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User Tutorial - Basic Techniques 3. Profile Page Tabs

« Back to Projects Dashboard

... explored and explained.

// symbol in the Merge tutorial projects draws attention to a basic tip which is useful in other Geni activities.


The purpose of this project is to explain how to use the options available when you open up each of the Tabs on a profile page. The tabs are inter-related and so there is some cross-over, especially between documents and sources. My purpose here has been to examine each tab and elaborate on the opportunities available in each individually. Sadly we do not have hyperlinking in WIKI Text so skipping to related sections is not possible.

Note: This is not an official Geni help page but one which has been set up to answer the questions which I am repeatedly asked by users. Rather than answer these individually it seemed a good solution to have projects where the answers are fully explained, and where users can make further enquiries. If you have any special requests or if something isn't quite clear please contact June Barnes

See also


Getting Involved

Feel free to follow, request to collaborate //

TIP When communicating with other users please include the link address (URL/www) to the profile you are referring to. This is found at the top left of the computer screen. The following is the link address to the Merge Centre project - it changes for every page you are viewing.

// Address location

Contents - Profile Page - Tabs

  • Overview
  • Media - Photos, Documents and Videos
  • Timeline
  • Discussions
  • Sources
  • Revisions

// See new review feature!

  • DNA


// Page - Tabs


// available on Profile page

// "About"

// Tab

// text box

Clicking on "Share some things about ... xxx" opens the text box (above) which is an editable window where notes about a profile can be added. The space can be edited using Wikitext formatting - the same tools as are available for project editing. The overview window gives you the opportunity to bring the profile to life, share anecdotes about people and inform people about their lives. Most people don't have remarkable lives and so these notes tend to be fairly standard. For those remarkable people there is a tendency to copy and paste large sections of external sources such as Wikipedia directly into the "About" window. There are, however, many remarkable "about" sections on Geni - see for example Ansela van de Caap and Alexander van Breda - mini projects in their own right!

You have the option to choose a different language to use - see image below.

// language

// tool bar

If the "About" already contains notes in the body, clicking "Edit" opens the window where you can use the editing tools to add to/edit/expand notes already contributed. If the notes are from a separate source or on a different subject from previous text you can separate them by using a line (see above image) or type "- - - -" (4 dashes, no spaces), between them. If the previous notes are tabulated or numbered you will need to add "< s p a n / >" (No spaces), after the list and before the line if you want the line to stretch across the whole screen.

The tool bar in the edit screen (above) offers the same range of Wikitext tools as is available in project writing. Clicking on the "formatting help" link opens the Geni Wikitext page in a separate window where all available formatting commands are available. You need to scroll down in the window to reach all possibilities

// formatting

There is more help available at the following links:

Geni's Project Plaza
Working with Projects
Wicked Wiki
Geni Wikitext, Unicode and images
See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit

The "About" edit screen can also be accessed through the "edit profile" link on the profile page. See below. The advantage of using this window is that you can expand the screen by clicking on the diagonal lines at the bottom right corner, holding and dragging the screen to a large size.

// screen through Edit profile on Profile page

There are 2 commands available from within the "About" window - edit and history. The "history" link accesses the history or revisions under two tabs - About me and Facts. Under both of these tabs you have the opportunity to compare between revisions and, if necessary, restore the edits to a previous date point. Clicking the diagonal arrow ( "pop-out" icon) in the top right of the window takes you to a full page window of the same information.

// me revisions

Comparing the "About" revisions, (also available in the "Revisions" Tab of the profile - see more about revisions below) ...


Scrolling down the screen reveals that the new, (in highlighted green), text replaced previous notes - (highlighted red).


// revisions

Comparing the "Facts" revisions, (also available in the "Revisions" Tab of the profile - see more about revisions below) ...


The revisions listed in the Overview panel are about changes to the facts of the current profile and the revisions to the text in the About of the current profile only. They will also be listed under the Revisions Tab, (see full topic below), but as those revisions involve much broader tree activity they will be interspersed with other items.

