(Note: This was written for TMG v4.x although the principles
apply to v5.x)
Step by Step Instructions
TMG Data Set to Another TMG Data Set
These instructions apply to The Master Genealogist© (TMG) V4.0 for Windows.
They may work for other releases but have not been tested.
TMG provides two main ways to create a copy of information for exchanging
with other genealogy programs: 1) export to GEDCOM, and 2) extract to a new TMG
database. You would think Export to and from a TMG database would be complete
exchange, but by the nature of the GEDCOM definition, it is not. The extract
technique provides the most complete exchange and will be the focus of this
paper. The extract technique has several advantages, but the best is it brings
along sources and repository information and their citations in individual
My brother and I routinely exchange genealogical information
since we both are researching the same basic family. To facilitate the
identification process of what data should be exchanged, I have created a custom
flag called EXPORT in TMG. It has three possible values, ?, N or Y. With that
flag defined, every time I change data for an individual that I wish to send to
my brother, I change the EXPORT flag to Y for that individuals record.
The exchange process in a nutshell is to extract the flagged data into a new
temporary TMG data set at the "from" system, save the new data set
into a TMG backup/restore file, restore the backup file into a new temporary TMG
data set at the "to" system, merge (really append) the temporary data
set with the old TMG data set, and merge duplicate individuals if necessary.
Create a custom Export Flag
The extraction process is based on my custom EXPORT flag which makes it
extremely easy to identify which individuals have been changed since my last
export, and to reset the flag after a successful exchange.
Press the Add button
Type in EXPORT in the "Label" field
Type in ?NY in the "Values" field
Press the OK button to create the new flag
Identify data to extract
You may manually set this flag just prior to export, or you may set it over
time as you update your data.
Create a customized extract report
- General Tab:
- Supply a Configuration Name in "Configuration Name" to identify your
- Ensure that the Screen (Print Preview) Destination option is
- Secondary Output Tab:
- Check "Create New Data Set"
- Make sure "Change Flag" is not checked
- Focus Tab:
- Check "Filtered Group"
- Click on the "Field" button in the first row and select the EXPORT
flag in the list.
- Click on the "Operator" button in the first row and select
- Click on the "Value" field in the first row and enter Y.
- Make sure no other rows have any conditions indicated, and that nothing is
checked at the bottom.
- Ignore. Create New Data Set moves all tags for an individual. The default
four columns identified here are used for the output report.
- I suggest you check Name, Address, and Date. You may change the Title if you
Press the Save button to save the newly created report.
Extract marked data
- Report-List of
-People-your extract report (as defined above)
- Press the Generate button
- A screen will summarize the results of your extract. After a few seconds, the
extract process will continue or you may press OK.
- The report will be displayed. I suggest you print it and use if for reference
- Press the "Close" button on the top menu bar to continue.
- You will now see the "Extract Data Set" window. Supply a name
(anything over 7 digits will be truncated on the right to 7 digits) in the
"New Data Set Name" field. I suggest you also store it in a separate
directory, use the "Create Directory" button to accomplish this.
Prepare a TMG backup file
- Open your newly created extract dataset.
- File-Open-highlight the new dataset name and press the Select Button
- Verify you have selected the correct data set and press the Yes button
- Backup your new dataset into a TMG backup file.
- If you want to backup to diskette, place a diskette in drive A. Later you
will be given a choice to backup to a diskette, or to the hard drive. The
choice is yours.
- In the Back Up Data Set window, check "Compatible with PKZIP",
and "Smallest." Press the OK button.
- You will next see a "Save As" window. Depending on how many
backup files your TMG is configured to keep (4 is default) and how many you
have created so far for this dataset, you will have a choice to make for
dataset name. Since this is a temporary dataset, I suggest you always backup
this file to xxxxxxx1.sqz where xxxxxxx is your dataset name. Press the Save
- Send this file with the List of People report above to your
Backup your old TMG data set
If you dont backup your TMG on a regular and frequent basis, you should.
I suggest you make a backup of your regular dataset now if your data has changed
since your last backup. Use the same procedure described in "Prepare a TMG
backup file" previously.
Restore the backup file
This process will load the data set from the From system to the To system in
the form of a new TMG data set. Transfer your xxxxxxx1.sqz file to the target
- Start TMG
- Find the xxxxxxx1.sqz backup file, highlight it, and press the Restore
- Change the "Restore to Directory" to the desired directory/folder
in which you wish the dataset to be restored. If you wish to place it in a new
directory use the Create Directory button. If this will overwrite an older
copy, you will be asked if you really want to overwrite it.
