ODT Contributor Handbook

Obituary Daily Times Contributors’ Handbook

Using ObituaryFiler 2.01 or Obituary File 2.1.6

(For any operating system that supports Java)

Print a copy of this handbook to use as a reference guide
while you are indexing.

Table of Contents

General Information. 2

What it takes to be a contributor 2

ObituaryFiler 2

File format. 2

What to submit. 2

Holding time. 3

Email list. 3

Making and answering requests. 3

General Formatting Rules. 4

Field 1: Name. 4

Field 2: Age. 8

Field 3: Place of Birth and Death. 8

Field 4: Publication Name. 9

Field 5: Publication Date. 9

Field 6: Tagname. 10

Setting Up ObituaryFiler. 11

Using ObituaryFiler. 14

ObituaryFiler Reference Manual 16

ObituaryFiler Drop-down Menus. 16

ObituaryFiler Functions. 19

Special ObituaryFiler Features and Notes. 21


General Information

The Obituary Daily Times is a daily index of published obituaries.  It is distributed freely by email via mailing list.  The database is searchable at any time with the search engine. It is not meant to contain all of the information in each obituary; it is meant so a person can know that there is an obituary and where to find it.

The Obituary Daily Times mailing list is intended mostly (but not only) for family historians, researchers, and compilers.  The Obituary Daily Times database is an index of published obituaries across the world.  As a regular contributing volunteer, you can request information about particular obituaries from other contributors.

What it takes to be a contributor

For starters, you need to subscribe to a publication that publishes obituaries.  If the publication is not already being indexed by ODT, you can contact us to start indexing the obituaries in that publication.  You will be trained in how to format and submit the indexes.

Being a contributor involves two tasks:

A.   Submitting an index of your publication’s obituaries on a regular basis.

B.   Occasionally answering a query for more information on an obituary from another contributor.  Queries are answered via email.  This means copying the obituary in its entirety and emailing it off to the requester.  As a contributor you will have access to obituary information from around the world!


You are strongly encouraged to use the ObituaryFiler tool to assemble your submissions.  It will automatically take care of many of the details for you and save everyone time.  Contact your moderator to get started.

File format

Obituary submissions should be sent in ASCII text (.txt) format — this is the only format that can be read by both Mac and PC systems.  Do not use word processing software to generate these files, because they can add characters that are not universally recognized, and you may not be aware that they are being added.

What to submit

·       Submit obituaries only for the date being indexed.

·       No “In Memoriam” obituaries — Don’t submit entries for “In Memoriam” notices, because this might create duplication in the database.  Probably an obituary or death notice was put in the newspapers when the person died, and we indexed it then.

·       No duplicates — Sometimes publications will print a person’s obituary for several days in a row.  There is no need to submit entries for each day that an obituary has been printed.  Please submit an entry only for the first occurrence. 

An exception to this rule is if the second obituary has corrections in it.  Do submit the entry, but let your moderator know that it has corrections in it.

Holding time

How long should you hold on to the obituaries that you have indexed?  Hold obituaries for 90 days from the date that the obituary appears in the Obituary Daily Times email list.  This gives everybody ample time to sort through the listings, send, and answer queries.

Email list

The email list is how the obituary entries are distributed to the public.  You do not have to subscribe to this email list, but it makes it easier for you to figure out how long to keep the paper copies of your obituaries.  See our website sites.rootsweb.com/~obituary for how to subscribe to the email list.

Making and answering requests

·       RequestsThe benefit of being a contributor is being able to request copies of an obituary that appears in the index.  When you request an obituary from another contributor, copy the exact line from either the Obituary Daily Times or the results of a search from the ODT website.  In the subject line, put OBIT REQUEST — this will make your request stand out — and always include your tagname so it’s easy to find you in the tagname list.

·       AnswersWhen answering a request for an obituary, please provide your reply in a timely manner, and when not possible, at least let the requester know you have received their request and will answer it.  Let the requester know when they can expect to get the text copy.

In your reply, always include the name of the publication and the publication date with any index you send.  It’s not a bad idea to include the exact index line from the ODT database.

The following statement should be included at the bottom of all replies to a request:

This information is for research purposes only, and is not be posted or diffused on any website or by email without the specific permission of the newspaper, except for research purposes.

