Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-02 > 1298658088

From: Meredith Hoffman / GenerationsWeb <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Citations on Digital Images
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 13:21:28 -0500
References: <><><>
In-Reply-To: <>

I've been reading what others do, and what I do sort of combines several strategies into one.

First of all, I recommend anyone who can afford it to get Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you're buying it new, it costs $449 (!), but as a professional expense for someone who deals with capturing and repurposing large quantities of images and text, its an outstanding tool. There are other inexpensive and free PDF-makers out there that others use and apparently can do much of what I do with Acrobat Pro, but I've never used them.

At the moment, I don't have time to write out a complete outline of what I do (I'm actually working on a presentation/paper and an article about how I use it for my genealogy research and reporting), but here's a quick highlight outline and if anyone is interested in a more detailed description, I'll be posting a link to my article once I'm done -- probably sometime toward the end of March.

First, I capture a full-size high-resolution image from, say Ancestry: I command-C/control-C on the image; this places it on the Clipboard

Then I create a new PDF document in Acrobat Pro using File > Create PDF > from clipboard image; this places the image on a page

Usually, I have to then crop out black space, straighten, and often size down the placed image -- all functions that I can do straightforwardly using the tools in Acrobat Pro

Then I go back to the source page on Ancestry, and select and copy whatever source information, or the url, or whatever that I want to include with the document

Then I open Document > Header & Footer to paste the information I just copied into one or another header or footer field on the page. I can repeat this process, selecting and copying information from the web page, to paste into the header/footer; there's a lot of ways you can customize what goes where, including adding a date and a page number etc. Learning how to use this tool effectively takes a bit of practice.

In one header field, I place a document index number and the "title" of the document file, which correspond to the index number and name of the digital file on my computer.

If there's a lot of information from the source web page that I want to capture, I may make a new blank page in the same PDF document and paste the information there.

Then I immediately create my three source citations formats for this particular document (long footnote, short footnote, and bibliography/source list), and paste those into a header or footer field -- still in the same PDF page. This is useful especially because it "encourages" me to get the source citation right at the start and to get it written, so that it's already in place to be copied whenever I need it. It also permanently links the source citation information to its document.

The header and footer fields are fully editable text, so at any point I can go back, edit my source citations or any of the information from the original source web page that I'd included.

And then, if I happen not to have my research log open where I can make any comments or observations about the document, I'll also create an additional blank page within the same PDF document and temporarily write my thoughts down there, until I can transfer them -- by cutting and pasting -- to my research log.

You can add multiple pages to a PDF document, and one of the most useful ways I use this capability is when I've got, for example, a census record that continues to the top of a second page, or a two-page manifest; I simply just add additional pages with each of the parts of the multi-part document. This part is easy but a little bit fiddly -- there are several ways to accomplish this -- but again, once you've got it down, it's quick and effective.

There are some niceties about how to capture the high-resolution image from some websites, and in my article one of the things I deal with is how to cope with a variety of different online repositories that don't all work the same way for image capture, but for most Ancestry documents, this one-step capture process works superbly.

I also use a large-format printer, so I can produce tabloid-size printouts. If a client has asked to have hard copies of all found documents, I can easily print out the entire set of documents, fully identified and fully sourced, with the index number/title of each document in the top right corner.

Hope this helps. Before I finish my article, I intend to check out the other cheaper/free pdf creator apps so that I can at least include a sense of how they compare to the immense feature set of Acrobat Pro.


Meredith Hoffman, M.A. Linguistics
Professional Genealogy Researcher
GenerationsWeb / Plymouth, MA

JGSGB Publicity Chair
NERGC 2011 Syllabus Chair
APG profile:
Co-editor JewishGen Success! Stories:
GenWeb blog:

On Feb 24, 2011, at 10:02 PM, Julie Michutka wrote:

> On Feb 24, 2011, at 5:38 PM, Harold Henderson wrote:
>> always include relevant record images as part of the report. At the
>> top of
>> the page I paste in the full citation. Below that I insert a
>> "picture" (for
>> instance, the .jpg image of a census record). Page break, and then
>> repeat as
>> needed. When the report is entirely finished, I export the whole
>> thing as a
>> PDF file and send it electronically. (That way the recipient can
>> zoom in on
>> the images if desired.)
> I am still learning how best to create PDFs. I have tried doing as
> Harold describes, but find that when I convert the report to PDF, I
> lose image quality and zooming in doesn't help (whereas I could zoom
> in and still retain quality when it was all still a Word document).
> Could someone tell me what I'm doing wrong (and more specifically, how
> to do it right)? Many thanks!
> Julie Michutka
> The Transitional Genealogists List was created to provide a supportive environment for genealogists to learn best practices as they transition to professional level work. Please respect the kind intentions of this list.
> -------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

This thread: