Saturday, May 18, 2013

Putting Citations on Documents

Ricky asks:
”What I was thinking was saving an image of a census page or obituary or whatever, and somehow edit the photo to include the citation at the bottom of the image. So include the citation with the image.  I guess my question is do you do anything like this and if so what software do you use to edit the photos to add a text box to contain the citation?  I asked my wife who is a graphic designer because I thought maybe one of the Adobe tools, but she said doing it that way was probably not the best thing to do. She suggested copying the image to a Word document, then adding the citation below it, and saving the document as a PDF. Thoughts?  Sorry to ask such an off the wall question, but I'm wanting to clean up and better organize my research documents (adding citations), and when I heard the NGS presentation, that is how I visualized what the presenter was saying. (add the citation to the bottom of the image, so they are always together).”

I do exactly like your wife suggested. I pull the graphic file into Microsoft Word. I am then able to type a full citation at the bottom. I usually change the margins to .75 all the way around so that the document has more room. This is how I do it so that I can print things out for a report. If for some reason the document is too small to be readable, I will blow up the part of the document that I need and put it on its own page with a full citation. I always include both the full document and the snippet in the report. I usually do convert the entire report to a pdf. 

If I was more computer savvy, I would probably edit the jpg itself to include a border at the bottom with the full citation. I have been told you can do this in Picasa (a freebie program from Google) but I haven’t had the time to really play with it.  I would want to do it this way so that the saved graphic files on my computer would have full citations right in the graphic itself so that I don’t accidentally forget where the document came from.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Hi,

    You can edit an image to include a text box on the right or bottom side in Paint program on Windows: 1) open the image in Paint 2) you will see 2 small square boxes in the middle of the right side of the image and also in the middle of the bottom of the image 3) put your cursor on one of them and you will see a two sided arrow appear 4) drag it until you get the text box the size of your preference 5) click on the text option at the upper left hand part of Paint to choose the font and font size and then start typing your citation 6) when finished typing the citation, click anywhere on the image or inside the box and this will set the text 7) save the image. Here is an example of a citation on an image that I have done in Paint

  2. I am using Photoshop Elements for my photos. Open a file in Elements. Open a photo. Select the Zoom tool and zoom out. Select the Crop tool and drag a rectangle in the image. Drag the corner handles of the crop marquee outside the image area. I add this area at the bottom of the photo. Create a new layer and add the text you want for the photo. Hope this helps.

  3. Another solution is to put the citation in the properties of the image. Right click on the image, choose properties, and then in the "comments" field, I put the full citation that I created in Rootsmagic. Sometimes I do this quick-like, using the information from the website before I actually craft a full citation.

  4. All these great ideas! Now if I could just get y'all over here to help me scan all of these documents...