Please ensure that any obituary request is from another contributor.  Sometimes a new contributor will not be on the tagname list; contact your moderator or trainer to check.

General Formatting Rules

For every obituary you index, there are six fields — no more and no less.  These fields are separated by semicolons.  In every record, there should be exactly one comma and five semicolons:

Surname, First Name; Age; Place of Birth>Place of Death; Pub Name; Pub Date; Tagname

Even though ObituaryFiler sets up the format and punctuation of these fields automatically, they are explained below to give you a better understanding of them.  Some fields contain several elements.

Fields handled automatically by ObituaryFiler will be noted.

Field 1: Name

The Name field format is generally a surname and a first name, with some additional optional fields, in the following order:

Surname, First Name "Nickname" (Maiden Name) [Other Surname]

A.   Surname: The person’s surname is always entered in capital letters.  ObituaryFiler will do this for you.  As usual, every rule has an exception, and the exception here is prefixes such as MC, MAC, VAN, and ST.  Prefixes like that should be listed with the first letter capitalized, the rest of the prefix lowercase, and then capital letters for the remainder of the surname.  Don’t use spaces or periods.

Use the Ctrl key in ObituaryFiler to change the uppercase to lowercase.

Examples:  Incorrect  Correct    Incorrect  Correct

           MCDONALD   McDONALD   DEMEO      DeMEO


           McDonald   McDONALD   St. Clair  StCLAIR

We do not put spaces in surnames.  There are exceptions, such as Native American names.  See Double Surnames.

Accents and other diacritical marks should never be used in the indexes.  Names like “Côté” should be entered as COTE.  Apostrophes are fine, that is, O’HARA is acceptable.

The Surname is separated from the First Name by a comma.

Double Surnames: People who have double surnames should be listed like this:  SMITH-JONES, with a hyphen between the surnames.  If it is determined through reading the obituary that the maiden name was SMITH, then put it in the Maiden Name field.  Some people were given double surnames at birth, while others obtained them through marriage.  By checking for a maiden name, you will be able to determine which situation you are working with.

Examples:  SMITH-JONES, Mary Ann
           ROYCE-JAMES, John Adams III

B.   First Name: The person’s first name should have the first letter capitalized.  There may be both uppercase and lowercase in the remainder of the name.

A person’s first name is not normally Robert J Mrs, unless there is no other information available.  When the woman’s first name is given, it is used instead of the husband’s name.  And if you can determine she was married, indicate that with the Maiden Name field, even if you don’t know the maiden name (see below).

C.   Middle name and initials: The middle name always follows the first name.  If there is no middle name, only an initial, it belongs here.  Do not use a period after the initial.  No exceptions apply.

1)  Titles, prefixes, and suffixes: These always follow the middle name or initial.  No punctuation is used — no periods or commas.  Nuns should be “Sister,” not “Sr,” to avoid confusion with “Senior.”  See Nuns below.  Use “Father” instead of “Fr.”  Do not include any military rank information.  No exceptions apply.

The title Mr, Mrs, or Ms generally should only be used if the gender of the deceased is not obvious from the person’s name.

Use “Mr” for a man when the name could be a woman’s name.

Example: SMITH, Fay Mr

Use “Mrs” when either

a)   you don’t know the woman’s first name, and you want to indicate that the first name given is not hers but her husband’s; or

b)   the woman’s maiden name was the same as her husband’s surname.

Example: SMITH, Robert Mrs

Use “Ms” when you know the woman was married, but she did not take her husband’s name, so there is no maiden name.

Example: RAMSAY, Terry Ms

2)  Never married: If you can determine that a female had never been married, then use the word “miss” after her name — all in lowercase without the quotation marks.

Example:  SMITH, Mary Jane miss

3)  Stillborn: If the listing is for an infant who never received a name, enter the first name as “Infant.”

Example:  JONES, Infant

D.   Nickname: If there is a nickname listed in the obituary, it goes inside quotation marks, and after all of the first name information.  If more than one nickname is given, enter each name in a separate set of quotes.

