Tour of Features

Personal Historian is computer software that assists you in writing a personal history about yourself, another individual, or a family. In this tour, we will look at some of the major features of Personal Historian and how they will help you write a complete, interesting, and entertaining life story.

The Main Screen

Main Screen Personal Historian breaks the history down into small, manageable "topics"— each with its own title, date, written text, and even pictures. Topics make it easy to work on your history whenever you have the time—whether you have 10 minutes or 10 hours. Personal Historian automatically saves your work and makes it easy to start where you left off.

The main screen displays all of the topics in the project. If a topic has a date, Personal Historian also displays the individual's age on that date. On the main screen, it is easy to sort and filter your topics.

The timeline gives an overall view of the person's life showing how many topics there are for each year. This makes it easy to see gaps in this history that you may wish to fill-in. The timeline also makes it easy to pinpoint topics from specific dates. By simply dragging the ends of the timeline, you can "zoom in" and display only the topics that pertain to that range of dates.

Gathering Information

Import Items There is no need to start from scratch when you use Personal Historian as the software can bring in events, stories, pictures, and documents from a variety of sources.

Personal Historian imports names, dates, and even notes from your favorite genealogical software and places them into your timeline.

The software also includes an extensive library of "LifeCapsules" on a variety of subjects. LifeCapsules contain timelines, historical facts, cultural trivia, and memory triggers that give color, context, and interest to the history.

Personal Historian also imports your word processor documents and photographs so that your existing work can be effortlessly incorporated into your histories.

Organizing Information

With Personal Historian, you don't need a "start from the beginning" approach to writing a life history. You can choose any topic from the main screen (or add a new, blank topic), work as much as you like on it, and save it for later. Personal Historian keeps track of the status of each topic so you can see which topics are complete, which topics still need work, and which topics you haven't even started. You can even assign topics to "categories"—each with its own icon, color and font style.

When writing about a topic, one of the most overlooked steps is to organize facts and ideas before you begin writing. While this can normally be difficult and frustrating, Personal Historian makes it a breeze to brainstorm and organize your facts, thoughts, memories, and feelings.

The "Organizer" tool allows you to write down ideas as they come to you. Using the mouse or keyboard, you can easily move the ideas into coherent groups and logical orders until you have a working outline for your topic.

Writing Your History

Editor When you're ready to actually write about a topic, Personal Historian contains a built-in word processor that not only makes it easy to write, but makes it easy to write well. The built-in spell check and thesaurus are just the beginning.

The readability check lets you know how readable and interesting your writing will be to others. It lets you know if your sentences are too long, too short— if your words are too simple or too complex, and even if you're writing in the passive voice instead of the active voice.

Publishing Your History

Publishing When you're ready to publish your masterpiece, Personal Historian is still there to help. It takes all of the topics that you choose and puts them together into a finished, publishable document. You can publish your history directly to your personal printer, to a PDF file that you can share with others, or to an RTF file that you can read into your favorite word processor for additional tweaking.

Conclusion

As you can see, Personal Historian is the most complete solution to writing a personal history about yourself, another individual, or a family. From start to finish, Personal Historian makes writing a life story fast, easy, and fun!