Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've Won The Fight Against Bloat!

That's genealogy database bloat - my own personal bloat will have to wait. I am so excited over this especially since I figured out why Family Tree Maker (Version 16) was still displaying my database as being close to 280 MB since I had removed almost all the images.

As is common with several applications, if you insert an image either under the Scrapbook or under the Source areas of FTM, this takes up space, usually the number of bytes in the image file. However, if you delete that image, FTM still holds on to that amount of space.

I tried compacting the file to no avail. Finally, I had to do this:

- create a backup (if I didn't do this, I'd be "dumb as a box of hair")
- export the FTM database to GEDCOM 5.5
- close FTM
- open FTM
- under File, Open, locate the GEDCOM file. You may need to change the Files of Type drop-down box to GEDCOM, *.GED
- locate the recently exported GEDCOM
- exit FTM
- open FTM and then run Tools, Compact File

Be aware that you may lose some data in Notes fields or other fields if the data string was unusually long. That is why the backup file is important to use as a reference. But the method above removes all the "image placeholders."

For now, I will not reference any images for census records, etc. I know where they are and I have labeled them properly as well as used the new Tags function with Windows Vista. If I, or anyone who might inherit my research, wants to lookup an image for verification, it should be fairly simple.

I am a much happier man with a 8MB database. As they say, bigger is not always better.

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