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If my kids get ReunionTouch, can I share my family file with them, but keep them from making changes to my family file?

A few variations of this question...

  • I want to give ReunionTouch to my kids and then share my family file with them; but, I don't want them to make any changes to my family file?
  • Can my kids use ReunionTouch without having Reunion 11 or without having a Mac?
  • If my kids buy ReunionTouch, is there a way to make it "read only," so that nobody can change my family file?
  • Can I "gift" ReunionTouch to my children so they can see my family file but not make changes to it?
  • Can I share a snapshot of my family file with someone on their device (using ReunionTouch), without letting them make changes that affect my family file?

The answer is "yes." Three methods are outlined below...

Note: Your kids will need to have ReunionTouch and a Dropbox account. If you're feeling generous, you can "gift" them a copy of ReunionTouch, using the iTunes App Store. And the basic Dropbox service is free.

Method 1: Using a shared folder in Dropbox...

  1. Create a new folder in Dropbox and share that folder with each child.
    * Open your Dropbox folder.
    * Right-click or Control-click on the folder you want to share.
    * Select Share This Folder. Then follow the instructions.
  2. Put a copy of your family file in that shared folder, in Dropbox.
  3. Using ReunionTouch, each child can download the family file to their mobile devices, following the instructions here.
  • If you followed these instructions and put a copy of your family file in the shared folder, the kids won't be able to modify your family file. (In fact, after the kids have downloaded the family file to their devices, you may remove the copy from your Dropbox.)
  • Changes made on their ReunionTouch will not appear on your Mac. And changes made on your Mac will not appear on their ReunionTouch.
  • In effect, you gave them a "snapshot" of your family file (as of the date you put the copy of your family file into the new shared folder) which they can enjoy; but any changes they make (accidentally or intentionally) won't be synced to your family file.
  • Note: the "snapshot" copy of your family file in Dropbox can be updated with changes you've made to your master family file. Simply overwrite the copy you previously placed in Dropbox with a fresh, updated copy of your master family file. (The name of the family file copy in Dropbox must be exactly the same.) When your kids open ReunionTouch, it will automatically download the new updated family file from Dropbox. (Keep in mind that any changes made by family members in ReunionTouch will be overwritten; but your kids shouldn't be making changes anyway -- that was the point of putting a copy in Dropbox for them.) If you do this, be sure that you don't accidentally move your family file to Dropbox for the kids.

Method 2: Sharing a link to your family file in Dropbox...

  1. Locate your family file in the Dropbox folder on your Mac.
  2. Control-click (or Right-click) on your family file and choose Share Dropbox Link from the popup menu that appears. This will copy a link to the clipboard.
  3. Paste the link into an email and send it to each child.
  4. Using the link in the email, each child can download the family file from your Dropbox account and then move the family file into their Dropbox folder.
  5. Using ReunionTouch, each child can download the family file (the copy that you sent them) from their Dropbox to their mobile devices, following the instructions here.
  • Each child can remove the family file copy from their Dropbox after it appears in ReunionTouch. But even if they leave it there, it is not connected to your family file on your Mac.
  • In effect, you gave them a "snapshot" of your family file (as of the date they clicked the link you sent them) which they can enjoy; but any changes they make (accidentally or intentionally) won't be synced to your family file.

Method 3. Using email (for smaller family files)...

  1. Quit Reunion and make a .zip copy of your family file (by selecting the family file in the Finder and choosing File > Compress).
  2. Email the zipped family file to each child.
  3. Each child would unzip their copy of the family file and put the family file in their own Dropbox folder.
  4. Using ReunionTouch, each child can download the family file to their mobile devices, following the instructions here.
  • Each child can remove the family file copy from their Dropbox after it appears in ReunionTouch. But even if they leave it there, it is not connected to your family file on your Mac.
  • To keep the kids up to date, you could periodically re-send them the latest version of your family file for them to place in their own Dropbox folder. Then each child would delete the old family file on their device and download the fresh copy you sent them.

What if I don't use Dropbox or ReunionTouch?

Then you can still share your family file with your kids, if they have Dropbox and ReunionTouch. Just follow the steps in Method #3

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