Two weeks onboard ~ another Newbie comments.

+8 votes
I have been invited to introduce myself. Very well; thank you. - Andrew Henwood, 'Old Growth', fast approaching my eighties.

Two things. Firstly, yes, I empathize with those, (especially the 'technologically challenged' like me) who find the site difficult.  I find the learning curve very steep, and suspect it might be endless.

However, I disagree with any suggestion that it is unfriendly. I have already benefited from the most generous help from two warm and friendly mentors, Cindy (Williams) Lesure,(Williams -28514), and Ellen Smith (Smith-62120).  With their prompt, cheerful and detailed assistance I have got myself well-started.

I am now at the point where I am concerned about the profiles I have created: Style?, Format?, proper adherence to the norms for data entry?  I know I should simply study the 'Help' section and other people's work to sort that out, but truthfully, I don't have the time.  So comments on my postings will always be well received.

I strongly believe in this grand project.

Thanks to the Administration, and best wishes to all,

from Andrew
in Appreciation by Andrew Henwood G2G1 (1.3k points)
Welcome aboard Andrew. Good luck in your research. Its never too late to start learning.
Thanks Kimberly,

What I didn't get around to saying is - the research is mostly done, over the last several decades!  I am here mainly to put up all the results so that all the effort and hard work of me, my daughter and my deceased cousin does not vanish when I die, but is preserved publicly for posterity.

1 Answer

+4 votes
Welcome to wikiTree Andrew. Styling and format is widely debated at WikiTree. While sone people do push for advanced styling and format, most wikiTreers are happy with a sourced profile. Ive been a member now for going on 5 months. Although I source well my style is sometimes desirable but ive noticed a big improvement in my work from when I first started. Like yourself, I was concerned also when I started out.
by John Walker G2G6 (9.7k points)
Thanks John. As of this moment I wouldn't recognize a 'sourced profile' if it bit me on the nose, (LOL) but I guess it'll all come together in time.
Hi Andrew,

Welcome to WikiTree!  

For me, a sourced profile is like a map to the information - so we can follow each other's footsteps. If you read the information in the bio of one of my profiles you should be able to find the same documents that lead me to believe it is factual, and vice versa.  This is very helpful when we share the same ancestor, or maybe I have information I can share about your ancestor.

When the information leads to a file on personal computer (it looks like yours is called G: drive), then others can't see it.  In this case, I would a) either upload that file as an image (and I see you're starting to do that)  or b) find that same file on the internet and include the web address instead of the file name etc from the computer: (  versus (G:/Folder/Document.pdf)

Sometimes, I might have access to a web page that you can't access, due to membership fees or copyright. Since you can't find it, and I can't copy it, I try to type out the facts that I am reading and give you the same information in the bio. To respect copyright, and save my fingers, I stick to the facts and don't type it all out verbatim.

There are different ways to present this kind of information. Some people organize it according to the source, and include the facts in that source before moving to another. (the will stated this ...; the birth certificate stated this... ; the family biography states this ... )

I'm easily confused, so I tend to write each bit of information once, in chronological order, and I have learned to use some of the formatting codes  <ref>source</ref>, to create footnotes that show you which of the sources provided each bit of information. I learned how to do that by copying what I saw in the profiles that other people created.  

Its a personal choice, and while we have passionate debates on G2G about style and formatting, as a general rule, as long as the information is understandable and the sources are clear, we respect the style choices of the profile manager.
Hello Laurie,

Thank you so much for taking the time and careful attention to giving me this advice.  When I get such useful help as this, the first thing I do is copy and paste it into my folder 'Wikitree Mentors Advice', where I can easily find it again in one place.

Now, I do understand clearly the principle and importance of sourcing, and how, should they wish, it has to be possible for others to follow up and prove the same facts one presents from the supplied source. Got that, no problem.