Example:  JORDAN, William "Bill" "Mr Big"

ObituaryFiler will take care of this for you when you put the nickname in the Nickname field.  However, if there are multiple nicknames, you may have to add some quotation marks yourself or adjust this when you send the email to your moderator.  ObituaryFiler 2.1.2 and later handle multiple nicknames that are separated by a slash (/).  See the information on using ObituaryFiler later in this manual.

1)  Also Known As (AKA) names: Occasionally you will run into a situation where the obituary listing has more than one name for the same person, as is often the case with movie stars or stage personalities.  In this case, use the birth name in the Surname and First Name fields and put the AKA name in the Nickname field.

Example:  LEACH, Alexander Archibald "GRANT Cary";

2)  Adoptive names: Similar to AKA names, but put the adoptive name in the Surname and First Name fields, and put the birth name in the Nickname field.

For example, an obituary might read: “She was born Rose Julia, in Tyler TX to Martin and Bertha (Falls) Winciker of Shreveport LA.  At age 2, she was adopted by Joseph and Josephine (Kral) Krobot.”  Then the submitted name would be:

Example:  KROBOT, Rosa Julia "WINCIKER Rosa Julia";

A.    Maiden Name: If there is a maiden name listed in the obituary, it goes inside parentheses after the first name information and nickname (if any).  It is important to remember that some cultures allow the man or the woman a choice of surname(s), so a man could have a maiden name.  It could also be a double surname, so it is important to read the obituary you are indexing and try to determine if a maiden name is involved.

ObituaryFiler will take care of the correct placement of the Maiden Name field and the surrounding parentheses.

It may take a little more time to locate the maiden name or first married name within an obituary, but these are important elements for all researchers.  Your extra effort is appreciated.

1)  Unknown maiden name: If a maiden name cannot be determined and it is evident that the woman was married, then use a blank between parentheses, like this:

Example:  SMITH, Mary A ( ) [THOMAS]

To get this result in ObituaryFiler, you enter a question mark in the Maiden Name field, and a space will be put between parentheses in your entry.

2)  Nuns: Nuns are often listed in an obituary with both their birth names and their religious names.  They are entered according to the following two rules:

a.   If only a single name is given, treat it as any other name, followed by the word “Sister”:

SURNAME, First Name Sister
Example:  SMITH, Agnes Augustine Sister

b.   If both a birth name and a religious name are given, put the birth surname in the Surname field, the birth first name in the First Name field, and the religious name — without surname — in the Nickname field,  preceded by the word “Sister”:

SURNAME, First Name "Sister Religious Name"

Example:  SMITH, Mary J "Sister Agnes Augustine"

Do not include the Order (e.g., SC or SSF), and “Sister” should be spelled out, rather than abbreviated to “Sr,” to avoid confusion with “Senior.”

B.    Other Surname: This field is surrounded by square brackets and is normally intended for women’s other married names.  It goes after the first name information, the nickname (if any), and the maiden name (if any).  If you can determine that the person was previously married (at some point, even if divorced or widowed at death), then enter the other surname or names separated by one space.

The ObituaryFiler program will format the information for you.  The resulting name field will look like this:

Examples:  SMITH, Mary Jane (JONES) [ANDERSON]

           SMITH, Mary A ( ) [THOMAS] [ANDERSON]

Use the Ctrl key in ObituaryFiler to change the uppercase to lowercase for names such as “McNEIL.”

ObituaryFiler will put each surname inside separate square brackets, so if you have a double other surname, you will have to adjust this field when you are sending the email to your moderator.

C.    Multipart surnames in any surname field: When entering a multipart surname, e.g., Van De ALFREDO, enter it as VanDeALFREDO.

Example:  LARREA, Antonia (ESTRADA) [VanDeALFREDO]

Use the Ctrl key in ObituaryFiler to change the uppercase to lowercase.

D.   Everything together

If all of the name fields were filled, it might look like the following.  Notice the order of the fields:

Example:  SMITH-JONES, Mary "Molly" (HENDERSON) [VonEUCH]

ObituaryFiler will take care of putting these fields in the correct order and within the correct punctuation.

Field 2: Age

Enter the person’s age.  Do not use such terms as “4 months old,” “died at birth,” “stillborn,” etc.  If the child is less than a year old, the age is to be listed as “0.”  If the child is 12 months to 23 months of age, the age is to be listed as “1.”  If an age is not listed, leave the field blank.  ObituaryFiler will only allow you to enter whole numbers in this field.