// Tab
// //

The Media Tab hosts a number of sections, each with a number of common or similar tools. The following topics are covered in this section:

1. Photos

1a. Set Profile Image
1b. Identify people
1c. Add Photo

1c-i Simple Uploader
1c-ii Browse Albums

1d. Tagging a Photo in your albums

2. Documents

2a. Upload a New Document
2b. Post a new Link
2c. Document bookmarklet
2d. Create a New Document
2e. Select a loaded document
2f. Tagging Documents

3. Videos


// Tab

Opening the "Media" tab reveals a summary of Photos, Documents and Videos which have been uploaded to the profile.


If only one image has been loaded that will be the Profile image. Passing the cursor over the images reveals little red cross visible at the top right corner of the image. Clicking that cross removes the image from the profile. You do not get any request to confirm the removal so be careful! (This does not delete the image, just the link between the profile and the image).

Note that images linked to a public profile are not private and can be viewed by anyone - not just Geni users. The images on Sarah Ann Smith's profile are discoverable in a Google search.

View All Takes you to a page showing all the images linked to that profile. Clicking on one of the images either from the "media" tab or from the "View All" gallery takes you to a window where you can extend the information relating to an image.

// of Sarah Ann Smith


You can select one of the images in the gallery down the right hand side of the window (1) to be the preferred Profile Photo (2) by clicking on the image to show it in the main body of the window, and then clicking "Set as Profile Photo".


To identify people in an image click "Identify", (3), in the upper right corner of the window.

// Step 1.// Step 2.// Step 3.

Next place the cursor over a face in the image. This opens a panel where you can type the name of the person - Step 1 above. Start typing the person's name and choose from the list of names that is generated - Step 2. above. When you have finished identifying people in the image click "Done identifying". The result is that when you pass the curser over people in the image you will see a pop-up panel with their name - Step 3 above.

Attribution - It is important to add an attribution for the images you use - in this case my personal collection.



You can add a new photo to the profile by using either "Click here to upload photos of xxx" in the media tab window, or the "Add Photos" button in the upper right corner of the window "Photo's of xxx" (5 in the above image). Clicking either opens the following window showing two ways of loading an image.

// Photo Options

Simple Uploader - You can drag and drop images from your computer into the grey window area, or select images from your computer by clicking the screen. If the images you wish to load are alongside one another on your computer you can drag and drop more than one at a time. Depending on how many you choose loading multiple images in this way can sometimes take some time to load.



Browse your Albums - You can select an image already uploaded and stored in an existing album on Geni. Click the tab to open a window where you can select an image from one of your albums (listed on the left hand side of the screen). I selected an image from "Dorset Place Names" (Sutton Waldron), to add to Sarah's profile as that was where she was baptised. Having made your selection click "Add photos" at the bottom of the screen. You will be returned to the profile page overview where the new image will now be shown in the Media tab.


// You can select images from more than one album at a time. When you have selected an image from one image and want o select another from a different album, BEFORE loading the selection, find the album in the list at the right hand side, click on it and select another image. If you have a preference for which image you want to use as the profile image select that one first. ///

// An image in your albums can be linked or tagged to a profile or project from the photos information page. This is especially useful when using a photo which is appropriate for many profiles.

The following profile is that of a child who died young, the next child being given the same name within a year or so.

// needing an image already uploaded

From the menu under Family at the top of any Geni screen select "Photos". A page where your albums are listed opens - the one most recently used is listed first. Find the album where the image is stored and open that album to locate the image.

You can see that the image in this example has been used many times before. To link a profile (in this case Joshua) to it, click "edit" along side "In this photo", to reveal a panel in which to type his name. Alternatively use the profile ID number. (See below Basic Tip "link address for Sarah Ann Smith", her profile ID is 3927088101460120902). Locate the ID number for Joshua from his profile page and paste that number into the panel, press search more, and select his name. Once the spinning "processing" wheel stops turning and disappears the name of the linked person will be displayed in the list below the text box. Press "Done" to complete the process.

// to be tagged to Joshua Bennett




The new image will now be displayed on Joshua's profile page and be visible in the Media tab of his profile.


