After two years spent studying Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained, our group needed a break. We decided that there is no better way to discover all that The Master Genealogist (TMG) can do than to explore its powerful custom report writer. If you would like to participate in the Tri-Valley TMG User Group's adventures as we examine the best ways to input data to make full use of TMG's wide range of reporting possibilities, please feel free to comment and share your ideas.

The Tri-Valley TMG User Group is associated with the Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society (L-AGS), and we meet in Pleasanton, California. Information on our meetings - location, date, time, and topic - is always available on the home page of the L-AGS web site. Our three-hour meetings are actually hands-on workshops in which up to fifteen computers are connected to a digital projector allowing customized personal assistance to attendees. In the past, the group has systematically studied Lee Hoffman's Getting the Most out of The Master Genealogist, Terry Reigel's A Primer for The Master Genealogist, and Elizabeth Shown Mills' Evidence Explained.

For further details on the reports we create, please visit our website. The section dealing with TMG reports begins at the page, "Exploring TMG's Report Menu."

Start following our new blog, "The Continuing Adventures of the TV-TMG User Group." This will detail our 2014 project.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Creating Holiday Calendars: Part Two

I love TMG, so it really bothers me when I discover that another genealogy software program might be able to do something just a little bit better. Although I've never found anything TMG couldn't do, creating a calendar is not something it does easily. At least two programs, Legacy and RootsMagic, contain a calendar creator, available only in the paid version of each program. Since I have the deluxe edition of Legacy, I used it to create the example calendar. The download version of Legacy 7.5 Deluxe is currently available for only $19.95. Although there's a lot about this program I don't like, $19.95 is not a bad price for a genealogy calendar creator.
  • Step One: Export a GEDCOM file of your TMG data (File > Export ... > follow instructions for creating a GEDCOM). If you have a large database, I recommend you export only the basic vital events: birth, marriage, and death. Legacy's calendar only includes births and marriages.
  • Step Two: Import your TMG GEDCOM into Legacy.
  • Step Three: Select the people to include in your calendar by tagging records (Edit > Tag Records...) and select the people you want. Example: Ancestors for 10 generations. I have not worked with this feature - actually, I haven't worked much with Legacy - so I'm not sure if one could create the complex combinations so easily created in TMG.
  • Step Four: Go to the Calendar Creator (Reports > All Reports > Calendar Creator).
  • Step Five: Select your options.
    • "Include" your Tagged Individuals, or any other listed combination.
    • Select the appearance of individual names and birth and marriage information.
    • Choose fonts and some formatting options.
    • You can include a picture on the cover and on each month's pages!!
    • Select months to print.
  • Step Six: Preview your calendar and print, preferably to a PDF file.
This example calendar includes January and February and a photograph for each month.

In sum, this procedure is relatively easy and the calendar is attractive. What isn't apparent from this example, though, is the fact that the day blocks don't change in size to accommodate extra events. The overflow is listed separately on subsequent pages. Formatting options are adequate, but uninspiring, and the data is limited to births and marriages only. Despite the fact that one needs to buy another program - and a genealogy one, at that - this is a good option for most people.

Now, for the final method we devised.

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