Custom Picklists

(Note: This was written for TMG v4.x and earlier although the principles also apply to TMG v5.x and 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 using the custom flag and picklist features of TMG. 

First, create the custom flag.  From the Utilities (Tools in v4.0) menu, select the Flag Customization option, and click on the Add button.  Enter the name that you want to use for the new flag (say "Work") and enter the possible values that wish the flag to have.  Remember that these are one character values and the first value is the default value.  In this case, you would just allow two values: N(o) as the default and Y(es) as the alternative value.  In the Key box, enter each value and what it means.   This way when you get side-tracked from genealogy for a time, you can re-fresh your memory as to what a flag setting means.  Now click on the OK button and then OK again to save the changes and actually create the new flag.

Now create a List of People report using a Focus filter to select only those persons that you want to work with.  On the Secondary Output tab of the Report Definition Screen, select the Change Flag option, the Work (or whatever) Flag and the setting value should be "Y."  Now generate the report.  This changes the setting of your Work Flag to Y(es) for only those person defined by the Focus filter.

Next, create another List of People Report with a Focus filter selecting only persons with the Work (or whatever) Flag set to Y(es). For this report, select the Create Custom Picklist on the Secondary Output tab.  Now when you generate this report, it will create the Custom Picklist of only those persons with the Work Flag set to Y(es).

Once the Custom Picklist has been created, call the Picklist as usual (clicking on the Picklist icon [binoculars]) and select a person to be edited.  When you have finished editing the person, change the Work Flag to N(o).  Now go to the next person on the Picklist by clicking on the left or right arrow on either side of the Picklist icon.

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.   When you exit and re-enter TMG, you will have to re-generate the Custom Picklist again.  But if you have been changing the Work Flag values as you finish editing each person, the Custom Picklist will get shorter and shorter each time you re-generate it.

Comments to: Lee Hoffman.

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