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Overview

Use OraSettings to configure ORA. Open OraSettings by clicking the ORA icon in the upper-right corner of your browser.

ORA Icon

Some browsers will not show icons for some extensions unless you click an icon to show all extension icons. If the ORA icon does not appear in the upper-right of your browser, I recommend that you click the all-extensions icon and then choose the option to pin the ORA icon so it always appears.

Export, Import, Collection Report, and Record Status Buttons

There are five buttons in the top section of the OraSettings page.

Export, Import, Collection Report, and Record Status Buttons

Each button is explained below.

Export Settings

Use the [Export Settings] button to save your ORA settings and usage data to an external file. Files are saved with the file type ".ora-settings". The default location for export files is the Documents\ORA\Settings folder.

You should use the [Export Settings] button frequently to avoid losing data.

Import Settings

Use the [Import Settings] button to load ORA settings and usage data from an external file. When you import a file, ORA imports whatever is in the input file, adding new items and replacing any items that are in both the import dataset and the existing dataset.

Collection Report

Use the [Collection Report] button to open a report that shows all templates for all collections. The report is an HTML page that will open in the browser assigned to ".html" files, which may or may not be the browser you are using when you click the button.

Show Pending Records

Use the [Show Pending Records] button to open a panel that contains a list of links to records you have marked "pending" ("P"). Each entry in the list includes the repository name and the comment you entered when setting the record status. If you left the comment field empty, the link will use the Record Id for the record as the link text.

Clicking the link will open the record in a new tab or window.

Show Questionable Records

Use the [Show Questionable Records] button to open a panel that contains a list of links to records you have marked "questionable" ("Q"). Each entry in the list includes the repository name and the comment you entered when setting the record status. If you left the comment field empty, the link will use the Record Id for the record as the link text.

Clicking the link will open the record in a new tab or window.

Auto Type

Auto Type Settings

The Auto Type section includes properties related to the Auto Type feature.

Target Application

Use the Target Application pull-down menu to choose which application will receive the input data you send with Auto Type. The menu includes popular genealogy applications as well as some text editors and word processors. The text editors and word processors are included mostly for testing Auto Type templates, but you may have a use for them as part of your genealogical research process.

Application AppName
Ancestris 11javaw:Ancestris
Ancestral Quest 16ancquest
Ancestral Sources 5.3.0ancestral sources
Brother's Keeper 7bk7w
Excelexcel
Family Historian 6fh
Family Tree Makerftm
Grampsgrampsw
Heredis 2020heredis
Legacy 9legacy
MS Wordwinword
Notepadnotepad
Notepad++notepad++
My Family Tree 9myfamilytree
MyHeritage Family Tree Buildermyheritage
RootsMagic 7rootsmagic
The Master Genealogist 9tmg9
WordPadwordpad

The AppNames shown here may work with versions of the programs other than the ones listed above. The AppName values were discovered using the given application version, but other versions were not tested.

For Ancestris, the AppName is "javaw", but that will be the value for any Java-based application running under Windows. When ORA sees the ":Ancestris" parameter, it knows to search for the application with the Appname "javaw" and with "Ancestris" in the title.

Using Top-Most Window

If your genealogy application is not included in the Target Application pull-down menu, you may select the "Top-Most Window" entry. When using "Top-Most Window", switch from your browser to your genealogy application before using Auto Type, and then switch back to your browser. That will position your genealogy application as the top-most window other than the browser. When you click an Auto Type button, ORA will switch to the top-most window other than the browser before sending the keystrokes to enter the data.

Show Current Targets

The [Show Current Targets] button shows the applications running on your PC that are valid targets for the Auto Type facility.

If you want to direct the Auto Type feature to use a specific application, you start the Type Template with {TARGET=appname}. The "appname" parameter should be set to the exact text in the "Target" column of the table displayed by the [Show Current Targets] button.

See the Auto Type page for more details.

Services

The Services section of the OraSettings page contains several controls for configuring services. A service is the component in ORA that is customized to work with a specific online repository.

All Services Controls

Service

Use the "Service" pull-down menu to choose the service whose properties you want to change. Each repository has an associated service in ORA and the properties of the service customize how ORA processes the repository data.

