The A few Legacy shortcuts article turned out to be one of the most popular blog posts that I have written based on the number of page hits, shares and emails I have had. I thought I would do a spinoff post detailing the customizations that are available to you in Legacy. If you are not a Legacy user, this post is still of use to you. You can dig into your program and see what customizations are available and then compare it to what Legacy has to offer.
Legacy is very customizable. You can tell Legacy exactly how you want things to be formatted and displayed. To get the customizations menu, select Options then Customize on the main toolbar. I am going to screenshot all 12 tabs so that you can see every option available and you can see how I have my own version of Legacy set up. All of the screenshots are from Legacy 7.5. The Legacy 8.0 menus look different and there are more options but the principles are the same. You need to work your way through each screen to get things set up the way you like.
Here is the first screen, the General tab. If you are not sure what a specific selection means you can always click the Help button at the bottom of the screen. If you want to go back to the Legacy defaults and start over, there is a Reset to Defaults button, also at the bottom. I have Legacy set up so that when I start it up it automatically goes to the Family view of the last family I was working in the last file I was working on. I use tagging extensively so I have that turned on. I have all of the pop boxes turned off. I am not LDS so I have the LDS options turned off but I do use FamilySearch’s Family Tree so I have that option turned on.
The next tab is Data Entry. I want Legacy to tell me when I am entering something new because I am very capable of making entry mistakes so that is why Verify NEW names, locations, and events is checked. This saves me grief later on. I also want it to check for problems and verify counties. Checking the box that has Legacy automatically add the father’s surname to the children saves me some time. Most of the time this will be the correct surname for the children. I have changed the default ages a bit for when Legacy declares someone dead. The entry at the bottom allows me to search a woman by her married name in the index view or name list. This is really helpful when you remember that your 2nd great uncle Ike Simmons married a lady named Mary but you can’t remember her maiden name. You have to also turn this on in the Name List view so that these names are displayed for you to see. The rest of the entries are just preferences on how you want to move between fields. You can decide what you would like after clicking Help at the bottom.
The next screenshot shows the Data Format tab. On the options that have to do with letter case I have opted to have Legacy just accept what I type because I have quite a few mixed case names and locations, however, this means that I need to really pay attention to what I am entering because Legacy will not warn me if I don’t capitalize something that I should. I like to have my direct line ancestors in bold type so that I can navigate my file quickly. I also like to have living individuals highlighted (mine are in red) so that I can see if I have someone alive that really should be dead. (There is also a feature in Legacy call “Advanced Set Living” where you can have Legacy go through your file and mark people as deceased even if you haven’t entered a death date. Legacy analyzes the data that you have inputted as well as the data for the person’s parents and children). I like Legacy to show me a small indicator when I have excluded someone from the potential problem list so I have checked that.
Here is the Data Defaults tab. The Living Indicator default is for when you are entering new people in your file. I have it set so that they will be marked as living unless I tell Legacy otherwise. I use the research notes tab more than I use the general notes so that is why I have it set to open up the last note type used. I like to enter my newest info at the top of my notes so I have the cursor defaulting to that location. If you reuse abandoned RINs that will help keep your file compacted. You can also do this manually (global) by going to Tools > Renumber RINs. If you use RINs as part of your paper recording keeping system, you need to uncheck this box. The Quick Entry Character Ribbon is important to me because I enter a lot of German names and locations. I have the ribbon set up with the umlauts that I need. You can store up to 8 characters on this ribbon. It will be available to you on any screen where you can enter data.
The Dates tab is just personal preferences. I like to have my dates written out completely. A nice thing about the customization screens is you can change your preferences and try them out. If you don’t like them you can go back and change them to something else and the changes will be global. This is the screen where you will turn double dating on or off. I do have the date checking turned on because I make mistakes entering data. If I type in something odd, it will ask me about it.
I leave all the settings on the Locations tab as the defaults. I do keep my family files in the Data folder as shown but I do not have my pictures and documents in the below listed locations. I have my own file structure within My Documents. Legacy is perfectly okay with you storing your pictures and such elsewhere. The one warning I will give you is don’t make your file structure too deep (folders inside other folders which are inside folders that are inside other folders. If so, you will have problems when you backup your multimedia files.
I leave the Sources tab pretty generic because I will further define how I want sources to print on the individual reports options menus.
The View tab has lots of goodies on it. I like to see the birth and death everywhere so that I don’t get confused between people with the same name. I the RINs displayed only because I think they look cool. I don’t really use them other than when I am merging people. It is a quick way to pull people up. I don’t display the FamilySearch IDs this way because I actually have them displayed as part of the Family View (I customized the labels). I do have the Ancestor Colors turned on, again, only because it looks cool. I don’t use the 4 color system for my paper files. I do use it though when I generate charts using Legacy Charting because I like to see the 4 separate lines. I don’t use short locations on my screens though I do use them in reports (you can turn this on in the report options for each report). I have my child columns set at 3 because a lot of my family is from Mississippi and they had big families there. I don’t like to scroll to see all of the children. 3 columns will let you see 15 children before you have to start scrolling. The next screenshot will show you what you see when you click the Edit Default Marriage Wording button.
This screen is self explanatory. You can change the wordings and I have I have tweaked them a bit to my liking.
When you select the Colors tab you will see this big button. The next screenshot will show you what you will see when you click that big button.
What you are seeing are the color defaults. My colors box normally doesn’t look like this at all. I recently reset everything because I was helping a Legacy user with their customizations. It is easier for me to talk someone through something if I am doing it on my screen at the same time. I just haven’t gotten around to redoing my colors yet. Everything on this screen can be clicked and changed. You can do some pretty wild things with your colors. There are a few built in color themes that you can use as a starting point if you wish. I take my colors pretty serious so it takes me some time to get things exactly like I want them. Diane Gould Hall wrote a GREAT blog post on how to change your background to an image instead of just a color on her Tuesday Tips – How to Change the Background on Your Legacy Screen.
I also play around with my fonts on the Fonts tab but these too are currently displaying the defaults because I reset everything.
Here is the Launch tab. I leave everything here as the defaults.
The Other tab has some important stuff on it. Two things in particular I want to point out. The first is the Geo Location Database, Database Maintenance button. If you ever need to download another Geo Location database (for another region) you would Download Geo Database Region Files from the Legacy website. After the download, you will need to finish the process on this screen. The full instructions are on the above link.
The other thing I want to point out is the Turn on or off Optional Reminder Messages. This screen will help you customize Legacy to work for you. The newer you are to genealogy and to Legacy, the more things you need to have checked here. There are three screens of options. I am going to show you how I have mine set up but I am neither new to genealogy nor to Legacy so I have most of the reminders turned of. The next 3 screenshots will be the three screens you will see when you click on that button.
I have shown you the general customization screens but there are also other areas in Legacy that have their own customization menus, most notably the reports menu and the charting menu.
Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis