Sunday 22 August 2021

Simplify your view

Genealogy life in Covid19 times

Your travel plans have been curbed, the restaurants, museums and art galleries are closed during the lockdown. It is National Family History Month so what better time could there be to review and upgrade the tools you use for family history?

Simple Software enhancements

Do you ever lose track of where that cursor (cursed thing) is? Do you sometimes give presentations to other family historians? Do yourself and other viewers a favour by making your mouse cursor visible.

In the search bar type Mouse pointer > Select from this display

If you do not have Search turned on head to Settings and type in mouse.

Simply drag the bar to enlarge your pointer, this also enlarges the cursor.
If presenting to an audience consider changing to a larger size so that viewers can easily see the pointer.Use the color wheel on the right to choose a colour to contrast with your slides or presentation.

If you do not have the search bar turned on in your bottom toolbar, right click on the up arrow on the far right hand side and select Search then choose either the icon or the search box.


Have you saved some hard-earned money by staying at home? Perhaps a treat for your eyes may help with your family history.

Yes, a second screen for your family history.

Are you working on digitizing your photos and would benefit by viewing them on a larger screen?

Perhaps you have some faded shipping lists or documents that are hard to read.

For far too long I worked only on a laptop or iPad screen. Imagine my delight at having acquired a larger monitor for editing those photos and viewing those faded documents. 

Ways to use a second monitor for family history tasks

  • Comparing data on two browser tabs, simply drag one tab to the second screen to view them side by side.
  • Family history software open on one screen, data source e.g. Ancestry, MyHeritage or any other program open on the second monitor,
  • Data in the family history program open on one screen and a spreadsheet open for filtering and sorting on the second monitor.
  • Copy from one screen and paste to the other.
  • Watch webinars and see the detail in a presenter's slides on a larger screen, while taking notes on your smaller screen.
  • File naming protocol document always open on one screen while saving files on the other
  • Photo digitizing on one screen and spreadsheet for recording them on the other.
My 21" monitor is certainly not a high-end, high-priced product, but more than satisfactory for my needs. If you have saved on expenses during the lockdown, you may like to consider doing your family history a favour with a second monitor.

After plugging the second monitor in either by HDMI or VGA cable do visit Settings to extend the display. 

For those who already have a second monitor, what other genealogy-related tasks are easier with two screens?

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  1. Ooh Carmel. You are a treasure. I did not know you could hide your mouse. How about that? I have two monitors and just love having them - particularly for comparing things as you say. So much easier to be able to go from one screen to another. I find this particularly helpful when evaulating my bridge play because the results come up on one software package but I have to track my bidding on another website. Thank you again for participating in the NFHM Blogging challenge :)

  2. More great tips Carmel. I installed a second monitor during lockdown last year. I’m so pleased I did. I use it most of the ways you mentioned but mainly to display my Legacy software while researching and for adding info to a spreadsheet. I really love it for webinars so that I can take notes.


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