Examples:  JONES, Mary (SMITH); 81;

      SMITH, John; 0;

      EDWARDS, Cynthia; ; (no age was listed)

Field 3: Place of Birth and Death

General format of this field is:

Place of birth>Place of death

In any place field, the county may be entered if the city is unknown, but use the abbreviation “Co” without any punctuation: for example, “Iowa Co IA” — no periods or commas.  For township, use “Twp”.

Do not enter a city if the state/province/country is unknown.

A.    City of Birth:

1)  If no birthplace is listed,

2)  If no state/province/country of birth is listed,

3)  If birthplace state/province/country is the same as that of death, or

4)  If deathplace is unknown,

then skip to C.

Otherwise, enter the city in uppercase and lowercase letters (e.g., “El Paso”).

B.   State/Province/Country of Birth: If known, enter the abbreviation for the state/province/country of birth.  If the place of birth is a state or province in the USA or Canada, the two-letter abbreviation is used without a country abbreviation.  Otherwise, the country abbreviation is entered in all uppercase.  If only a country is given, enter that.  Do not enter any commas or periods.

Examples:  Houston TX>AR;
           Victoria BC>ON;
           Kirkintilloch DNB SCT>DEU;

A set of accepted abbreviations appears in the abbrev.txt file that comes with ObituaryFiler.  It can be printed, using any word processor.  Contact your moderator for the file if you are not using ObituaryFiler.

This field is followed by “>” (greater than sign) with no space before or after.

Do not enter a place of birth if the place of death is unknown.

Do not enter a place of birth if the state/province/country is the same as for the place of death.

C.   City of Death: If the state/province/country of death is known, enter the city of death in uppercase and lowercase letters (e.g., “El Paso”).

D.   State/Province/Country of Death: Enter the accepted abbreviation for the state/province/country of death (see State/Province/Country of Birth).

When you have finished entering the place of birth and death, the resulting field should look like the following examples:

Examples:  Madison WI>St Louis MO;

 AGU MEX>Montreal QC;

 Boston MA; (no birthplace given)

 ; (no deathplace given)

Some obituaries will list three or more place names.  Three places are never used in obituary entries.  We only use the place of birth and the place of death, as outlined above.  Place of death should be place where the death actually occurred, not the place of residence at time of death.

Field 4: Publication Name

This field is for the newspaper abbreviation that was given to you by your trainer or moderator.  You can have multiple newspapers.

If either

A.   the newspaper state/province/country is different from the death state/province/country, or

B.   there is no death location,

then put the publication’s location (state/province/country) in parentheses after the publication abbreviation.

Examples:  Place of death; Publication

           Chicago IL; Chicago T

           DeQueen AR; Texarkana G (TX)

           ; Lombardian (IL)  (no deathplace listed)

ObituaryFiler will handle this for you automatically.

Field 5: Publication Date

This is the date that the obituary appeared in the newspaper, not the date of death.  The format is yyyy-m-d.  Use four digits for the year, and no leading zeros for the day or month.

Example:  2016-1-4

ObituaryFiler will handle this for you automatically.  If you need to change the date by a small amount, use the Previous Day or Next Day button.  If you need to change the date by a larger amount, use Action_Set Date... and enter the new date in the space provided.

Field 6: Tagname

This is your tagname.

ObituaryFiler will insert this for you automatically.

Setting Up ObituaryFiler

This program makes entering the information for each obituary index easier by handling most of the formatting rules for you.  It supports multiple newspapers and the publication frequencies for them.

Your trainer will tell you how to get the installer for ObituaryFiler.  After you have installed ObituaryFiler and before you can start using it, you need to tell it who you are and what publication(s) you will be indexing.

A.   Double-click the ObituaryFiler icon on your desktop and select Action_Configure.

B.   In the Tagname box, enter your tagname.  Leave the other fields as they are for now.  You can adjust those things later.


Click on New Paper.

D.   Fill in the fields on the screen.

1.   In the Paper Abbreviation box, enter the abbreviation given to you by your moderator for the publication you’ll be indexing.