Geni WIKI Profile Images, Guidelines VIDEO How to: Add Photos


Adding Documents

Adding documents to Geni is an integral part of expanding profiles, supporting evidence and adding interest to the lives of the people involved. At the right side of the Media tab you will see the documents which have been linked to the profile. There are 3 documents linked to Sarah Ann Smith. If there were none, as for her grandfather Thomas Bennett, the panel would look like the image alongside.


Clicking on "view all" opens the following window where you can click on a document and see it in detail. There is also a link on this page to add documents. (Presently not working CJB)


Clicking on the links to "add documents" in the media tab takes you to a page similar to that for uploading images. You have a number of ways to load or create new images, and the opportunity to choose one previously uploaded.



// To load a new document from your computer simply click "Choose file" and select the document from your folders. Supported file formats include .PDF, .JPG, .PNG, and .TIF. Files cannot be larger than 256MB or longer than 50 pages. Each time after you have chosen a file there is an the opportunity to choose another. When you have selected all those you wish to upload click "Upload Documents". There follows a screen where you can edit the details for the document loaded, adding date, location, linking to an event etc.

// added document details and options

// added document - edit window

In the edit window you can change the name, add the document to a certain category of documents, (birth, death, military etc.), date, and location. You can also link the document to other people who are mentioned in it by typing their name in the field or using their ID number from the link address of their profile. // There is also a space to describe the document. The following image shows the completed form for the new document for Sarah Ann Smith. When all details have been added click save.

// added document - edited window

You can at this stage cite facts supported by the document. See how this is done under "Sources" below.


The 2nd option is to add a new document from a link to a document on the Internet.

// a New Link to a document from the internet.

If you have a page on the internet which is a source for information added or is of interest in connection with the profile you can paste the URL or link address into the provided window, and upload the document. Geni makes a copy of that page and presents it as a document which you can edit and cite in the same way as for documents uploaded from your computer. Be careful that the managers of the URL added do not object to their pages being used in this way. Some have very stringent copyright notices on their sites.

The following is an example of a URL document added to a profile, with an inserted panel showing details of facts supported. The URL was added in the description and there is a link "Original PDF" which takes you to the full PDF.


The 2nd example is a document created from the URL in the eGGSA Library website which features gravestones. The following image is linked, (Click on the image), to the active Geni page so that you can explore the possibilities more fully. There is the added link to "Visit URL" which is useful to see any updates that may have been made since the snapshot document was uploaded.



// Bookmarklet - Post to Geni

Geni Labs is where you can experiment with features that are being worked on. These features are not officially supported by Geni. They may be updated or removed at any time. When you're surfing the web and find something that you want to share, just click the "Post to Geni" button on your toolbar or choose it in your bookmark list.

When you add "Post to Geni" to your browser's toolbar you will see it as below.


Clicking it whilst at a webpage which you wish to add to Geni results in the page being saved as a document, in this instance named "Woodland".


Selecting the image takes you to a page dedicated to that document where you can edit the details and link it to Geni profiles and projects.


The profiles of Sarah Ann Smith and Hugh Buchanan have been linked to the document in the following two images. //



Once all information was added the document it was also linked to Aberdeenshire Main Page project as Woodside is part of Aberdeen. Viewing this document full size is very similar to visiting the URL except that the links are not "live".


You can create a new document, linked to a profile, in which you can make notes, recording information which can be shared across numerous profiles and/or projects. The document can also support facts as it can be used as a source. The third tab on the extreme left of the "Add document for (in this case Sarah Ann Smith) reveals the following window.


Fill in an appropriate name for the document, (in this case "Sarah Ann Smith"), and press "Upload Documents" at the bottom of the window. Geni creates a document with an editable widow. This is a plain text document with no editing or formatting tools other than the ability to word wrap.


Add information to the document and save when done.


// return to a document to add further notes, locate it in the documents list under the media tab on the profile page, click to open and then "edit" and save. The right hand panel on the document page allows you to edit various aspects of the document, and also to link it to other people and projects if you wish. When you open the edit screen (see below) you can also make the document Private or public by checking or un-checking the box in the top right corner. The document can also be used as a source for facts by clicking on the "0 facts" beneath Sarah's name - see more information under "Sources" below.



At the top right corner of the "Add new Documents" screen is the option to add a document which is already uploaded to Geni. (Path - Media Tab/Add Documents/Select from your documents).

