*Universal Suppression of ( - ) where No Dates Available

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Universal Suppression of ( - ) where No Dates Available

Postby edmacke » 10 Jul 2018 17:32

In published reports, when birth and death date are unavailable, a person is formatted as John Smith ( - ).

This request is to add a preference to universally suppress the display of empty date reference "( - )" so that anywhere and everywhere that "John Smith ( - )" is displayed the preference would cause it to be displayed as simply "John Smith"

Peter Collier
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Re: Universal Suppression of ( - ) where No Dates Available

Postby Peter Collier » 12 Jul 2018 10:02

That would be a definite improvement.

As an alternative, if it cannot be surpressed entirely, it would be better displayed as (? - ?). I would extend this to scenarios where one date was missing too - for example (? - 1820) or (1688 - ?). For missing death dates, the "?" should appear only when there is an undated death event.

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Re: Universal Suppression of ( - ) where No Dates Available

Postby tatewise » 12 Jul 2018 11:50

To get a clear understanding of this new requirement, the details of the existing feature need to be considered.

There are two Functions involved: =LifeDates(...) and =LifeDates2(...) so see the Help for details.
They are identical except that =LifeDates2(...) will return space hyphen space where =LifeDates(...) would return nothing.
Neither Function currently displays parentheses ( ). They are added separately as explicit characters.

Remember that they don't just display Birth and Death dates, but will use Baptism, Christening &/or Burial (but NOT Cremation) dates, and even estimated Birth or Death dates (that do include Cremation dates).

  1. Thus the first enhancement would be to include Cremation events similarly to Burial events.

  2. The request for a ? when there is an undated Birth or Death event, must be clarified regarding undated Baptism, Christening, Burial & Cremation events.

  3. The request to suppress ( - ) and also () is necessary because they appear in some scenarios that cannot be customised at all (e.g. Report Index) or are difficult to customise (e.g. Report Items: Parents, Spouses, Children). Those unconditionally use (=LifeDates2(%INDI%,STD)) and the Dates with Names options allow that to be unconditionally suppressed (Narrative Reports do not even have that option for Dates with Names in the narrative text). Since the parentheses ( ) are outside the control of the two Functions the suppression option needs to be elsewhere.

    Alternatively, instead of the Dates with Names options, get the Options dialogue to display the Expression used by the feature and allow it to be customised so (=LifeDates2()) can be replaced with say =CombineText("(",LifeDates(),")",). That would not only suppress ( - ) but also allow other formats & details such as Custom Id to be added after each name, so it matched the Format tab Record setting. See How To Suppress '( - )' in Reports (16054).
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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