This article appeared in the May/Jun 2001 issue of Everton's Genealogical Helper.

The Master Genealogist Tips

By Lee H. Hoffman


Changing Word Usage in TMG.  Many users would like to have TMG use different words or phrases in reports.  Usually the Tag or Witness Sentence is the place to make these changes.  However, there are certain words or phrases that are “built-in” to TMG.  These are then used in reports based on the context of the report.  For example, some users prefer the use of “about” instead of “circa” for dates that are approximate. 

This and other similar changes can be easily made by the user in their word processor after the report has been generated.  But if the report is long, it is inconvenient at best to have to make the changes in the word processor. Thus the user needs to have a way to make these changes in TMG before the report is generated. 

There is a way to do this easily in TMG.  Simply take advantage of TMG’s language translation capability to make the changes you want. To do this, enter the System Configuration screen and change the translation for the word or phrase to that which is desired. The steps to do this are:

(1)  Open the System Configuration screen (select Tools=>Options from the top menu).
(2)  Click on the Date/Time tab.
(3)  Click on the Language Translation button.
(4)  The currently selected language will be highlighted. (I assume ENGLISH for this discussion). Click on the Copy Language button.
(5)  In the Add a Language screen, enter a name for the new language.  I’ll use ENGLISH2 for this discussion.
(6)  Enter your name and address in the lower fields and click on the OK button to display the new language on the list.
(7)  Highlight the new language and click on the Edit Language button.
(8)  Scroll down the Strings window until you find the word or phrase to change (e.g., “circa”).
(9)  In the ENGLISH2 column, change the entry to the desired word or phrase (e.g, “about”).
(10) Continue using steps 8 and 9 above until you have made all the desired changes and then select File=>Exit from the top menu.
(11) Now click on the Select button to tell TMG that this is the desired language to be used and click on the OK button to exit the System Configuration screen.

Now you may generate reports using this newly created and selected language.


Hot Keys.  Did you know that there are a number of keys or key combinations (colloquially called “hot keys”) that can speed up your use of TMG?  For example, the ALT key will highlight the top menu of the screen and combined with the underline letter of the menu will open that sub-menu where other selections may be made by pressing the underlined letter there.  This includes function keys and CTRL key combinations.  Function keys serve the same purpose throughout TMG.  The following table lists the most common function keys or key combinations.. Try them out and see for yourself.

Function Keys




Search Help




Repeat Value Entry


Repeat Value Entry List


Add or New Record


Edit Selection


Delete Selection


Open Memo field


Mark Selection or Generate Selected Report


Change Format






Research Log



Personal Knowledge Source.  Most users know certain data personally and want to indicate that.  You can create a Source using the Interview Category or create a Custom Personal Knowledge Source Category.  I created one like this:

Full Footnote: Personal knowledge of  [INFORMANT] ([INFORMANT ADDRESS])<. [COMMENTS]><, [CD]>.

Short Footnote: Personal knowledge of [INFORMANT]<, [CD]>.

Bibliography: [INFORMANT], Personal knowledge. [INFORMANT ADDRESS].


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 <>.  More help is available on the TMG Tips website <>.

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