This article appeared in the July/August 1999 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper.

The Master Genealogist Tips

By Lee H. Hoffman


TMG v4.0 Charting Capabilities. The long-awaited upgrade to TMG is here. This means that we can now generate those drop box charts showing our oldest ancestor and all their descendants. Thus we will be able to see not only ourselves, but our cousins on the same chart. Similarly, we can create a reverse drop box chart that shows all the ancestors of an individual much like a pedigree chart, but in a vertical form rather than horizontal. One of the neatest new charts is the fan chart. This starts with an individual in the center and shows all the ancestors in circular form around the center with each generation being in a larger circle.

For all these charts, you can control the size of the charts, the number of generations, the color of the boxes, and the lines as well as the text to be shown. You may also choose exactly what text is to be printed on the charts and which fonts should be used. When a chart is generated, TMG will start the Visual ChartForm program and display the chart allowing you to make any modifications that you want. This not only includes the many items noted above, but placement of boxes, lines, and text.

Generated charts may be printed on standard paper with or without "cut lines" to guide you to cut and paste the chart together. Naturally, most everyone would prefer the chart be printed in one piece and those lucky enough to have their own plotters can print the charts that way. But, the rest of us aren’t left out as many of the printing and copying services can print (plot) a chart from a diskette for a reasonable fee. So you can wallpaper your house with large charts without having to resort to using letter-sized pieces of paper requiring a lot of cut and paste.

Generated charts may be saved to a file in three different formats. One is the Visual ChartForm native format as a VCH format file. The other two are as image files using the JPG or BMP formats.

Most charts are too large to be easily displayed on a webpage, but the last two formats will allow a chart to be displayed on your website if you wish.

A user may also save a chart and work with it at a later time. The Visual ChartForm program may be run directly from Windows rather than requiring the user to start TMG and go through the report process to access the program.

Many other features make Visual ChartForm a very powerful addition to the TMG program. These features give the user complete control over the charts and images produced. For example, a large fan chart might be produced in addition to some ancestral box charts. The charts may then be combined by the drag and drop method placing the box charts strategically around the fan chart.

Other changes. The new TMG v4.0 changed the menu format that was used in earlier version to more closely conform to the Windows standards and what many users expect. This also changes the "hot keys" to some extent, but these are quickly re-learned.

Another enhancement in the menu area is the ability (via the System Configuration screen) of displaying the last five generated reports at the bottom of the Report menu. So if you want to re-run a report after making some changes, you don’t have to go back to the Custom Report Writer (CRW) Log or even find the type report, display that sub-menu, then find and select the desired report from the list. You just select the Report menu and choose the report from the menu.

Minor enhancements have been made on the language translation area. For example, if you wish to eliminate a word from being used in a narrative report, you can use the Double Exclusion Marker in place of the translation of that word and that word will be suppressed when it is normally used.

Using the Customized Tool Bar, you can now execute any other Windows program from within TMG just by clicking on as Toolbar icon. This feature also allows you to start the desired Windows program either maximized or minimized.

Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) may be used to immediately open an application using a report or chart that has just been generated by TMG. Many applications that do not technically support DDE directly may now be started from within TMG when a just-generated file is completed.

Creating the ‘BOOK’. Many genealogists want to use TMG to help create a ‘BOOK’ about their family history and a lot have done their books in this way. TMG provides for this with a Table of Contents, Endnotes, Bibliography in addition to the usual narratives and charts. But often you will want to add a preface, foreword, or other introductory material as well as including some material in appendices. TMG doesn’t initially appear to support this, but you can create the material in TMG and have it generated to a file which may be edited in your word processor and moved to where you want it.

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

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