// document from your loaded documents


You can narrow down the search by selecting the category in which the document is stored, but if you have many documents added you may need to scroll through many to find it. They appear to be arrange in chronological order, most recently added first. Once located select the document(s) about the profile by checking the box alongside it. You can then use the documents as sources for profile facts.


You can view all the documents which you have loaded to Geni via the drop down menu under "Research" at the top of all Geni pages. You can sort by Upload Date, Document Date or Document Title (starts z).


When you add a document to Geni using a link from a profile page that profile is automatically linked or "tagged" to that image. There are occasions where a profile can be linked to a document or image from outside their profile page. Where this has been the case the action in this project has been marked with this image. //

More than one profile (or project) can be tagged to the same document - See 2a above where all the people mention in a will were tagged in the document.


// You can upload a video from your computer from the link at the bottom of the Media tab on the profile page. Supported video files include AVI, WMV, MOV and MP4. Maximum file size is 100MB per video. Videos can not be longer than 10 minutes each. You can also load videos via the "videos" link in the "Family" menu at the top of all Geni pages.

NOTE: The first time you upload a video to Geni you will need to install the Geni Video Publisher.


"How can I upload a Video?

// Tab


Opening the Timeline Tab shows you at a glance the milestone events which have been added to a person's life. You have a list if events which have been added to the profile which can be sorted in chronological order from birth to death, or in reverse order. At the top right hand corner of the Timeline Tab (in the red box in the image below), you can change the date range of events you wish to see using either the date range boxes or the sliding ruler. You also have the option of seeing un-dated events or not. These will have ???? in the date column. Below these options (in the blue box in the illustration), is a list of event types which you can check or un-check to suit your requirements. There are a number of events which are not supported by data fields when editing a profile. E.G. Census returns, Wills, Bar Mitzvah etc. These events can be added to the timeline using "Add a New Event" (upper right corner).

// Tab

// I used this tool to record the details of the 1861 Census returns for Sarah Ann Smith. Having added the information for the Census I clicked on that event in the timeline in order to add the image of the census to the event using the "add photos link. The process is the same as described above. Although the image is linked to an event in the timeline for Sarah it is not reflected under the media tab. In order to have it reflected there I needed to tag her to the image. Clicking on the image in the timeline event took me to the image where I could add her name to the edit section. I linked the image to the rest of the family members as well, which means that this event will also show up on their timeline. (Red box in image below). As I had previously added the image of the census as a source document to the profile I was able to link it to the timeline event as well.


// event to Timeline

// the Census image to other members

Having recently added Sarah Ann's will to her profile I used that to record the event of her having written a will to her timeline as well following the same procedure of "Add Event" //

// Timeline with 2 new events added

How To: View Your Family’s Timeline 2011 (... with reference to choosing people to include in the timeline - not visible in current window)

// Tab


// Tab

To start a discussion about a person, or connected to that person, open the "Discussion" tab on their profile page. You are then offered a window where you can start a public discussion linked to that profile. If the person is in your Family Group you have the option to make the discussion private (seen only by your family group). Fill in a good Topic for the discussion, one that will grab the attention of fellow users who manage, follow or are connected to that profile, who will receive notification of the discussion depending on their settings. It will reach the widest audience possible not only now, but for years to come! It is a way of keeping a permanent record notes and queries linked to a profile.

// menu - Discussions//
You can also start a discussion from the "Discussions" link under Research at the top of any Geni screen.

// can tag a profile

... in a discussion by using the @ symbol and then starting to type the name of a profile on Geni to tag it to the discussion. A list of auto-suggested names will appear enabling you to select them. This will insert their profile ID within double square brackets into the text. If you do not see the person you are trying to tag in the list, you can manually insert their profile ID within square brackets in the body of the discussion text. You can also tag fellow users in the same way, drawing their attention to the discussion.

Example: To tag Sarah Ann Smith to a discussion, insert her profile ID into double brackets Sarah Ann Buchanan


// Tab


Citing documents to support facts

Adding a source supporting information on a profile from the "Sources" tab can be done in a number of ways. Opening the tab shows the following when there are no sources yet added.


