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Gedcom Publisher has custom rules for GEDCOM files exported from RootsMagic and supports RootsMagic sentence templates and other features.

Export Options

Set the GEDCOM Export options in RootsMagic according to the following guidelines and suggestions:

  • People to export — It's typically best to export everyone and use filters in Gedcom Publisher to manage who is included in the book. This allows Gedcom Publisher to show the names of people who are not included without creating a full person entry for them. You may also use the filtering capability in RootsMagic if desired.
  • Notes — Leave checked unless you want to omit all notes, which is unlikely.
  • Sources — Leave checked unless you want to omit all sources, which is unlikely.
  • LDS Information — Leave unchecked unless you want to include LDS-related tags, such as sealings, etc.
  • Addresses — Leave checked unless you want to omit address details.
  • To-Do tasks — Leave unchecked. Gedcom Publisher does not load To-Do tasks when reading the GEDCOM file.
  • Research logs — Leave unchecked. Gedcom Publisher does not load research logs when reading the GEDCOM file.
  • Multimedia links — Leave checked unless you want to omit all exhibits, which is unlikely.
  • Correspondence log — Leave unchecked. Gedcom Publisher does not load correspondence logs when reading the GEDCOM file.
  • Note formatting — Leave checked. Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic formatting tags.
  • Extra details (RM specific) — Leave checked. Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic custom GEDCOM tags. If you uncheck this option, the GEDCOM file will not include RootsMagic Fact Types, and Gedcom Publisher will not have access to Rootsmagic sentence templates.

Witnesses and Roles

Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic's witness and role GEDCOM extensions.

Gedcom Publisher does not support RootsMagic's name-only witnesses, i.e., people who share an event by name only and do not have an INDI record in the GEDCOM file.


Gedcom Publisher's sentence processing engine is flexible and has been customized to support sentence templates as supplied by several different genealogy programs, including RootsMagic. Read on for more details.

Gedcom Publisher imports both global sentences and local sentences from RootsMagic GEDCOM files.

RootsMagic users should consider using Gedcom Publisher's Add Note to Global Sentence and Add Note to Local Sentence options. See the description in the Notes Section help page.

Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic's variables and many of the variable options. The variables and options are mapped to Gedcom Publisher variables and parameters, with some differences in the exact definitions of the values.

Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic's "Simple Switch" syntax which is the same as Gedcom Publisher's conditional expressions:

< alternative1 | alternative2 | etc. >

... where each alternative may include a mix of literal text, variable references, etc. The first alternative that produces output is selected and all subsequent alternatives are ignored.

Gedcom Publisher supports the following additional RootsMagic switches:

Switch Syntax
Gender<%male | female > and several other variations
Living<@living | not living >
Plural<#single | plural | none >
Private<!private | public >
Value<?expression| not empty | empty >

For the Private switch, Gedcom Publisher always suppresses the private information and renders the non-private text, if any.

Name Types

screenshot of RootsMagic Name type pull-down menu
Name Types in RootsMagic

Altername name records in RootsMagic support a "Name type" parameter with values shown at left. When Gedcom Publisher loads names that have a type value, it adds the prefix "name-" to the Tag Type Name to yield the following results:

RootsMagic Name Type Gedcom Publisher Tag Type Name
Other spellingname-other spelling

RootsMagic does not include sentence templates for Name tags. Gedcom Publisher includes built-in Tag Type definitions, with sentence templates, for the types listed above. You may edit the sentence templates via the Edit Tag Types menu.

Source Types

Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic's source templates.

RootsMagic uses source templates to construct source citations. Source templates determine how the fields of the souce (the author name, the title, etc.) are combined to create the citation text.

Source templates are used in source types. RootsMagic includes built-in source types and RootsMagic allows users to add their own source types.

  • For built-in source types, the source types and source templates are not included in the GEDCOM export file.
  • For user-defined source types, the source types and source templates are included in the GEDCOM export file.

If the Sources.Use Application Types option is checked, which is the default, Gedcom Publisher will use RootsMagic's built-in and user-defined source types.

If the Sources.Use Application Types option is unchecked, Gedcom Publisher will ignore both built-in and user-defined source types and use the generic templates defined in the Sources section.


Color Coding

RootsMagic provides a "Color Code People" command to assign one of several colors to a person. If the "Extra Details (RM specific)" option is checked when exporting a GEDCOM file, RootsMagic includes an _COLOR record in the GEDCOM file for each color-coded person. Gedcom Publisher loads that record and assigns the value to the "ColorCode" Attribute. The GEDCOM file includes a color number, not a color name. The Attribute has the color number. The numbers map to colors according to the table below.

Gedcom Publisher does not automatically apply the color values to the output. You may use the ColorCode Attribute in Filters.

Color Codes in RM8

Color Attribute Value

Color code "4" is Pink in RM8. It was Fuschia in RM7. Color codes 15 to 27 are new in RM8.

Color Codes in RM7

Color Attribute Value

Media Item Keywords

RootsMagic Media Items include a Description property and a Tag value that includes a Comment property. You may add a keyword that modifies how Gedcom Publisher processes the exhibit in either of those properties. The available keywords are listed below. The keywords have the same effect as shown in the Exhibit Codes section of the Exhibits help page.

You may find it useful to embed the Exhibit Code inside the RootsMagic private text codes, "{" and "}", for example {Exhibit-Embed-Right}.

Gedcom Publisher supports the following keywords for Image Exhibits:


Gedcom Publisher does not float images, so it converts the following keywords to Exhibit-Embed:


For other exhibit types, Gedcom Publisher supports:


If an external file cannot be embedded in a book due to its file format, the exhibit is ignored regardless of any exhibit keywords.

Sort Dates

Gedcom Publisher supports RootsMagic "dash numbers" in sort dates such as the "-1" in the date 12 JUN 1900-1. 12 JUN 1900-1 will sort before 12 JUN 1900-2 which will sort before 12 JUN 1900-3, etc.

Gedcom Publisher supports dash numbers only as follows:

  • Dash numbers must use a dash character ("-") or an EN-DASH character ("–").
  • Dash numbers are supported in sort dates only.
  • Dash numbers are supported in unmodified sort dates only, i.e., 12 JUN 1900-1 is OK, BEF 12 JUN 1900-1 is not.
  • Dash numbers must be between 1 and 100.
  • Dash numbers only work with dates whose year is greater than 100.
  • When the dates are the same, a sort date with a dash number sorts before a sort date without a dash number.

Known Issues

  1. RootsMagic supports customized (AKA local) sentences for witnesses, but does not export the sentence to the GEDCOM file.
  2. RootsMagic exports its description field for the Death tag to the GEDCOM CAUS record. Gedcom Publisher normally loads the CAUS value in the [M:Cause] variable. However, in RootsMagic sentences, the description is available via the {desc} variable. To make RootsMagic sentences compatible with Gedcom Publisher, Gedcom Publisher loads the CAUS text for the Death event in the [M:Text] variable.