Choose a Service

Most Recent

The [Most Recent] button sets the Service and Collection to the most-recently visited collection and service where an ORA Control Panel appears in another tab.

Enabled

If the Enabled checkbox is checked, the ORA Control Panel will appear for certain pages on the repository web site.

Enable or Disable a Service

For repositories that use multiple domains, such as "Ancestry.com", "Ancestry.ca", "Ancestry.co.uk", etc., this section will also include a "Domain:" label and the specific domain ORA will use when it constructs URLs to records in the repository.

Collection

Use the Collection pull-down menu to choose the collection whose templates you want view or edit.

Collection Pull-down Menu

Hint When a repository has many collections, you may find it useful to click the Collection pull-down menu once to open it, then key the first few letters of the collection name to scroll the list to (or near) the collection of interest.

ORA adds collections to the Collection pull-down menu after you visit a record in the collection. So, for example, "1880 United States Federal Census" will not appear in the Collection pull-down menu for Ancestry until you visit at least one record in that collection after you install ORA.

Many repositories include more than one collection. For example, Ancestry.com has thousands of collections. An example is the 1880 United States Federal Census.

Some repositories, including Find a Grave and Newspapers.com, do not separate records into collections. For those repositories, ORA treats records as being in a default collection and only a single choice will appear in the pull-down menu.

Collection ID

This read-only textbox shows the ID number associated with the current collection. Collection names sometimes change, but Collection IDs do not.

Collection ID, Export Collection, and Import Collection

Export Collection

Use the [Export Collection] button to copy the templates for the current collection.

When you click the [Export Collection] button, you will be prompted to indicate where you want to save the collection's templates.

Export Collection Choices
  • Choose [Export to Clipboard] and then [Import from Clipboard] to copy the templates from the current collection to another collection.
  • Choose [Export to New File] to save the current collection's templates in a new file. Use the file as a backup or to share a single collection with someone else.
  • Choose [Export to Existing File] to save the templates for the current collection in an existing file. This adds the current collection's templates to the file. Use the file as a backup or to share multiple collections with someone else.

    If you export collection "A" to "file1.ora-collection" using [Export to New File], that file will have one collection in it. However, if you subsequently use the [Export to Existing File] feature and choose "file1.ora-collection", the file will have two collections in it.

Import Collection

Use the [Import Collection] button to import one or more collection templates stored in an external file.

When you click the [Import Collection] button, you will be prompted to choose the source of the collection data.

Import Collection Choices
  • Choose [Import from Clipboard] to update the current collection with the templates placed on the clipboard by a previous [Export to Clipboard] command.

    The current collection's templates will be replaced by the templates from the collection on the clipboard. This combination, [Export to Clipboard], change to a different collection, then [Import from clipboard], is intended to provide users with an easy way to copy the template for collection "A" to collection "B".

  • Choose [Import from File] to save the current collection's templates in a new file. Use the file as a backup or to share a single collection with someone else.

    If the file you choose contains a single collection, you can choose to [Import to Current Collection] or [Import to collection-name] where collection-name will be replaced by the name of the collection that was exported to create the file.

    The [Export to New File] and [Import to collection-name] combination is intended to help users share a single collection. The user who authors the templates saves a collection's templates to a file, and subsequent users choose [Import to collection-name] to use them.

    If the file you choose contains multiple collections, the collections will be imported and will add to (or replace) collections in your current database. This is intended for the use case where a user shares a set of collections with other users.

The Delete Hostname and Blocked Hostnames... buttons are only visible when you set the Service to "Generic Service".

Delete Hostname

The Generic Service supports adding collections that are assigned to generic sites based on the hostname of the site. You add hostnames/collection to the Generic Service using the Add button in the ORA Control Panel. If you accidently add a hostname, or if you do not need the hostname/collection for some other reason, use the [Delete Hostname] button to delete the hostname/collection.

Blocked Hostnames...

The Generic Service uses a block list for generic sites where the ORA Control Panel should not appear. Use the [Blocked Hostnames...] button to view or edit the block list.

Text Templates

See the Text Templates page.

For template-editing instructions, see the Editing Templates section.

Auto Type Templates

See the Auto Type page.

For template-editing instructions, see the Editing Templates section.

