Monday, March 14, 2011


Awhile back I read on somebody's blog about loading genealogy files onto
an ereader. (I wish I could remember exactly where but I think it was James
Tanner's blog). Now back before Christmas I bought a Kobo ereader at the
Borders store I work at because I had to sell them and I wanted to know how
to operate them  so I could answer customers' questions and help them when
they came in with a problem. Besides EPUB the Kobo also uses .pdf files so
I thought I'd take a run at getting some genealogy material on it.

RootsMagic4 lets you save reports in .pdf format. Now as it happens I'd already
created a chart showing the shared descent of one of my Dunham cousins with
my Dad. Tonight I also created for purposes of this test a one page pedigree chart
in .pdf. Getting them onto the Kobo was fairly easy. First I connected the Kobo to
my laptop with the usb cable and selected the "manage files" function.  Then I
selected each of the two files, right clicked on them and sent them to the Kobo.
I then disconnected the Kobo. There was the "Please wait while your content is
updated screen. When that cleared, I pressed the MENU button and toggled down
to select the "Documents" box. The two files were there listed in the documents  

This is the relationship document at the "Full screen"/100% magnification. As you
can see it's readable but small.

I hit MENU again, toggled down to the "Display" box and opened it. In .pdf you
can display a book or document from 100 to 200%. I chose 200%. The chart
was enlarged, and to see more of it I would have to press the direction pad in
direction the arrows are pointing.

Here's the pedigree chart, again first at 100% and then at 200%.

You can also change the view from "portrait" to "landscape"

You can also load books or documents onto an HDSD card and then insert the
card into the slot at the top of the Kobo. I may try loading a larger RM4 file on
a card and see how it looks,

Obviously the ereader is not as versatile as a laptop or notebook. But if you
don't want to lug either around for some reason the Kobo(or any other ereader
that can add the RM4 .pdf files is a convenient alternative.

And just think, when you are lying on the beach, studying your ereader screen
and someone asks what you are reading, you can easily display your gedcoms
until the person who asked gets that glazed look in their eyes all of us are
familiar seeing when we start talking genealogy to the unwary friend or

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