This article appeared in the November/December 1999 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper.

The Master Genealogist Tips

By Lee H. Hoffman


Checking Sentences. You will often want to check to see how one or more tag Sentence Structures appear in printed form. The easiest way is to generate an Individual Narrative Report to the screen. You can reduce the number of steps involved by adding a button to the Toolbar for the Individual Narrative report. In order for the button to work, the desired Report Definition must be designated as a Primary report. This may only be done in the Custom Report Writer if your System Configuration option allows it. But you may change the System Configuration option, set the Primary indicator and then restore your prior System Configuration option.

Enter the System Configuration Screen (Tools=>Options from the menu), and de-select the "Itemize custom reports on Report menu" option in the lower left of the General tab. Save the System Configuration by clicking on the OK button. Select the Report=>Custom Report Writer... menu option to display the Custom Report Writer (CRW) Log. If you have not created the Individual Narrative Report Definition, do it now and save it. Now, with the desired Report Definition highlighted, click on the Primary button to cause an asterisk to display by the report definition name. Exit the CRW Log.

Now re-enter the System Configuration Screen. Re-select the "Itemize custom reports on Report menu" option if you desire, and select the Toolbar tab. Scroll down the Unused button list on the right until you highlight the Individual Narrative option, and click on the <<<Add button below the list. This will move the option to the bottom of the left list (Toolbar Buttons). You may scroll down the left list, highlight the option, click on the Properties button to customize the button, or click on the move up/move down buttons to place the button where you want it as you desire. Now click on the OK button to save the System Configuration changes.

On return to the main TMG screen, you will see the new Toolbar button. If you have not moved its position or changed the button, it will be at the right end of the Toolbar and will be a button with the letter "I" in the center. Other reports may have different letters for the button.

Varied Names. Since the usual way to refer to someone in genealogy is by the name they were given at birth, it is often difficult to determine when you have the same person if they are shown in a document under a different name. This is also true when you find a record for a woman under her married name. Thus, in TMG, you may enter as many name variations as you find. These might be nicknames, married names, baptismal names, name changes, varied spellings, or anything else.

Then, in the Picklist, you may find all the names of that person located in the proper alphabetic sort allowing you to find the person under any of their names. Note that the Picklist will have an asterisk (*) beside their Primary name. This is the name that you decide is the name they were known most of their life. The usual recommendation is that this would be the birth or maiden name. All other names would be non-Primary and would not have the asterisk.

Married names will be automatically created if you chose to allow them when a Marriage tag is entered for a couple. However, if you do not want this feature, you may turn it off in the System Configuration Screen (Tools=>Options menu selection under the Prompts tab).

Exhibits. TMG allows the user to add image, text,or audio objects to a dataset and attach them to a person, a tag, a source, or a repository. Basically, the objects may be added as internal or external data. When added as an internal object, it actually becomes part of the dataset. But if it is an external object, only the location of the objection (the path and filename where it is stored on your hard drive) is stored in the dataset. The choice of internal or external is the userís, but there may be a couple of points that you may wish to consider in deciding which you want to use.

Most text data is of relatively small size while image and audio objects are often large. If you donít wish to greatly increase your dataset size due to the large size of an object, you may wish to make a large Exhibit to be external rather than internal. The disadvantage of this is that you must make sure you keep a good backup of the external objects. Internal Exhibits are included in the normal TMG Backup, but external Exhibits are not. This will also affect any dataset exchanges that you may make because the external objects are not part of the dataset or its backup.

Related to this is how you name the external Exhibits. For now, TMG can only handle the older eight character filenames with three character extensions (called the 8.3 method). So if you tend to give your image (or other) files long file names, be sure to use the shorter 8.3 filenames within TMG.

I tend to go with the shorter names for my multimedia files anyway. Many TMG users develop some kind of standard short file name protocol for their multimedia files. This way, they can quickly find a file on their hard drive. I have not developed anything like this since I donít have many multimedia files although that may change as I begin adding more of these files.

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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