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Sort Location List

The Master Location List is a great place to clean up the various place names used in your family file.  By editing the master locations, you can make changes in many, many individual records.  You can also combine duplicates and near-duplicates. It's a real time saver.

An additional feature to the Master Location List is the ability to sort the locations in various orders.  Most people enter locations with commas between the city, county, state/province, and country.  This makes it much easier to distinguish the different parts of a location. New York, NY can be confusing.  Is it New York city or New York county.  On the other hand, ", New York, NY" makes it clear that it is New York county, not city.

Note  Sorting the Master Location List does not change any of the locations you have entered in your family file, it only changes the way you are viewing the list.  There is a checkbox on the Master Location List that allows you to view the list in a defined sort order or in the regular city, county, state, country order.  The ability to sort the list is only used when you are trying to clean up your list and combine duplicates.

To sort the location list:

1. From the Master Location List, click the Sort button.  The Sort Location List window appears.
2. Under Position Names, choose USA Terms or Generic TermsUSA Terms are City, County, State, Country, Other 1 and Other 2.  Generic Terms are Position 1, Position 2, etc.
3. Select the Place item you want to move by clicking on it in the Sorted Order list.
4. Using the Up and Down arrows, move the piece to the desired position.  You can also use a drag and drop operation to move the pieces in the list.
5. Choose the Direction of Sort.  This can be either Left to Right or Right to Left.  Left to Right is the usual format used.
6. Click OK when you are finished.

Pre-defined Sorts
You can quickly choose a pre-defined sort order using the buttons under Pre-defined USA Sort.

Direction of Sort
The usefulness of this option might be confusing at first but you will probably find it a wonderful tool when analyzing your list of locations.  You see, most people know more of the major parts of the locations than the specific parts.  Many locations will only be the country, or state or province and country.  Many of these locations will not have the leading commas that indicate clearly which piece they are.  This is the case more and more often as you gather together files produced by other people and merge their information into your own.  Using the Right to Left sort will arrange the location list in such a manner that many duplicate entries will appear together that otherwise would be far apart.

Location Prepositions
Oftentimes you or others will find and enter location names with a preceding preposition such as "of," or "near."  Many locations are recorded in this manner.  Normally these prepositions cause the location names to be displayed in different places in the Master Location List.  For example, "Barcelona, Spain" and "of Barcelona, Spain" sort toward the beginning and the middle of the list. 

While viewing the Master Location List in sorted order, you can have the prepositions removed so that all locations that are alike are displayed together.  To do this, select the option: Remove common prepositions from locations at the bottom of the window.  Note:  This only removes the prepositions in the sorted view of the list.  They are not removed from the actual location names.  All printed and displayed place names throughout the rest of the program include the prepositions.

Note: The prepositions recognized by Legacy are contained in a file called Prepositions.lst kept in the folder where Legacy was installed.   Click here to see the default list of prepositions and how to add to or edit this file.

Estimated Locations
Many of your locations might have angle brackets around them.  For example, <Seattle, King, WA>.  While viewing in sorted order you can have the leading brackets removed so that the location will sort together with their unbracketed counterparts.  To do this, select the option: Remove Leading Bracket from <bracketed> locations.  This only removes the opening bracket from the location in the sorted view of the list.  The trailing bracket is left at the end of the location so you can tell that it is an estimated location.