Family Chart Overview tab with Photo & Narrative Overview tab with Key Details & Narrative Ancestors Report, Compact Style All Notes All Multimedia

Note, citation, and multimedia references share many characteristics in terms of how they are associated with genealogical data within a GEDCOM file. As a consequence, in GedScape, the way they operate and the options available to you to customize their appearance and use is similar.

With GedScape you can:

  • Display references either embedded or as footnotes in the Overview tab of the record details. They can appear in the key details table and/or, for notes, the narrative1.
  • Display references as footnotes in many of the other tabs within the record details including all chart tabs and the events, attributes and chronology tabs.
  • Include references either embedded or as footnotes within reports. When listed as footnotes you have a choice between listing them separately for each individual in the report, or having them all appear in a single combined section at the end.
  • View all the references associated with a record by clicking the Notes, Citations and Multimedia tabs within the details page.
  • View all the references across the whole GEDCOM file by selecting All Notes, All Citations and All Multimedia from the main menu.
  • View a summary table showing only those individuals that have references by choosing Summary, with Notes or Summary, with Citations or Summary, with Multimedia from the main menu.

About Note Structures, Source Citations, and Multimedia Links

If you are familiar with the low-level structure of a GEDCOM file and know what is meant by the terms 'note structure', 'source citation' and 'multimedia link' you can skip this section. But if not please read on as this will help you understand how these are controlled within GedScape.

A note structure in GEDCOM is used to represent a note about something - some additional text that annotates some fact in the file. That 'fact' could be a record-level unit of information such as an individual, or a family, or it could be a finer-grained piece of information such as a particular event associated with a person e.g. a note about a birth. GedScape sometimes distinguishes between notes at the 'record level' and finer grained 'field-level' notes. The GEDCOM format allows multiple notes to be associated with all the different types of fact that GEDCOM is capable of representing. Thus a single record potentially can have a large number of notes, all attached to different facts that together make up the record.

Internally within a GEDCOM file there are two ways in which note structures can be presented. The simplest is just one or more lines of text embedded with the fact to which it is attached, given as GEDCOM 'NOTE' tags containing the actual note text. In this case the only information given with the note is the note text itself. The alternative format allows the details of the note to be stored in a separate note record within the GEDCOM file, in which case the fact to which the note is attached contains a reference to the note record (a 'pointer', in GEDCOM terminology). This latter form is more complex but offers advantages. E.g. if the same note applies to multiple different facts, the details of the note are only given once and every fact contains a pointer to the same note record. Another advantage is that other information can be associated with the note: e.g. the note may have citations, it can have a 'change date' and it can have other user-defined references. In GedScape when note structures make use of separate note records they are referred to as 'indirect records'.

Notes are displayed in GedScape in different ways. Firstly they can be 'embedded' with other data. E.g. in the Overview tab of the record details page they can be embedded into the narrative text for the individual, or they can be embedded into the table of key details in the absence of the narrative. Another way is to have them appear as footnotes in which case a clickable footnote superscript reference is shown to the right of the referring 'fact', and the note is then grouped together with other footnotes beneath. In some situations GedScape will only allow footnote presentation and not embedded (e.g. within chart boxes where there is no space for expanded notes).

It is also possible to view all notes within the whole GEDCOM file, cross referenced to the referring records, by selecting All Notes from the main menu.

A GEDCOM source citation represents a citation and operates in a somewhat similar way to a note structure except that the information being conveyed is a reference to some external source of information rather than a descriptive note. As with note structures, source citations can be presented within a GEDCOM file both as 'inline' citations or they can use 'indirect' source records and, similarly, source citations that use separate source records can have additional information (e.g. a 'change date' or user references).

A GEDCOM multimedia link represents one or more references to external media. Almost always such 'media' are images that are photos, though the GEDCOM specification is not restricted to images. This is GEDCOM's way to associate photos with facts. The images themselves are stored separately (typically in JPEG files on your computer). And again they are presented within a GEDCOM file in a very similar way to note structures and source citations, with both 'embedded' and 'indirect' multimedia records and, as before, when separate records are used the GEDCOM format allows additional information to be stored about the images (e.g. the images can themselves have notes and/or citations).

Customizing Note, Citation & Multimedia References

The main customization options relating to notes, citations and multimedia are found on the Style tab of the Preferences window. The same options are available, separately, for notes, citations & multimedia. To change these, select Preferences from the File menu, click on the Style tab and then select Notes, Citations or Multimedia from the list.

You can control how notes/citations/multimedia will be displayed in three different situations. Firstly, you can select how occurrences at the record level will be output. Secondly you can control how occurrences at the field level will be handled. And thirdly you can select how GedScape handles notes/citations/multimedia that occur embedded within footnotes (e.g. notes associated with a citation).

In each case you can opt to (a) have them displayed 'embedded' i.e. inline together with the fact with which they are associated; or (b) as footnotes; or (c) not shown at all. Sometimes, depending on the display context (see above), a request to have 'embedded' output will be implicitly 'downgraded' to footnotes. Separately there are options that control how footnote references will be shown and numbered.

You can also control how GedScape will handle notes/citations/multimedia that use indirect records - e.g. whether to have the indirect notes fully expanded at the point of reference, or alternatively to have just a link to the indirect note/citation/multimedia record.

In addition to these choices:

  • You can customize the main menu to remove unwanted items e.g. if the All Multimedia option is of no use to you.
  • You can customize the record details page to remove unwanted notes/citations/multimedia tabs e.g. if you do not want the Multimedia tab to appear.
  • You can control whether or not footnotes are to be displayed in the chart tabs of the details page; to do this select Preferences from the File menu, click on the Style tab, select the appropriate chart type e.g. Family Charts from the list, then check/uncheck the Enable footnotes option.

1. Narrative text does not support embedded citations/multimedia in order to maintain a readable flow of text. If you select embedded citations/multimedia then when any narrative is generated they will be output as footnotes. Notes however can be displayed embedded within a narrative section.