Disclaimer: I received a free copy of Evidentia 2.0 in exchange for my inate ability to break things and tattle. I am also an affiliate for Evidentia – link at the end.
I’ve spent the last month or so in Beta testing for the new version of Evidentia (meaning that I tried to see how many different ways I could break it). Fortunately, none of my shenanigans were beyond repair, so I am happy to announce that the software is now ready for prime time!
Ed Thompson will be officially releasing Evidentia 2.0 (or “E2,” if you will) on January 31, 2014. Evidentia will also have a presence at RootsTech, so if you’re around, make sure you stop by his booth and check it out.
Here are my thoughts on the new stuff:
1. Digital File Manager.
This is – without a doubt – my favorite new feature. Instead of having to flip back and forth between my database program and my Evidentia screens, I can simply attach the document (or part of a document) to a source or specific citation. You have the option to have E2 manage your files for you – the files are copied to the folder you designate for your database (all my stuff goes to Dropbox) – or you can simply link to the documents and they will stay where they are.
Drawbacks: If you have E2 installed on more than one computer and all of your files are in Dropbox (like mine are for RootsMagic), and if you choose NOT to allow E2 to manage your files, you will encounter some difficulties with linked files. It’s an issue with the path to the Dropbox folders; even RootsMagic hasn’t figured out how to overcome this. I recommend just letting E2 manage your files and you won’t have any issues.
2. Dropbox connectivity.
I’m all about cloud storage these days (who isn’t?). So the fact that I can TELL the software to automatically store everything in Dropbox is something that will make a lot of people happy. All the backups, documents saved to E2, and databases are in the cloud. I think I heard a rumor that compatibility with GoogleDrive was also in the works …
Drawbacks: Any potential problems are the same as anything else you store in the cloud – if you don’t have internet access, you don’t have access to your stuff. Just make sure you have backups of everything.
3. Spell check. This is a feature that a lot of folks wanted, so I’m glad it has been implemented. Personally, I never make mistakes, so I could take it or leave it.
4. Themes. If you’re one of those people who gets bored looking at the same color all the time, then your prayers have been answered. You have several choices (I’ve tried to demonstrate them all in the screenshots throughout this post), but I prefer the default gold/tan theme. It’s easy on the eyes.
Drawbacks: Unless you’re one of those people who likes to assault your senses on a daily basis, the limited number of theme options may be a disappointment for you. Otherwise, none.
5. Naming for Reports. Have you chosen some convoluted naming scheme for your sources and citations? When they show up in the reports, does anyone (other than you) who looks at them say, “Huh??” Don’t worry, you can still have your cryptic source names – but now you can tell E2 to call them something else when it uses them in reports so other researchers can actually identify the sources you’ve used.
Did you import all of your ancestors from a GEDCOM file, and now all of their names are followed by (ca [year])? You can fix those too! You can assign a name for your ancestors that will be used in your reports.
Drawbacks: Yes, each source/citation/ancestor name has to be assigned one by one. Unfortunately, there’s just no quick fix for this, folks.
6. Collapsing and Expanding.
This feature is available on multiple screens in E2. First, on all the screens, you can collapse the right-side source and citation lists as well as the left-side menu, which gives you a LOT more space to work with your sources. On the Analyze Evidence screen (shown here), not only can you collapse right and left, but you can also collapse/expand the list of claims so you can focus on your conclusion OR you can collapse/expand your claim ROWS, so you ONLY see your claim (and not all the classification info, etc.) and you can focus on your analysis. This is also a helpful feature when you want to reorder your claims, since we still don’t have drag/drop capability.
Drawbacks: None. Still waiting on the drag/drop, Ed.
7. Enhanced List Manager.
Lots of new lists available in E2. Before, we were limited to a Subject (name) List and a Claim Type (fact) List. Now, we have the addition of a Template List, Sentence List, Reference List (more about this in a minute), Source Type List*, and Photo Classification List*.
The Sentence List is nice. Don’t you ever get tired of reading the same parenthetical information over and over (and over and over) for each classification in your proof reports? E2 now only prints the parenthetical info the first time, and uses a shorter sentence (editable to your preferences) each subsequent time.
*These are pertinent to the Digital File Manager, and I’ll have to expand on that feature in a separate post.
Drawbacks: I don’t foresee any.
At first glance, you’d think, “isn’t that what this software is all about?” Yes … and no. Let me explain. Let’s say you’re analyzing some evidence and you have a claim made by a census record. In your analysis, you take into account that the official census date was June 1. How do you know that? It’s not on that census page, is it? You probably had to refer to the rules for enumerators for that census year. But that’s not your SOURCE. What to do? Well, now you can click a button and add that REFERENCE to your analysis (so when you go back later, you don’t have to say, “how’d I come up with THAT?” I’ve heard of people who do that … I can neither confirm nor deny). These references are kept in a list so you can reuse them.
Drawbacks: Just more inputting citations – but if you’re into that, then none.
I think I’ve pretty much touched on everything I noticed that is new this go-round. I will probably be doing some more in-depth posts on specific features in the future, and may even be able to get Ed to participate in some G+ Hangouts on Air.
How can you get yours?
New users can download the software for free to try it out, and purchase (affiliate link) it with a discount of $5 off the regular price of $29.99 (if you want a copy on CD, regular price is $34.99 plus shipping).
Plan to upgrade? Don’t worry – there are discounts for you too! Upgrade for $14.99 (download) and $17.49 plus shipping (CD).
PREVIEW: G+ HANGOUT SCHEDULED TODAY AT 1 P.M. EST
Ed will be hosting a Google+ Hangout at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern) for anyone who wants to see version 2.0 in action, or has questions about the new version (or about all things Evidentia). Pop on over and say hi!
Do we share any ancestors?
Please email me at lostancestors [at] gmail [dot] com
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