RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Important additions to FamilySearch Photos and Stories

There are a number of significant additions to the FamilySearch.org Photos and Stories program. This seems to be the most rapidly changing part of FamilySearch.org lately. The changes include the following items. I have included some of the wording from the blog post to make sure I reflect the intent of the release. You will see that wording in quotes. 

Increased file size for photos
When it was rolled out, Photos allowed a maximum of a 5MB file. It usually takes some file reduction to meet that limit. The new file size maximum is 15MBs which is a significant size increase and will include many more files without alteration. This increase really doesn't affect those of us storing our files as Camera RAW, DNG or TIFF files, we will still have convert them to smaller files and to JPG format. But those photos I already have as JPG files will now be able to be uploaded without conversion, especially those taken with a smartphone such as my iPhone 5.


Link Photos to Living People in Family Tree
I have no interest in putting photos of living people into FamilySearch.org or any other program, but "you can now link photos and stories to living people in Family Tree. As long as you have the rights to see that living person in Family Tree, you will also see the photos and stories linked to that person." That means if you do not have the rights to see that living person, you will not see the photos. 

Upload PDF files to the new Documents section of the program
I have already commented on this new development. From the reaction I am getting from the community, I think that most people do not understand the importance of being able to include your own documents in Family Tree. This has been one of the most asked questions in past as to when this feature would be added. Well, it is now available. You can upload your scanned images of family documents and records. The blog post  includes detailed instructions about how to upload and include scanned images. 

You Can Change Item Type from a Photo to a Document or from a Document to a Photo
If you use the beta picture viewer (discussed next) you can change photos to documents or documents to photos. This is useful if you have uploaded scanned documents as photos and now want them to appear as documents. In other words, you do not have to delete a scanned document from your photos folders and upload it again as a document.  
To change a previously uploaded photo to a document:
  1. Click My Photos.
  2. Click the item you want to change.
  3. Click View photo in BETA viewer.
  4. Click Options.
  5. Click Change to Document.
There is a new Beta version Picture Viewer
I have noticed this viewer lately and it does give a big advantage over the old one because you can see the photos in a full screen view. I will have to spend some time with this feature and then will do a video explaining all the options for both photos and documents. For now, see the instructions included in the blog post.

As I mentioned in the beginning, some of these new changes are significant. The ability to add in your own scanned documents in PDF format is something we have been waiting for.

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