Record ID Lookup

Record ID Lookup

The Record ID textbox and [Lookup] button are a convenience feature. They do not modify any ORA preferences or other settings. If you enter a valid record ID for the repository associated with the current service, you can click the [Lookup] button to open the record details page for that record ID.

Date Formats

Date Format Pull-down Menus

Date Format

Use the Date Format pull-down menu to set the format ORA uses to display dates in the Control Panel. Choose the best format for entering data in your genealogy application. That may or may not be your preferred format for reports or other output.

Format Example
d MMM yyy 5 AUG 1845
dd MMM yyyy 05 AUG 1845
d Mmmm yyy 5 August 1845
d Mmmm yyyy 5 August 1845
dd Mmmm yyyy 05 August 1845
yyyy-mm-dd 1845-08-05

Quarter Date Format

Use the Quarter Date Format pull-down menu to set the format ORA uses to display quarter dates in the Control Panel. Quarter dates are used in some collections, i.e., "Jan-Feb-Mar 1865" or "Q1 1865".

Choose the best format for entering dates in your genealogy application. That may or may not be your preferred format for reports or other output. If your genealogy application does not support quarter dates, but does support date ranges, you should consider using the "BET dd MMM yyyy AND dd MMM yyyy" format.

Format Example
Qn yyyy Q1 1865
SSS-MMM-EEE yyyy JAN-FEB-MAR 1865
Sss-Mmm-Eee yyyy Jan-Feb-Mar 1865
EEE Q yyyy MAR Q 1865
Eee Q yyyy Mar Q 1865
BET dd SSS yyyy AND dd EEE yyyy BET 01 JAN 1865 AND 31 MAR 1865

In the format choices, "SSS" refers to the start month in the quarter and "EEE" refers to the end month in the quarter.

When ORA detects date fields that reflect quarter values, it standardizes the results. For example, when the Record Details include these fields:

Quarter Date Fields in Record Details

ORA detects the separate year and quarter fields and adds the "Registration Date" field to the Control Panel. The Registration Date includes both the quarter and the year. If the Quarter Date Format preference is set to Qn yyyy, the Control Panel will include these fields and values:

Quarter Date Fields in Control Panel

If the Quarter Date Format preference is set to Mmm-Mmm-Mmm yyyy, the Control Panel will include these fields and values:

Quarter Date Fields in Control Panel

Julian New Year's Day

When ORA converts a date to or from the Julian calendar, it combines the Julian 1st Month and Julian 1st Day properties to create the Julian New Year's Day, the day when the year number is incremented. Set the date to the most common value used in your research, and consider using the dateJNYD transform when processing records from a locale and era that used a different Julian New Year's Day.

For more information, see the Date Related Transforms and the Julian New Year's Day explanation on the Date Manipulation Notes page.

Name Parts Section

Name Part Properties

The Name Parts Section includes settings that influences the Name Part transforms.

Name Prefixes

Use the [Name Prefixes...] button to view or edit the values in the Name Prefixes list. See the namePrefix transform for more information.

Name PreSurnames

Use the [Name PreSurnames...] button to view or edit the values in the Name PreSurnames list. See the nameSurname transform for more information.

Name Suffixes

Use the [Name Suffixes...] button to view or edit the values in the Name Sufixes list. See the nameSuffixes transform for more information.

Optional Name Part Characters

Certain characters in the default entries of the Name Prefixes, Name PreSurnames, and Name Suffixes lists are optional. They are included if Optional Name Part Characters is checked, and they are omitted if Optional Name Part Characters is unchecked. The optional characters are delimited by [ and ] in the values.

This feature is intended to help users switch between the US and UK conventions regarding periods following abbreviations:

  • Set Optional Name Part Characters to checked to follow the convention used in the United States where abbreviations are followed by a period.
  • Set Optional Name Part Characters to unchecked to follow the convention used in the United Kingdom where some abbreviations are followed by a period and some are not.

In the list entries, if the value includes "[.]", the period inside [ and ] will be included in the transformed name part when Optional Name Part Characters is checked, and omitted otherwise.

The list entries supplied by default in ORA use the Optional Name Part Characters feature to include or omit periods only, but you may use the feature to include or omit other characters.

