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COPY & PASTE: Getting the info in notes

From: Roberta
I can't figure out how to cut/paste in notes area in PAF Personal Ancestral File 5.2. Can you help me with this? I've been Manasota PAF Users Group member since 1995.


In the Windows environment, the umbrella program that runs everything on your computer, there are several ways to:

-- COPY highlighted text from one source (internet, email, word processing, etc.)
-- PASTE the text in another place (email, message board, word processing, genealogy program, etc.)

Because of this delightfully useful COPY/PASTE facility, YOU CAN EVEN copy notes from one individual to another individual's notes in your genealogy program. This is particularly useful when it comes to a census extraction, which should be cross-posted to notes for each member of the family enumerated in the original census record. You won't have to type the info for the spouse and each child. WHAT A TIME SAVER!


Selected text is commonly referred to as "highlighted" text, meaning that it is in reverse mode (dark background, light letters) from the other text on the page. You must first select text so that Windows knows what text you wish to copy.

Using your mouse, click at the beginning (or end) of the text in question, KEEPING THE MOUSE BUTTON DOWN, and drag to the opposite end of the text. LET GO OF THE MOUSE BUTTON only when all the text you desire is now in the reverse text mode.

You may not start selecting text in the middle of the desired paragraph, because you can only drag up or down through the text. You cannot drag in both directions to select an entire paragraph from the middle.

There's more than one correct way, though all options may not be available at all times. For instance there may not be an EDIT on the menu bar, so you'd have to resort to another method. It would seem from Ol' Myrt's experience that CTRL+C works in nearly all instances.

-- Press CTRL + C
-- Click EDIT, then COPY
-- Right-click on the selected text and pick COPY from the pop-up menu

Windows clipboard now has your desired text, until you:
-- copy something else to the clipboard
-- log off (switch users)
-- turn off the computer

It is important for you to know this, because the text will remain in the clipboard even if you close the program you were using to view the original text. This means if you found the original text in your email program, once the text is copied to the clipboard, you can go to any other program in the Windows environment to paste the text instead of typing the text.

Minimize or close the window where you highlighted/copied the text, and click where you want the text to appear in the notes portion of your genealogy software for the ancestor in question.
Then merely:

-- Press CTRL + V (works in most instances)
-- Click EDIT, then PASTE
-- Right-click and select PASTE from the pop-up menu

Some websites have blocked the ability to copy text. When you attempt to select text and go through the copy process, a little copyright statement will pop up explaining that the text cannot be copied.

Portions of .pdf documents such as some online newsletters, read by Acrobat Reader, cannot be copied and pasted in this manner.

Other times, the text you are reading is really the scanned image (graphic) of a page of text. In that case you'll need to "save the picture" on your hard drive, and attach it as a multi-media file to the ancestor in question. (That is another option of genealogy software programs. Click HELP on your program's menu bar to find out how.) -- Alternately, you may print out the page, and manually type the text into notes for your ancestor.

Regardless of the method you use to copy/paste text in notes in your genealogy software, YOU MUST TAKE CARE TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHERE YOU OBTAINED THE INFO.

-- Author
-- Title of publication
-- Page numbers (or web address)
-- Publisher (or web address)
-- Date of publication (or date of viewing if a web page)

Even if the text is from an email, please cite the source, so that those who follow will understand how you arrived at your lineage assumptions.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
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