This article appeared in the March/April 1998 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper.

The Master Genealogist Tips

By Lee H. Hoffman

A computer consultant with more than 20 years in
genealogy who has used TMG for over five years.


External Files  Often a user will have a file with information about some person in their dataset. This file may have been created for another reason, but contains information that you wish to include in TMG. Of course, you can always just retype the data into the Memo field of a tag, but this is a lot of work that doesn't need to be done. Also, you could cut and paste using the standard Windows procedures. In both of these cases, you would be duplicating the data in the file -- which may not bother you if you have plenty of disk storage or the file is small.

The easy way to add it into TMG without retyping or using cut-and-paste is to keep the file as an external file and still include it in TMG. To do this, select the tag to which you want to add the file and display the Tag Entry screen. Click on the Memo button to display the Memo window. Enter the path and filename that describe the file to be included. You must know the path and filename first. For this explanation, let's use the information file included with TMG/Win v3.0 and stored in your TMGW subdirectory/folder. Its path and filename (assuming installation on drive C:) is C:\TMGW\README30.TXT. Enter this preceeded by an exclamation mark (!). Save the Memo window. The data entered will display on the tag entry screen in the Memo area as !C:\TMGW\README30.TXT.

Now click on the Memo button again. This time the filename will be displayed in the Open window. Now click on the Select button and the file will be displayed in the Memo window. You can now edit the file if you wish. You should be aware that any changes made to the file in the Memo window are actually changes to the file itself; so if you don't want the original file changed, you may want to do a copy-and-paste so that the file is internal to TMG.

If you ever wish to change the file reference or change to internal data, you can do this easily. Just click on the Memo button as usual, click on the Cancel button of the Open Window, and the Memo window will be displayed with just the !C:\TMGW\README30.TXT file pointer that you entered above. Now you can delete or change that as desired.

This procedure is also an easy way to copy-and-paste the entire file into the Memo area for internal entry. First make the external file entry as shown above and enter the Memo field as if you were editing the file. Once in the file, position the cursor at the top of the window, and select or highlight the entire file (Control A or Edit->Select All from the menu) or select that portion of the file that you wish. Now select Edit->Copy from the menu to copy the highlighted data to the Windows clipboard. Hit Escape (ESC) to return to the Tag Entry Screen, click on the Menu button again, and click on the Cancel button of the Open Window. Delete the filename pointer in the Memo window, and select Edit->Paste to paste the file or file portion from the clipboard into the Memo window. The file (or file portion) is now internal to TMG as if you had typed it directly.

External files can be time savers if you have received information files from a family member or another researcher and want to quickly incorporate the data into TMG. Thus you can get TMG up to date with the latest information without the possibility of losing the data before you have time to enter the data into TMG in the best possible way or until you have verified the data.


                           Further information about The Master Genealogist can be obtained from Wholly Genes, Inc., 5144 Flowertuft Ct, Columbia, MD
                           21075, on the TMG website <> or tollfree at 1-877-TMG-FAMILY. TMG Tech Support is available at
                           1-410-715-2260 or by e-mail at <>.

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