I have great news for all the people who have been asking, “When I edit information in my online tree, why aren’t the changes reflected in my AncestryPress book?” This week we launched an update feature that lets you synchronize the data in your book with the data in your Ancestry online tree.
Please note that this feature only works for pages that have been created since February 21.
Here’s how it works:
You’ll see a dialogue box that asks if you want to continue or cancel. If you hit the Continue button, AncestryPress will automatically regenerate the entire page using the new data in your tree.
This option may work well if you’ve made a lot of changes to your tree. However, you will lose any edits you’ve made to text or photos that were pulled from your online tree. You will not lose photos, embellishments, text or backgrounds that you added after the page was originally created.
2. To update a single element — such as a specific person in your family tree — highlight the element and then click the Update icon in the text editing toolbar. It’s the third icon from the right.
Again, you’ll see a dialogue box that asks whether you want to continue. If you click the Continue button, AncestryPress will update the information for that person. The advantage of this method is that it doesn’t mess up any changes you’ve made to the images on the page. You will still lose any text edits you’ve made to that particular element (such as changing font type, size or color).
3. To update multiple items on a page without resynching the entire page, hold down the Control key and then select the items you want to update. You can also select multiple items by holding down your left mouse key and then dragging the cursor across the page. You’ll see a set of black lines forming a rectangle. Any elements that are inside the rectangle when you release the left mouse key will automatically be highlighted.
Once you’ve highlighted all the items you want to update, just click the Update icon in the texts editing toolbar and then click the Continue button.
If you’ve made extensive changes to your tree, it may be easier to regenerate your whole book as a new project instead of updating your book page by page. Of course, if you start a new project you’ll lose your edits and design elements, so you’ll need to consider how much time it would take to replicate your previous work.
Please note that it is not possible to synchronize your data in the other direction. That is, if you edit the data in your book, those changes will not be reflected in your online tree.
One last caveat: If you’ve used data from more than one tree in your book, keep in mind that a particular page will update based on the tree you originally used to create the page. The update feature assumes you’re using the same tree as before — it doesn’t give you the option of selecting a different one. If you want to update a chart to include data from a different tree, you’ll need to redo the chart as a new page.
However, if you created a page using a particular tree and then you dragged a birth or marriage event from a different tree onto the same page, that event will update based on its own tree. The update feature knows which tree each element is associated with and will synchronize the data accordingly.
I hope you enjoy using this new feature. As always, try it out and let me know what you think!
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NOTE: AncestryPress is now MyCanvas
In October 2008, AncestryPress was relaunched under the name MyCanvas. It is still a free, online software program provided by Ancestry.com. For current information about products and features, please see my more recent blog posts.