In the case of Sarah Ann Smith, who has served as a vehicle to demonstrate many of the actions above, when we open the Sources tab we see that 4 documents have been linked to her profile. Up at the top right corner is a link to "Add Source". This can be used to add a now document, link to an existing document or to add more citations for facts from documents already listed. The facts supported so far are listed down the right hand side of the page (Blue box). Included amongst those listed is the Will which was added as a document above under media. The screen showing how it was used to support facts is below.

// Tab for Sarah Ann Smith

// supported by new document for Sarah Ann Smith

...continued from "Add Document - under Media above.

// Source for Sarah Ann Smith

Clicking "Add Source from the Sources Tab screen takes me to a window where we can add another document to source facts on Sarah's profile. (Above). Any documents which have been linked to her are listed as available to use as a source. At the top of the list in the left hand column is her birth certificate which was not included in the documents listed in the Sources Tab. Highlighting that document reveals a screen where facts supported by that documents can be checked. (Below) Those were checked and show up in blue. Press save.

// Sources for facts from Sarah Ann Smith's birth certificate

After saving the changes we are returned to the Source Tab where the new source document has been added to the list, along with the facts it supports.

// Sources Tab for Sarah Ann Smith

You can also add sources to facts from within the edit screens (both tree view and Profile). Opening the edit screen for Sarah's mother, Jane Bennett, we can see a small document icon alongs side a question mark. Passing the cursor over that icon opens a link to "Add Source". Clicking the link to "add a source" takes you to the screen seen previously above, showing two documents that have been linked to Jane and which are available to be used as sources to support facts. I worked through the documents in the same way as explained above

// screen for Jane Bennett showing Doc ? link

// Add Source from Edit// available for citing sources

// sourced facts from Birth Certificate
// sourced facts from 1861 Census

Once the documents had been added as sources the information panel on Jane's profile show that there are available sources by the displayed doc icon alongside her name. When next you open her edit page you will see that there is no longer a question mark alongside the doc icon. When you hold the cursor over that icon in the edit window a pop up display shows what documents support the facts.

// Indicated// used in Edit view

How To: Add Sourced Facts to Profiles 2011

// Tab


// Tab

The "Revisions Tab" is where you will find a record of updates to a profile and people linked to them.

// New feature!

Whenever a profile is merged, the Revisions tab on the profile will display an item that reads, "<some name> was merged into <this profile's name> by <some user>." This will now be followed immediately with a link labeled "view" which, when clicked, will take you to a side-by-side view of what these profiles looked like (including immediate family) before the merge. This is especially helpful if there have been multiple merges and one of them brought in bad data -- now they can be reviewed individually so that a curator or Geni admin can undo just the bad merge.

See Review Completed Merges discussion.

// merge

In the following list of revisions you can "view" the revisions made on a particular date (the red circle). Also marked with a blue circle is the ability for a Curator to undo a merge if it is believed to be incorrect. Only Curator's see this link, but when reviewing the revisions of a profile, perhaps in an effort to establish why a profile has multiple parents, you see that a merge has taken place that is incorrect, or which look suspicious, you can contact a curator and ask them if the agree.

// of revisions in Revisions Tab

The following screenshot is of the window reached when "view" is clicked in the list of revisions. The green fields are what were changed on that date. There are some entries in the current setting which do not match those green fields, reflecting that further changes had been made since. If you wished to revert to previous spellings etc. you can highlight the fields you believe to be correct. They turn Yellow and will be save as the current settings once you press "Use Selected Values". (These revisions were not saved - they were merely made to illustrate).

// Revisions

// highlighted yellow in revisions window

When viewing these revisions you also have access to the "About me" revisions recorded. These are in fact exactly the same as those listed when you view the "History" in the Overview" Tab.

// About

When you click the "Compare link you see what changes were made in that revision.

// changes made in the revision to About

If necessary the changes can be reverted.

See How To: Use Revisions on Profiles 2011

// Tab

// Tab

The DNA Tab is a new one which has links to other pages where you can learn more about it. The following links will help to explain further.

BLOG Geni Adds DNA to the World Family Tree

Discussion DNA Integration Superthread