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Beginning the Transition

by Leister Productions

About This Document

This document contains modified information from a ReadMe file that was originally installed with Reunion 5 -- the information is specifically for those who are upgrading from Reunion 4. Its purpose is to help you begin the transition from Reunion 4 to newer versions.

In designing newer versions of Reunion, we attempt to maintain as closely as possible the interface, metaphor, features and conventions used in older versions. However, Reunion 5 was a very significant upgrade. Indeed, the software was completely rewritten.

While it would be impractical to mention all of the new enhancements that arrived in Reunion 5 and newer versions, what follows is a brief discussion of some changes which you will encounter on your first visit with a newer version.

Other Pages On Our Web Site

One File

The Reunion family file is now a single file, whereas the Reunion 4 "family file" was actually a collection of files inside a folder. Since the single file occupies much less disk space, there is no built-in backup feature in Reunion 5 or newer. To backup your family file, all you have to do is drag it to a floppy disk, thereby making a copy on the floppy. Or if you use multiple hard disks, Zip, Jaz, or other types of disks, you can simply drag a copy of your family file to another disk to make a safety copy. We recommend you do this frequently.

Child Buttons with Blue Text

Beginning in Reunion 5, child buttons for people with children appear with blue text. Child buttons for people without children appear with black text.

Child Buttons with a Red Triangle

The child buttons for people with multiple spouses will appear with a little red triangle near the end of the button. If you click close to the red triangle, a Spouse pop-up menu will appear.

If you just click a child button in the normal way -- if you don't use the Spouse pop-up menu (the red triangle on a child button) -- Reunion will open the family card for the preferred spouse. Your manual explains how to designate the preferred spouse.

Preferred Spouses

Each person with multiple spouses will have a "preferred" spouse. The preferred spouse is the spouse that will appear with a person when the person's child button is clicked and when the person's name is double-clicked in a list, such as the Index. When you upgrade from Reunion 4, each person with multiple spouses will automatically have his or her first spouse designated as preferred. You can easily change the preferred spouse for a person by navigating to him or her and choosing Edit -> Spouses.

Preferred Parents

A person can have multiple sets of parents. Your manual explains this concept, and also the "preferred" parents.

Marking: People vs. Families

People are marked or unmarked. (In Reunion 4, family cards were marked.) You'll notice the mark button now appears beneath each person's information on the family card. In addition, there are lots of new ways to mark people.

Lists, Index

When you see a list on the screen, such as the Index window, you can automatically scroll the list to a particular point by pressing letters on the keyboard. For example, if you're looking for somebody named Smith in the index, and your family file has 3,000 entries, you can type the letter "s" and the index will jump to the first person whose last name begins with "s." If you type "sm" quickly enough, the index will jump to the first person whose surname begins with "sm." Similarly, if you type "smith" quickly enough, you'll select the first person whose surname is "Smith."

Tabbed Windows

Reunion uses several tabbed windows. For example, when you click a person's name on the family card, the Edit Person window appears. This window has different "tabs" showing different types of information for the person.

Press Command-1, Command-2, Command-3, etc. to "click" the different tabs in any dialog box window. You can also press Command-(left arrow) or Command-(right arrow) to move between the tabs.

Bookmarks replace the QuickList

The QuickList in Reunion 4 has been changed to "Bookmarks" in newer versions. The Bookmarks pop-up menu button on the Toolbar provides a list of the last 50 people added to or edited in your family file.


Reunion 5 introduced user-defined layouts -- an extremely flexible system of creating reports and charts. When you create a chart or report, you can select a layout. More importantly, you can define, name, and save your own layouts.

For example, when you create a descendant chart, you can create a layout that: has names on separate lines, has names on the same line, includes ages with events, includes spouses, includes or excludes each person field, includes or excludes different fields for spouses of descendants, includes ID numbers and/or soundex and/or relationships. The possibilities are far reaching. We strongly suggest that you experiment with small charts and reports, building and trying the myriad of different layout settings. Your manual has a discussion of layouts. In addition, the chapters for each report and chart contain some details about layout settings.

Chart Compatibility

The graphic chart files saved by SuperChart 4 can be opened by newer versions. However, when you save the chart using a newer version, you can no longer open the same chart using older versions.

Source Citations

In Reunion 4, each date field could only have one source citation and you could have different citations in the date and place field of an event.

In newer versions, each event has a date, place, and memo field, but is treated as one entity for purposes of source documentation. Thus each event has its own list of source citations -- as many as you want.

Similarly, all of the "name" fields share the same list of citations. (You can't have separate citations for last name and first name and title.) Although you can easily differentiate in the detail field for each citation, if necessary.

Cut, Copy, Paste, Undo in Data Entry Windows

In Reunion 4, some data entry windows included buttons for common text-editing functions such as cut, copy, paste, and undo. In newer versions, these buttons no longer appear; however, the standard keyboard shortcuts can be used for editing text...

Function Command Key
Cut X
Copy C
Paste V
Undo Z


This document only scratches the surface of all the new features added after version 4. We strongly suggest that you peruse the new manual and other pages on our Web site to learn more about Reunion.