Editing Templates

There are two template-editing sections, one for Text Templates and one for Auto Type Templates.

Each section has the same controls:

Text Templates Settings

Add Template ([+])

Add Templates Using the [+] Button

Use the Add Template button to add a new template. The Add Template button will create a new template with empty values. Text Templates create text that is added to the bottom of the Control Panel. Auto Type Templates create buttons in the Auto Type section at the top of the Control Panel. Clicking an Auto Type button sends text to your genealogy application.

If you hold the [Alt] key when clicking the Add Template button, the new template will be inserted before the currently highlighted Choose Template button. This renumbers the existing templates starting with the highlighted template.

If you do not hold the [Alt] key when clicking the Add Template button, the new template will be added using the next available template number.

Choose Template ([1], [2], etc.)

Choose the Current Template Using a Numbered Button

After you add a template, a numbered button will appear to the right of the Add Template [+] button. You can edit the text for the template after clicking the Add Template button. To edit an existing template, click one of the Choose Template buttons.

When you click one of the Choose Template buttons, that button will be highlighted and the Template textbox will contain the current text of the template.

Delete Template ([-])

Delete Templates Using the [-] Button

Use the Delete Template button to delete the current (highlighted) template.

Heading

The Heading text is used with Text Templates. The Heading text is used as the field label for the template output in the Control Panel.

Text Template Heading

Reminder

The Reminder text is used with Auto Type Templates. The Reminder text is used as the tooltip for the template's Auto Type button in the Control Panel. If you hover your mouse over the button, you will see the tooltip / reminder.

Auto Type Template Reminder

Template TextBox

Key the template text in the Template textbox.

Template Textbox

For more information about templates, see Text Templates or Auto Type Templates.

Insert Field... Button

The [Insert Field...] button opens a dialog panel with several choices for inserting variable references into the textbox of the associated template (Text or Auto Type).

Insert Field Reference Panel

Select a field from the pull-down menu and click one of the buttons:

  1. Insert — Inserts an unconditional variable reference. If the field is "Name", clicking this button will insert [Name].
  2. Insert (conditional) — Inserts a conditional variable reference. If the field is "Name", clicking this button will insert <, [Name]>.
  3. Insert (conditional with name) — Inserts a conditional variable reference that includes the field name as a label. If the field is "Name", clicking this button will insert <, Name: [Name]>.

When you click one of the buttons listed above, the modal panel closes and ORA inserts a variable reference for that field into the associated template at the cursor location.

If you select "<all>" in the pull-down menu, ORA will repeat the insert operation for all the fields in the pull-down menu. This is intended as an easy way to get all the fields into the template. After inserting all fields, edit the template to remove the fields you don't need, change the sequence, etc.

Test... Button

The [Test...] button evaluates the current template using field values saved from the last visit to a record in the current collection. The [Test...] button opens a panel that shows the text output from evaluating the template.

Template Tester Panel

The template appears under the Template header.

The result of evaluating the template appears under the Output header.

Click "Trace" to expand the panel to include a trace of the evaluation of the template. The trace shows the logic and true/false results processed during the template evaluation. The entries are indented to show the nesting of conditional expressions. If your template does not produce the output you expect, the trace may help you determine why.

Example Trace Output

Template Tester with Trace Open

The template:

[Source.Year] U.S. Federal Census for [Source.Census Place]<; Roll: [Source.Roll]><; ED: [Source.Enumeration District]><; Page: [Source.Page]>

The output:

1880 U.S. Federal Census for Providence, Providence, Rhode Island; Roll: 1213; ED: 058; Page: 480C

The trace:

[Source.Year] = "1880"
T
" U.S. Federal Census for "
T
[Source.Census Place] = "Providence, Providence, Rhode Island"
T
<
   "; Roll: "
   T
   [Source.Roll] = "1213"
   T
>
T
<
   "; ED: "
   T
   [Source.Enumeration District] = "058"
   T
>
T
<
   "; Page: "
   T
   [Source.Page] = "480C"
   T
>
T

In the trace, each expression is followed by T or F indicating "true" or "false", respectively. The output of a false expression is not inserted into the output.

Special Text Templates

Some Text Templates have a special purpose determined by their name. See Special Text Templates.

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