2.   In the Paper Location box, enter the abbreviation for the state, province, or country where your publication is published.  View the accepted location abbreviations by selecting Help_Abbreviation.

3.   The Days in Previous List is how many time periods of previous obituaries you will see in the Previous Obits window.  You may change this number if you like.  See the ObituaryFiler Reference Manual for more information.

4.   Use the drop-down list to select the frequency of your publication: Daily, Weekly, or Monthly

If your frequency doesn’t fit neatly into one of those categories, pick the closest one.  You can adjust the date each time you enter your data.

5.   See the ObituaryFiler Reference Manual for information about Auto-Cities.

6.   Click on Apply.

7.   If you are going to contribute for more than one newspaper, repeat steps 1–4 above.

E.   Click OK.

F.    Now we need to set the date for the publication you are indexing.  Click on Action_Set Date.

Enter the date in the format indicated.  Once you set the date, ObituaryFiler will automatically advance the date for you each time you enter data.

G.   You’ll need to set the date for each publication you are indexing.

See the ObituaryFiler Reference Manual below for more information on configuring ObituaryFiler.

When you have successfully configured ObituaryFiler and are ready to start entering data, continue to Using ObituaryFiler.

Using ObituaryFiler

Once you have configured ObituaryFiler with

·       your paper(s),

·       the date,

·       your tagname,

then you are ready to enter the obituary information.

A.   Open ObituaryFiler by clicking on the desktop icon.


B.   Make sure the paper is the one you want to work with and that the date displayed matches the date of the publication for which you are entering obituary information.

C.   Look in the obituary for the person’s name(s), age, and places of death and birth.

D.   Put the information in the appropriate fields on the ObituaryFiler screen (see General Formatting Rules for details).  If you have multiple nicknames and you are using Obituary Filer 2.1.2 or later, separate the multiple nicknames by a slash (/).  For example, a Nickname field of

Rich/Mr Big

will result in an entry containing

“Rich” “Mr Big”

in the Nickname field.

E.   If you want the City of Death added to your list of remembered cities, then check the box Add Auto-City.

F.    Click the Add button.

G.   Repeat for each obituary published for that date.

H.   When you are finished entering information, click Action_Export, but do not click OK yet!  Your entries have been copied into your clipboard, but you still have to copy them into an email.

I.    Open your email program to send an email.  Enter the address of your moderator, enter an appropriate subject line, and in the body of the email, paste your entries into the email (Edit_Paste or Ctrl-V).

J.    If there are adjustments to make in any of your entries, such as multiple nicknames or double surnames in the Other Surnames field, now is the time to make those changes.

K.   Your moderator may wish for you to use a particular subject line or to remove text such as signature lines.  Please consult with your moderator to find out their preferences.

L.    Send the email.

M.  Go back to ObituaryFiler and click OK and then Done to exit the program.

N.  Make sure you keep copies of the obituaries for 90 days after they appear in the Obituary Daily Times email.

See the ObituaryFiler Reference Manual below for more information on using ObituaryFiler.

ObituaryFiler Reference Manual

ObituaryFiler Drop-down Menus

A.   File

Exit: Exits ObituaryFiler

B.   Action

·       Export… This option is used to export unsent obituaries to any email package.  After you click on export, you will get a pop-up window that says:

All unsent entries have been stored in the system clipboard.  Open your email program and paste them in now.  A backup of these entries has been stored in the file Sent\19990820.000.  After you are done pasting hit the Ok button.

(The file name will change with the date.)  DO NOT CLICK on OK!  Start your email package, click in the message body as if you were going to type an email message, then select Edit, then Paste from the menu selection at the top of the email screen, or hold down the Ctrl key and type V.  This action pastes all unsent indexed obituaries in the body of your new email message.  After your obituary entries are pasted into the email, you can Click the OK in the pop-up box created when you clicked on Export.

·       Set Date… A pop-up window will appear.  This is the date of publication for your paper.  Type the date as, for example, Sep 17, 2000.  You must include the comma after the date and you must use a 4-digit year.  Click on the OK box to apply the new date.