WHAT BOTHERS ME NOW are your remarks about others being not able to access the info I have put up.  You refer specifically to .pdfs. I only just downloaded Adobe Acrobat and started making pdfs because on the Free Pages it says to upload documents as .pdfs.  I only just started, so you must be referring to the one and only .pdf doc I have put up - the James Dimble 1771 Will?  Are you telling me that this resides only on my computer and not  on my Free Page ? (Space:Henwood_Family_Archives)?  This is bad news.  I need to know specifically what I am doing wrong. You may wish to continue this chat privately  and stop me from loading up the space here.  Or stay here, as you wish; I'll be happy either way.

Thanks and regards from Andrew
Good work setting up a free space page. Not many people do that so early on but as you say its a good repository for collective information that doesn't belong to simply one profile or individual. Yes I can see your pdf. To view it people would need to open or download the pdf.

You might want to also attach the files or images to the profiles of relevant individuals which you can do without uploading again. Just add their profile ID to the image or file on the edit page for that file.
Pdfs do not show up directly, just an icon, so you may want to choose a jpg as the profile image for your freespace page rather than the pdf file.
Keep up the good work. Thanks for contributing.
Thank you Lianne for the tips. I will indeed link up the stuff in my Archive to the individuals.  That is exactly the kind of helpful advice I need. Thanks.  I just found my way through to changing the profile photo on my Free Space page, to get away from that boring pdf icon.

Now, the thing is, I have a lot of hard to read old documents to transcribe.  I do that in MS Word. I uploaded my first transcription as a pdf because that was what the Free Space page suggested for documents.  I am happy enough to scan and print out my transcriptions, then load the scan as a jpeg.  Any downside to that?  What is best?  Hate those pdf icons.

If you have documents that have more than one page, or a lot of them, pdf is, in my personal view, the way to go. But if the information is able to be viewed as a jpg in one view, that is an option. I find that jpgs are better for certificates - treat them as images - but for transcriptions, which can be quite wordy, seeing an image is not as helpful, and can actually make the document harder to read.

You will probably find a preference after you have done a few, but I suspect the pdfs for your transcriptions will be the better choice. Remember, pdfs can by saved as images, or parts of them, with a screen shot, or as an export, or even converted to word documents by people accessing the information later, so pdfs probably have the most options that people might need in future.
Excellent. Concise, precise and to the point.  I shall follow your advice. Thanks Lianne.

Sudden problem making pdfs: I downloaded Adobe Acrobat on trial, noting that it only cost US$14.99.  So I thought, Oh I'll probably buy that.  I didn't realize till I went back that they meant $14.99 PER MONTH, with forward commitment!!.  I can't conceivably justify that.  So I went looking for a free way to make pdfs.  There seem to be lots of sites trying to hook you, but often when you get in you are quickly led to a page to sign up for monthly fees.  Some of them look a bit dodgy.  So- please, recommend to me if you can a truly free, reliable and safe site or software where I can get to make pdfs. Or, I wouldn't mind buying software for, say, fifty bucks, but I will not pay monthly forever.

If you have a recent version of Microsoft Word there is an export function to pdf. Also there are several "print to pdf" options that are low cost. No monthly subscription required but usually have either a one off cost or annual like Foxit pdf.  Some other wikitree-ers may have some suggestions as well.
Ok had a look at Foxit and there is a trial version. It does also have a monthly cost or you can buy outright. What I have found though is although it reminds you when you use it that to unlock all features you need to buy, in fact it lets you still print to pdf even after the trial period has ended.
But if you already have Microsoft Word it will save as pdf and that doesn't cost anything extra.
I see that there is an online pdf converter. I have never used it myself and it must have limitations I would think on the number of conversions. I wouldn't use it for anything private or confidential, but for information that is going to be public it may be something to look into. However as I said not having used it I couldn't endorse it.
Lianne - (and everybody else).  You must think me really really stupid, stupid.  But I'm not - I'm IGNORANT, that's all.  Sure I have MS Office, I'd just never scrolled down to look there, but sure enough, I can save as pdf there.  I felt sure there had to be an easy universal way to do that.  Problem is, when you're an oldie with no youngsters close at hand the learning is slow. Thanks again. Subject closed.
Andrew, never did I think you were either! We are just here to help, and if we can fill in a bit with help and advice, we are happy to. The only dumb question is the one that isn't asked.
That's a Best Answer, Lianne!

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