This article appeared in the January/February 1999 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper.

The Master Genealogist Tips
By Lee H. Hoffman


Using Accents You can make TMG tell you a lot using the Accent feature of TMG. There are many uses for it. One is being able to see at a glance those persons that you have reviewed for correctness or some other reason when you are going through your entire dataset. With this, you can step through the dataset using the Forward/Backward (Right/Left) arrow icons on either side of the Picklist (binoculars) icon, and easily see whether you have reviewed and/or performed some operation on that person. An example in the TMG Sample Dataset is to show which person had a particular occupation. You may want to see which persons had a connection (lived, resided, born, died, or whatever) with a certain location, was born before/after a certain date, was not married, or any of a myriad other possibilities.

Another is being able to see at a glance all of your and your spouse’s direct ancestors -- with a different color for each of up to ten lines. All you need to do is create a custom Flag or so. I created a Flag called DIRECT with settings of ?WXYZ (where W, X, Y, and Z stand for the first initials of my and my wife’s parents. Then I used the Secondary Output tab Change Flag feature of the List of People Report to set the Flag for each ancestor. This requires that a List of People report be generated four times - once for each parent. I just had a Focus filter of:
            ID Number                        Equals                       [?]     OR
            Is an Ancestor of             Person Number       [?]    END
When TMG asks for the ID#, be sure to give the number of the person whose code you select in the Secondary Output tab Change Flag feature.

When you have finished setting the flag, go into the Utilities menu and select the Accent feature. There you would select the desired flag(s), their setting(s) and the desired color(s). Be sure to select the OR in the second and later lines as needed. Also choose the precedence and conflict color as desired.

Dataset Copies. Most users realize they can send data from reports to a different program, such as a spreadsheet, other database, or word processor. But did you know that you can export the dataset to other such programs much like you export data to a GEDCOM file? It is very easy. The entire dataset is then copied to files in the native format of the chosen destination. b>

For example, maybe you would like to review the possible Source Elements and to which Source Group each element belongs. If you export the dataset to a comma-delimited text form, you can use Windows Notepad, Wordpad, or some other text editor or word

  processor to look at the file that contains that information. This file would be named like other files in your dataset with the eighth character of the filename being “U” and the file extension being .TXT to denote that it is a text file. The different fields of the file would be separated by commas with the first field the record number, the second being the Source Element name and the third being the number of the Source Group to which the element belongs. Using this file, you could sort it in different sequences and learn more about Source Elements and Source Groups.

In a similar way, you could look at any other exported dataset file and learn more about your data or TMG. In a similar way, you could look at the various Source Categories and the templates for each, the default Tag and Witness Sentences as well as your own data more or less as it is stored in your dataset. With this capability, and the various capabilities of other programs, you may manipulate your data in ways limited only by your imagination. b>

Repeating Data Entries. We all have various data that we keep entering over and over. Most users know that TMG helps in this with the Repeat Key (F3 and Control-F3) where the last fifteen distinct entries for a field are kept for quick repeat uses after the first entry. However, you may have some entry that you keep making often, but with long periods between uses. Or perhaps, you want to make a standard entry in a Citation Detail or Memo field which you can then modify slightly.

Try using a Text Macro for this. For example, maybe you keep your census Source records in a generic form where each record contains the information for a year and county enumeration with the specific information (page and line numbers, etc.) being placed in the Citation Detail field. This requires you to do a lot of typing for each census tag. If you use a Text Macro, you can enter the basic repeating data once and only edit the entry in the Citation Detail as needed allowing you to keep the Citation Detail in a standard form. b>

To create a Text Macro, select Tools=>Text Macro from the menu. In the Text Macro Definitions window, place the definition or entry in the line as you wish. In the census case above, it might be something like this: “X household, post office Y, page Z, Dwelling A, Family B, Line C.” Then when you want to use that Text Macro, you would enter the Citation Detail field, and press Shift and the appropriate function key. Then you would edit the result as needed. The important thing is that each census citation would have its information in a consistent form.


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 1-800-982-2103, TMG Tech Support is available at
                                                            1-410-715-2260 or by e-mail at <>.

Return to Lee's GH TMG Tips Page

Last revised:

Hit Counter