·       Configure… There are three options in the drop-down menu: General, New Paper, and Remove Paper.  In the General option window, if you click on the down arrow selector at the right, you can choose one of the newspapers you are currently indexing, and then change some of the options for that paper.

o   General: Allows you to change your tagname, which appears in every obituary index entry.

§  Font Name: There are four fonts available: Dialog, Monospaced, SansSerif, and Serif.  You may choose the one you like best.

§  Font Size: You may change the size of the font to whatever you like.  This is useful if you have trouble seeing the default fonts.

§  Visible Entries in List: This field controls the number of entries that are visible in the Obits lists.  Those with small screens can make this smaller than the default 5, so the whole window will fit on their screen.  Those with high-resolution monitors might want to see more.  The default should work for most people.

Font Name and Font Size, along with Visible Entries in List determine how large the main ObituaryFiler screen is.  You may have to adjust one or all these items to get the whole entry page so it is viewable on your monitor.

o   New Paper: Click on this button to add a new newspaper you are going to index.  See Newspaper below for the information to enter here.

o   Remove Paper: You must first select the newspaper, using the down arrow selector, then click on this button to remove a paper.

o   Newspaper: Click on the small downward-pointing arrow immediately to the left of the New Paper button, then click on the newspaper that you want to change.  The following fields will be presented to you:

§  Paper Abbreviation: Enter only the paper abbreviation that is supplied by your trainer.  Use uppercase and lowercase letters as supplied.  Once entered, this field cannot be changed.  If it is incorrect, you will have to delete the incorrectly entered paper and enter a new newspaper with the correct abbreviation.

§  Paper Location: This is the abbreviation for the state/province/country where the paper is published.  If it is in the USA or Canada, do not include the country.  For example, TX or BC are listed without a country, but Dunbartonshire, Scotland is listed as DNB SCT.  Note that the country is added without any punctuation.  The location is important since it is added to your index when the place of death is not in the same state as the newspaper.  It is also automatically filled in as the default for the State/Country of death field.

A set of accepted abbreviations appears in the abbrev.txt file that comes with ObituaryFiler.  See Abbreviations below. 

§  Days in Previous: This field tells the program how many time periods to display in the Previous Obits list.  The default is 3, but can be changed.  When reduced to zero (0), no obituary entries will appear in this window.  If it is set to three and you selected Daily in Configure, then the program shows the past three days; if you selected Weekly, then the program shows the past three weeks; if you selected Monthly, then the program shows the past three months.

This enables you to make sure that you aren’t entering a duplicate obituary from a previous issue of a publication.

§  Paper Frequency: This field indicates how often the paper is published.  Daily, Weekly, and Monthly are supported.  For other frequencies, you can set the date manually each time before you start to index.

§  Auto-City: Cities that are listed as “Auto-City” will automatically display in the City of Death field when you type the first letter of the city name.  This field allows you to add or delete cities from the Auto-City list.  To add a city, type the city’s name in the empty box provided and click Add.  To delete a city, double-click on the name of the city you want to delete in the display box immediately to the right of this field.  This will place the city in the field provided.  Now click Delete.  You do not need to add any cities here unless you want to, since you can add them as you come across them in entering an obituary, by clicking on the box provided on the data entry screen.

C.   Help

·       Contents: Not currently active.

·       Abbreviations: Brings up the list of approved abbreviations for use in ObituaryFiler.  You can search it for the state/province/country you need, or print it by copying the contents and pasting them into the document program (e.g., Word or Notepad) of your choice and then printing.

·       About: Indicates the copyright information and version of the ObituaryFiler you are using.

ObituaryFiler Functions

Remember: Make sure the date is correct before you start entering data.

A.   Previous Obits: Displays the obituary entries for the previous time period(s) as defined in the Days in Previous List setting in Configure.

B.   Today’s Obits: Lists the obituary entries you added for the current day for that publication.

C.   Button Functions:

·       Add: When you have finished entering all information for a person, click the Add button.  This will add this entry to Today’s Obits.

·       Edit: To edit an entry, highlight it in the Today’s Obits list, and then click the Edit button.  This will return all the information to the input section so it can be edited.

·       Delete: To delete, highlight the obituary in the Today’s Obits list, and click Delete.

·       Clear: If the information in the input section is incorrect, click on the Clear button.  All data entry fields will be cleared.

