New to Roots magic

OK new to RM and unsure about using all the info, would it be helpful do you think to create a practice file so that I can play around with all the buttons and bows Im a little afraid that I will make a mess if I try and do it all on one of my trees that Ive downloaded from ancestry and FS. I want to experiment without making really BAD errors. Sorry if this is a bit garbled , Thank you all x Joan

Joan - if you’re are careful, you are not going to harm your existing files. I don’t know which version of RM you are using, but in both versions, you can close the existing file and create new files. When you create the new file, I would suggest placing it somewhere that is not the same as where you keep your working files. For example, create it on the desktop so that when you are done, you can just delete it

If you don’t want to start from a blank file, you can do something like what I do. I find my working file and copy and paste to my desktop. I then rename that copy with the word TEST in the file name. I can then play all I want. My actual data is safe since I made this copy. Both Rootsmagic versions have the open file name in the top bar of their window. Make sure that when you play, that your testing database has the name you gave it. This is one reason I add TEST to the name, so it is clear that it is not my working file. The path to my test file also shows it being on my desktop on the window title bar. When you are done playing, you can close the test file and open the working file so that you can get back to researching. The next time you want to play, close the working file and open the TEST file.

It is also a good thing to make sure that you backup your regular file on a consistent basis.

If you need more detailed steps, ask here and someone will be able to guide you.

ty kfunk Im using RM8 like the idea of copying and pasting to my desk top will definitely do that thanks for replying so quickly Joan

A play file is a great idea. The only question is whether to start your play file as an empty file or to start your play file as a copy of some or all of your existing data. I think a little bit of both is probably a good idea.

You can make a copy of all your real data to play with via File=>Tools=>Copy. Be sure to name your play file something like Play or Temp or Test or something like that which makes it clear that it is just a play file. And if you mess up your play file, just delete it and make it again the same way you made it in the first place.

another good idea Ive just copied and pasted like kfunk suggested and it worked may do one like you said as well but now I know I can try things on my TEST files and then when confident can transfer to my real data, To be honest its mainly citations and merging information , Although as I go along there may be more. Im very grateful to you both for your help Joan

My play file is not related to my “real” file at all.

It’s based on a small piece of research that I did some months ago, and I use it for all sorts of messing around. It’s much smaller than my “real” file, and because the two files are unrelated I don’t have the frustration of having to go back to the “real” one to enter data that I’ve already added in the play file - that sort of duplication of effort would drive me bonkers.

another good idea ty ftipple

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Best to make a new file with your real data under a new name and accessing a copy of your media folder. Testing with real data that you are familiar with will show you what RM8 is doing well and badly. A small fake file may gloss over glaring faults. Just do not use the test file for new data you intend to keep. This is why a copy of your media is wise to avoid muddling your real media folder.