Adding files to your sources

Friday, January 10, 2020 by Fouke Boss

Centurial allows you to add images and documents directly to a source. This way, you are always one click away from both the source and the corresponding scans, photos or articles.

The File Explorer

After you've added a new source to your Centurial research project, the Source view is mostly empty. In the right upper corner of the source view you will find the File Explorer, which is the panel that holds the images and documents related to the source:

Adding a file to the File Explorer

There are several ways to add a new file to the source.

Drag and drop

The first way to add a file to your source is by using drag and drop. First, open the Windows Explorer and navigate to the directory that contains the file you want to add. Place the mouse pointer over the file, press the left mouse key, and keep this mouse key pressed down. When you then start moving your mouse pointer, you will find that the file moves along with the mouse pointer.

Next, drag the file over to the Centurial File Explorer, and, while keeping the mouse pointer over the File Explorer, let go of the mouse key. The file will be dropped into the File Explorer, and Centurial will add the file to the project.

Copy and paste

Another way to add a file is by copying the file and then pasting it into the File Explorer. Again, open the Windows Explorer and navigate to the file you want to add to Centurial. Select the file by clicking it once with the left mouse key, and then copy the file by either selecting 'Copy' from the context menu or by pressing the well known Ctrl+C keys.

Activate the Centurial window (by clicking on it) and in the File Explorer, select paste from either the watermark, the toolbar or from the context menu. You can also use the keys Ctrl+V. The file will be added to your research project.

File dialog

The final way to add a file to your source is by using the Centurial File dialog, which can be accessed by either clicking the 'opening' link in the watermark or by selecting 'Add a file' from either the toolbar or the context menu.

The file dialog allows you to select the file you want to add to your project from the file system. After selecting the file, Centurial will add it to your source.

Source View layouts

The source view comes with several layouts, which allow the user to optimize the view on the source data. For the duration of this blog, I will switch to the second layout, which dedicates most of the screen to the File Explorer.

File viewers

After adding a file to your source, you can view it in detail by either double-clicking the file or by selecting View from the context menu. Centurial will then open a designated file viewer for the specific file type. The name of the file is shown in the top left corner of the file viewer.

Image files

The main file viewer in Centurial is the image viewer. This viewer allows you to view several image file types, like JPEG, BMP and PNG files.

After opening the image, the image viewer allows you to rotate the image by using the and buttons. The image can also be flipped horizontally () or vertically ().

Once the image is adjusted, you can zoom in either by using the zoom slider in the left bottom corner or by using your mouse wheel while holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard.

To move the image around, place the mouse pointer over the image. While holding down the mouse key, move your mouse pointer around together with the image itself. Let go of the mouse key when the correct part of the image has come into view. Alternatively, you can use the zoom box in the left bottom corner of the file viewer.

Also, note how you can scroll the image by using the mouse wheel (this time without holding the Ctrl key) or by using the horizontal and vertical scroll bars.

PDF files

Centurial is also equipped with a dedicated PDF viewer, which has, besides all the options from the image viewer, the additional option to navigate through the different pages of the PDF document.

Centurial comes with 2 more viewers, for GEDCOM files and plain text files, but I'll discuss these at the end of this blog. All other file types, like Microsoft Word and Excel files or any other type, can be added to a Centurial source too, there are just no file viewers available. Instead, Centurial will open these files in their appropriate external viewers or editors (Word for Word documents, etcetera).

Switching from file viewer back to File Explorer

To switch back from a file viewer to the File Explorer, use the close button in the top right corner of the file viewer.

Managing files

It is important to note that you can add multiple files to a single source. For example, if you, find multiple appendices to a marriage record, I recommend adding all scans of these appendices to the single source, as long as they indeed originate from the same source.

To add a second or third file, switch back to the File Explorer and add a new file by using one of the now-familiar ways: drag and drop, copy and paste or the file dialog. Notice how the number of files for the current source is displayed in the top left of the File Explorer.

Re-ordering files

You can easily change the order in which the files are displayed in the File Explorer by using drag and drop. Select the file you wish to move, move the mouse pointer to the new location while keeping the left mouse key down, and let go of the mouse key. Use the Escape key to abort the move of the file.

The first file of a source is used in the Source Explorer view as the thumbnail for the source.

Export a file

To export a file from Centurial, select Save As... from the context menu of the file you wish to export. This option is also available from the image and pdf viewers.

In the file dialog that pops up, select the target directory, and click the Save button. Centurial will open a Windows Explorer for the selected folder.

Copy a file to another source

Copying or moving a file from one source to another is also quite easy. Select the file, and select either Copy or Cut from the context menu (or use the keyboard shortcuts, Ctrl+C for copy or Ctrl+X for cut).

Then open the source you wish to copy the file to, and select paste, either from the context menu, the toolbar or by using the Ctrl+V keys.

Delete a file

If you want to delete a file from a source, select Delete from the context menu of the file you wish to remove. You can also select the file and press the Delete key.

After confirmation, Centurial will remove the file from the source. Please remember that the file will still be retrievable from an earlier backup.

Importing GEDCOM files

Finally, I would like to have a look at a special file type: the GEDCOM file. GEDCOM file are, as you probably already know, files that allow you to transfer genealogical data between different software applications. You can include GEDCOM files in your Centurial research project, just like any other kind of file, but if you want to do so, we recommend a different approach.

If you want to import a GEDCOM file into your research project, I recommend using the Import a File option from the SOURCESmenu. After selecting the GEDCOM file you wish to import using the file dialog, Centurial automatically creates a new source, detects all relevant source details from the GEDCOM file, creates a source citation, adds the GEDCOM file (and the corresponding import log) to the file explorer and even imports the persons and relationships in the GEDCOM into the Information panel!

This also showcases the final two file viewers: the GEDCOM viewer and the plain text viewer.