Friday, October 25, 2013

Adding a citation to a document

Marv asks:
“I know I am supposed to add a citation directly on the document itself but I don’t want to write on the document.  It might cover up something important and I certainly don’t want to write on an original!”

Me either, Marv.  What I do is I scan the document, bring it up in Paint, add some white space at the bottom, then add a text box with the citation.  I am sure that most photo editing software can do this as well but I am a simple person using simple tools so I just use Paint.  Here is an example:

Houston's SS5

I know that some of my readers are way more computer savvy than I am and I am sure that your output will look nicer than mine.  You can now print this document to use in reports if need be.  I just add it straight from my computer.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

9 comments:

  1. Michele, I may be over cautious, but when I scan a Form SS-5, I scan the original in its entirety and then open in Paint and redact (black out) the first 5 digits of the SSN for privacy reasons. While the person is deceased, I do not want to give nefarious persons who may troll ancestry websites, blogs, etc. anything that they could use in an unscrupulous manner. Other than that I do the same as you've done here.

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    1. There has been a lot of hype about the SS numbers in the news lately because the government is trying to take away genealogists' access to the death files claiming the high risk for identity theft. You might want to read this article by Dick Eastman, a highly regarded genealogist. http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2013/02/commentary-use-the-ssdi-to-reduce-identity-theft.html

      Having said that, I have started redacting SS numbers a bit but only because THEY ARE NOT NEEDED by genealogists, not because I fear any sort of identity theft. Genealogists need the death index and they need SS-5s, they don't need the number. As a matter of fact, that is the argument that genealogists have been trying to make to the SSA, give us the death index and the SS-5 but redact the numbers if you are that worried about it.

      I might do a followup post on this.

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  2. I am still saying "duh" to myself after reading this post. I've been searching for a way to label documents and pictures in an easy fashion and you've just given it to me!.Thanks for the genealogy "ER" work!

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  3. Don't feel bad. Someone had to tell me, I didn't figure it out on my own :) My daughter, who uses photoshop would probably be shaking her head because I used Paint to do this. Simple minds need simple tools :) :) :)

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  4. Best genealogy tip ever! Thanks so much.

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  5. I also use Paint, simple but functional. Do the same for newspaper clippings, too. Nothing worse than a clipping with no newspaper title, date, or page #. I also use Paint to outline a record, in color, on a busy page (ledgers/registers) as I do not want to crop the page but prefer to have the entire page. Colored arrows for City Directory entries, too, so I can preserve the entire page.

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  6. Hi Michele, I have tried to do this also in Paint, but haven't figured out how to add the white space. How did you do that?

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    1. At the bottom edge of the image, in the center, you will see a little square. All you do is put your cursor over that square and your cursor will change to an up and down arrow. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the bottom edge of the image down and you will get the white space :)

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  7. Love this idea Michele. Thanks. I will be posting about easy editing of document images on my blog in the next couple of days. I agree completely with you, easier is better for me too. I have Photoshop Elements 11 and don't know enough about it, just a little. So, I use Paint and Microsoft Office 2010.
    Diane aka Michigan Girl www.michiganfamilytrails.com

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