- Answer questions as needed to complete the restore process.
Merge two TMG data sets
You are now ready to merge, actually append the two TMG data sets, your
original data set and the new transfer data set. This process will take the
individuals from the transfer data set and add them as new people in the old
data set. Optionally you may merge both data sets into a single new data set.
After the merge, you will have to merge your new individuals with the duplicate
old individuals as directed by "Merge duplicate individuals."
- Open TMG to either your old dataset (although you could start from the
transfer dataset if desired, but the rest of these instructions would vary).
Create a backup of the old dataset if you dont already have one.
- You will see a "Merge Data Sets" window with your current
dataset name in Source A.
- Enter the location of your transfer data set in "Source B".
- Choose one of the three destinations, "Append A to B",
"Append B to A", or "Merge A and B into
" as you desire.
Initially, I suggest you merge into a new database (Merge A and B into...)
until you become more familiar with the process. Enter the new dataset name
and directory (use the Create Directory button if needed).
- Respond to questions as needed.
Merge duplicate individuals
The next step is probably the most work since you have to match duplicate
individuals and decide which tags to keep and which to discard. You must also
differentiate between potential merges based on like characteristics as chosen
by TMG, and potential merges that are true duplicates because of this
extract/merge process. This is where the printed report created in "Extract
marked data" will assist greatly, as it will identify those individuals
upon whom you need to focus.
- In TMG, open the newly merged data set
- Tools-Check for Duplicate People
- In the "Check for Duplicate People" window, the default TMG
values will work fine. Press the Search button
- Wait for the "Merge Candidates" window. Using the printed report
that you received with the transfer file for reference, find the first pair of
duplicates for the first person in your print report. Dont forget, if a
person is a new individual ,
he will not have a duplicate in the "Merge Candidates" window.
- Click on the pair to select it and press the Details button. You will now
see the two individual records side-by-side. Verify they are really records
for the same individual. Determine which side is the old record and which is
the new. Notice that all tags on both records are marked. If you merge now,
you will have a lot of duplicate tags to deal with later.
- Press the Flip button if necessary to make the record to be
kept underneath "Keep This Record?" VERY IMPORTANT TO MARK THE
"SMALLER ID#" RECORD TO BE KEPT.
This will keep the old record ID, which in turn will keep marriage links intact.
- You will likely find that in many cases both records have tags that seem
similar. Since you dont know if one of the tags has changed or not, you
should plan to accept all tags from the new record and discard all tags from the
old record. This is controlled by which tags are marked or unmarked (have an
"X" beside the tag). The only exceptions are Son/Dau tags, Parents
tags, and maybe Marriage tags. The new record may not have these but they are
present in the old record.
- Press the Unmark All button on the old record side. Then mark all Son/Dau,
Father/Mother, and Marriage tags in the old record. Verify visually if there are
any unmarked tags in the old record that are not in the new record. If there
are, mark them as well. Double check that you are keeping the new record and
that you have children, parents, and marriage (spouse) tags marked in the old
- You may press the Combine button to see what the new record will look like.
Tags to be kept will be marked to the right with an X. Once you are satisfied
your choices are correct, press the Merge button. You will be given a chance to
- Continue selecting and merging pairs until your printed report has been
- One other point to be considered is that if the receiving
researcher happens to have changed/updated a person and that person is included
in the transfer file, then you will want to be extremely careful about the
marking of tags for retention/deletion during the merging of individuals.
Optional Follow-up (Sender)
In "Create a customized extract report" you were instructed to
uncheck the "Change Flag" option. Now you may rerun the report and
check this box. Also uncheck the "Extract to new data set" option. At
the completion of the new report, the EXPORT flag will have been reset to
"?", ready for your next export.
Optional Follow-up (Receiver)
Before merging the datasets, you may or may not want to ensure
that any custom Flags such as the Export Flag are as you want them after the
merge. Remember that any Flags for persons that are merged will retain the
setting of the "to be retained" record.
|Copyright © 2000 by:
||Neil S. Smith
||3315 Appalachian Dr.
||Columbia, MO 65203
The Master Genealogist for Windows is copyrighted by: Wholly Genes,
Inc., Columbia, MD 21044
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