Wednesday, December 20, 2017

FamilySearch just got harder to use

Recent changes to FamilySearch seem to have made it harder to use. These are two of the changes that make life more difficult for me, at least, in using FamilySearch for research, especially in census records.

  1. Previously, when searching for a particular person, it used to be possible to look at a record, and then go back to "Search Results" to look at another record in the set. Now, it seems that there is no way to do this, and one has to re-enter the search query each time.
  2. Previously it was possible to copy the record found in a search, and paste it to a document more or less as is. Now, if one does this, the document requires a lot of editing in order to be able to print it out and compare it with other records, because information that appears on one line on the screen now appears on several consecutive lines in the pasted document.
Or am I missing something? Is there still a way to do those two things that I just haven't noticed yet?

Has anyone noticed any other problems, or anything that has been improved?

Update 11 Jan 2018

After further "improvements" it has got worse.

Previously, after linking a record to the family tree, it was possible to go back to the same person in the family tree and continue from there. But now it takes you back to the "base person". And it stakes up to 10 clicks (+ waiting 30 seconds or more for the screen to reload each time) to get back to where you were to continue working. .

Saturday, December 02, 2017

How to Use OCR to Transcribe and Translate Genealogy Documents

How to Use OCR to Transcribe and Translate Genealogy Documents:
While there is never a replacement for careful hand transcriptions, the simpler solution for transcribing your genealogy records is to use modern OCR. OCR stands for optical character recognition and there are a variety of options available online, as apps, in printers and scanners and as downloadable programs. The first step in this process is to have your records available in a digital format – such as a PDF or image (JPG etc). You can scan paper documents to make them digital before applying OCR – or you can apply OCR while you are scanning. See the bottom of this article for a bit more information on this. The rest of this how-to assumes that you are dealing with digital records. We tested a variety of OCR solutions – including FineReader and Google Docs – and found that, for our purposes, a free online option called Online OCR actually produced the most accurate results. It is also very quick and easy to use.