Filtering the Project Explorer

Note: This was written for TMG v6.x.

Have you ever had a lot of changes to make to your dataset and wished for a quicker way to make the changes?  I mean that changes that are much the same for every person.   For example, say you have just found the cemetery records where most of your ancestors are buried, and you want to add burial tags.  You can speed up your work by filtering the Project Explorer feature of TMG. 

To filter the Project Explorer, click on the funnel icon button, and create a filter.  If you wish, you may use the [Save As...] button to save the filter for future use (remember that when you exit and re-start TMG, the program reverts to the standard settings).  If you previously created a filter for use with the List of People report, most narrative or chart reports, or the Picklist then you may use that same filter with the Project Explorer.  To use a saved filter, click on the [Load...] button, highlight the desired filter, and click on the [Open] button.  If you load a previously defined and saved filter and it isn't quite what you want then just modify it to suit your new needs and us the [Save as...] button feature to re-save the filter under the same name or under a new name.  Review the loaded or created filter and when it is what you want, click on the [OK] button.

If you have a number of filters created and want to change from one to another just click on the down arrow on the field to the right of the funnel icon, select the desired filter and it will load and begin filtering the Project Explorer.  This saves having to display the filter window, load the filter and okay the filter.

An example of when you might want to filter the Project Explorer is when you are working with a family in one of the censuses. Suppose you have the 1920 census and want to know who of a specific surname might be in that census.  Then you might use a filter like:

        Birth Group...        Date    < Comes Before    1921            AND
        Birth Group...        Date    > Comes After      1810             AND
   (    Death Group...      Date    > Comes After      1920             OR
        Burial Group...      Date    > Comes After      1920          )  AND
        Surname                          =  Equals               [?]                 END 

This might be defined in descriptive text as follows:  "All persons born before 1921 but who were born after 1810 and whose death or burial did not occur until 1921 or after and whose surname is [?]".  The first line of the filter then is easy to understand as it selects anyone born before the census year.  The second filter line limits who might be selected as we don't want persons who were born too long before the census.  The third and fourth lines of the filter excludes anyone who died before the census -- that is, we only want persons who were alive for the census.  The last line, of course, just restricts the results to those of the one surname, but since I may want to use the same filter for different families then I enter the '[?]' to have TMG ask me .  You could not use this last line, but you may have a larger group and this line keep the results relatively low.  It is easy to re-run the filter and enter a different surname.

Note that the second filter line uses a somewhat ambiguous date (1810 here).  In this instance, I estimate that I will not find anyone over 110 years old in the census.  If I expected to not find anyone older than 80 in the census then I would use 1840 in the second line.  So if you wind up with a large group, you might consider reducing it to a more manageable level by choosing a younger age.  This runs the risk of missing some persons on the census, however, so be careful of that.  There may be other ways to reduce the size of the list, such as with Custom Flags.  For example, you may be concerned with certain families and set a Custom Flag indicating those that are included in those families.  Then you could add the Custom Flag to the filter including or excluding persons with a certain Flag setting.

Once the filter has been created and run, The Project Explorer will then only display the persons who passed the filter.  If you are going from person to person to enter the data, you can use the left (prior) arrow and right arrow in the upper left of the Project Explorer to "step" from person to person in the Project Explorer.  In this way, you can step through each person needing to be edited.  You don't miss any and you don't have others showing on the Picklist that don't need editing.

Comments to: Lee Hoffman.

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