·       Previous Day: Moves back one date at a time.  If you selected Daily in Configure, then the program skips back one day; if you selected Weekly, then the program skips back seven days.

·       Next Day: Moves forward one date at a time.  If you selected Daily in Configure, then the program skips ahead one day; if you selected Weekly, then the program skips ahead seven days.

·       Done: Saves all work and exits ObituaryFiler.  If you have not exported your entries before clicking Done, they will remain ready to be exported.  You will see “Unsent Obits” under the date until you export your entries.

D.   Add Auto-City: Click to put a check mark in this box if you want to add the current City of Death to your Auto-Cities list.

E.   Newspaper: Above the date on the main ObituaryFiler screen is a box with the name of the newspaper you are currently entering data for.  If you index more than one newspaper, click on the down arrow on the right and select the next newspaper you want to index.

F.    Key Functions:

·       Ctrl: Allows the user to force lowercase letters in capitalized name fields: Last Name, Maiden Name, and Other Last Names.

·       Tab: Moves the user one field down.

·       Shift: Can be used in fields that are lowercase except for the initial letter: First Name and Nickname.

·       Shift-Tab: Moves the user one field up.

·       Space Bar: If you tabbed to the Auto-City block, it allows you to set and unset the Auto-City.  If you are on the Add button and push the space bar, it will act as an enter key.

G.   Key and Mouse Functions:

·       Capitalization and lowercase letters: When using this computer program, it is not necessary to use the Shift or Caps Lock key to get the correct capitalization in any field, as the program will do that for you.  To override this behavior and obtain a lowercase letter in a field that normally requires all capital letters (such as “McNEIL” in surname, maiden, or other surnames), press and hold the Ctrl key while typing the letter you want in lowercase.

To get capital letters in a field that has lowercase letters, just use the Shift key as normal.

·       Moving between fields: Use the Tab key to move forward from one field to the next.  To move back to the previous field, either hold down the Shift key and hit the Tab key, or use the mouse.

Special ObituaryFiler Features and Notes

A.   Nickname, Maiden Name, Other Name: If any of these fields are present, ObituaryFiler handles putting them in the right order and using the right punctuation (quotes, parentheses or square brackets).

B.   Unknown maiden name: If the maiden name is unknown, put a “?” (question mark) in the Maiden Name field.  This will result in the correct format for that field.

C.   Age field: ObituaryFiler will only allow whole numbers in this field.  If the child is less than a year old, the age is to be listed as “0.”  If the child is 12 months to 23 months of age, the age is to be listed as “1.”  If an age is not listed, leave the field blank; a blank space followed by a semicolon will be inserted in the index to show that no age was included.

D.   State/Province/Country of Death: Only change the default location of death if it is different from the Paper Location (as defined in Configure) for this publication.

E.   Abbreviations lookup: Click on Help, then Abbreviations to look up the abbreviation for a state, province, or country.  The abbreviation will be two or three capital letters, sometimes followed by a country.  Do not use punctuation to separate the state/province/country from the country code.  If it’s a U.S. state or a Canadian province, then enter only the state or province, without USA or CAN.

The ObituaryFiler program came with an abbrev.txt file, which can be printed, using any word processor.  Use Help_Abbreviations to view the file.

F.    Publication Name: The publication name will be inserted automatically for you by the ObituaryFiler program.  This is the newspaper abbreviation that was given to you by your trainer or moderator, and you set it up when you configured ObituaryFiler.  ObituaryFiler allows you to have multiple newspapers.  To change to a different paper, choose from the drop-down list under the Done button and select the different paper.

A newspaper name cannot be changed; you must add a new newspaper, then delete an incorrect paper.

G.   Publication Date: This will be inserted for you automatically by the ObituaryFiler program.  The date that will be used is shown below the Done button, so be sure it is correct.  The date can be changed by clicking either the Previous Day or Next Day button.  When changes of more than a day or two are necessary, go to Action_Set Date... and enter the new date in the space provided.

H.   Tagname: Your tagname will be inserted automatically for you by the ObituaryFiler program.  It was set by you when you configured ObituaryFiler.


Updated: 20071112 eruii
Updated: 20160322 ajway; 20180718 ajway