Wednesday, April 11, 2012

FSI: Top Two Tips

FamilySearch Indexing Field Help is located in the bottom-right corner
Field Help is located in the bottom-right corner

As I have helped new indexers this past week, I’ve had to teach them two things right off the start.

Field Help

The first thing you need to remember is that there are answers to your questions in the Field Help window pane. What do you do when there is no household number? What do you do when there is no surname? What do you type in the Titles field?

These questions and more are answered in Field Helps. Located in the bottom-right-hand part of the screen, the help content changes as you move from field to field. When you have a question, check there first.

Aligning Highlights

One aspect of FamilySearch Indexing (FSI) that makes it easy to use is field highlighting. As you index the page, the information to be indexed is highlighted in blue on the form.

Blue highlights the information to index

For 1940 Census batches, FSI often highlights the wrong spot on the form.

To fix the highlighting, click on the View menu, then on Adjust Highlights. This puts FSI into Adjust Highlighting Mode.

Select the View menu, then click on Adjust Highlights

Initially, it looks like nothing has happened. Move your mouse over the names on the census and the highlighting frame shows up. Drag the upper-left corner to the spot shown below:

Align the upper-left corner of the frame

Scroll down to line 40. Move the mouse until the frame shows up. Drag the lower-left corner to the spot shown:

Align the lower-left corner of the frame

Scroll to the top of column 19. Drag the upper-right corner to the spot shown:

Align the upper-right corner of the frame

Scroll to the bottom of column 19 and drag the lower-right corner to the spot shown:

Align the lower-right corner of the frame

Finally, turn off Adjust Highlights Mode by selecting the View menu and again clicking Adjust Highlights.

Now as you go about indexing, you will always know where to find the information to index.


  1. I've found that even if I do this - as I noted here on my blog last week you can "nudge" the entire frame around as you progress down the page using keyboard shortcuts - on Mac OS X it's


    so up arrow to move the whole frame up a few pixels at a time, left arrow moves left, etc.

  2. On a PC the Adjust Highlights Mode can also be turned on by pressing the Ctrl + Alt keys simultaneously then hovering the mouse over the highlighted area. Releasing Ctrl + Alt turns it off. Ctrl + Alt + any of the directional arrows allows for nudging as mentioned above. Thanks for your great blog!

  3. Thank you so much for posting this. I assumed it was just a problem I would have to live with and adjust to, but having the highlights accurately placed makes things so much easier. FamilySearch thinks of everything! And you're so great to spread the word. Very helpful. Thank you.