my report (or reports), and delete the “printing” database. That avoids the problem of reverting back to my standard fact type options. I have also been known to make some of the fact type changes by running an SQLite script in the “printing” database. If I keep the script around, I can run it again any time I want on a fresh copy of the “printing” database.

What RM really needs in this regard is fact type sets that are analogous to the new color sets feature. I have always thought of such fact type sets as style sets but they could work the same no matter what you called them. For example, fact type set #1 could enable most or all fact types for printing and fact type set #2 could disable all fact types except BMDB for printing. If such a feature were available, you could even have different sentences in different fact type sets - like maybe terse and verbose sentences, or maybe English and French sentences.

Absent some new feature like that, switching printing options in a big way by fact type is possible but extremely cumbersome.

Yes, it makes sense to attach media to both facts and citations. I also attach all media to the Person in the Edit Person screen. That way I have all the media available for that person in one place.

One problem with this is that RM doesn’t have a sort facility for media. They appear only in the order in which they were entered. A manual sort facility would be useful. Even just a chronological sort option would help.

Rearrange them by selecting the Media icon and then pick the arrow. Not the greatest sort options but …


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Thanks for the suggestion, Jerry, but that sorting is for the whole media list. The sorting I’d like to see is for media on a Person screen. … Ron

It works the same on Person screen.

A new feature with RM9 is the ability to set the order of media when there is more than 1 media item associated with a fact or person. To do this, click on the Media icon from the Edit Person screen. If you click on the drop down menu you’ll notice that facts that have been tagged with media are prefixed with an asterisk *. Then click on the ‘double arrow’ icon as @MadDog indicated. If there is more than 1 media item for a specific fact then you will have the ability to reorder the items.

The ‘rearrange media’ capability is described in detail in the RM video noted below. The whole video is helpful and the specific feature you are asking about starts at the 10:40 mark.
==> The New Media Album in RootsMagic 9 - YouTube

I was obviously totally wrong that there isn’t a way to rearrange media in RM9. There is a way in RM9 that wasn’t there in RM8 or RM7.

My error is that I was looking for the rearrange media feature by clicking on the media icon for the person or fact in the Edit Person screen. Instead, you find the rearrange media feature by clicking on the new Media icon in the left sidebar of the Edit Person screen. This shows all the media for the person and then allows you to rearrange the media on a person record basis or a name basis or a fact basis or a citation basis. This is a really good thing.

The feature is not totally new in RM9. A part of the feature was available in RM7 and was missing in RM8. The feature in RM7 allowed you to see all the media for a person fairly easily and to filter the list of media by person record or fact or citation etc. the person. This part of the feature in RM9 appears to be pretty much identical to the way RM7 did it. The thing that really is new just to RM9 and wasn’t there in RM7 is the rearrange function. As I said, this is a really good thing.

I do see two negatives to the way RM9 did it. One negative is that the dropdown box to filter by person record or fact or citation is way too short. It’s only about half as long as the dropdown box in RM7, and the dropdown box in RM7 was already way too short. I have people with dozens of media files of all kinds and it’s really hard to find the fact or citation I’m looking for in such a short dropdown box.

The other negative is that the file name and caption are stacked on top of each other instead being in separate columns, and the List mode still includes small icons. This means that I can only see half as many media files on the screen at the same time as I can with RM7. This is not a new complaint on my part and I don’t seem to get much support for it from other users. But if you have lots of media files for a person then the RM7 format for displaying the media files and captions in List mode is far more user friendly than the RM9 format. This is not “wanting RM9 to look just like RM7”. Rather, the RM9 format has very practical implications that make it harder to use than it needs to be. So it would be helpful if the rearrange feature also was available after clicking on the media icon for the person record or a name or fact. That would make it much easier to get to the correct media items to rearrange.

Let me finish on a positive note and let me say for the third time: the new rearrange media feature is a really good thing and it works quite well.

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Jerry, I don’t see any way to sort media on the Person screen’s Media button. … Ron

Ahhh. Now I see it, although getting to that double arrow is not obvious. I hadn’t noticed the “Media” icon to the right of the People item on the left-side Menu. I’ll give this a try.

Thanks … Ron

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Yes. There’s a lot going on in the Edit Person Screen.

@rzamor1 - I don’t believe that RM9 help wiki has been updated yet to include the ‘rearrange media’ capability. I am hoping that we can use this thread to make that request (and apologies if it’s there and I missed it).

OK, I have it on my list to add to Help.

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