The first modification is simple and can be done when creating your report. TMG's default method of indicating a missing name in a Journal report is: (--?--). Unknown names in a Register article are indicated by an underscore, _______. (I haven't been able to determine the exact length of this underscore.)
- This modification is easily made. When defining your Register style Journal report, in the Report Options screen in the Names tab, enter an underscore in the "Empty name text" box.
- One of the coolest features in TMG is its Language feature. In TMG, languages are not just English, French, German, etc. Languages also includes sentence structure and formatting. If you have a report that requires an unusual sentence structure, you can customize a new language for use in that report. By creating a Register Language, you can define default sentence structures in which the place precedes the date of any event. A report's output language is specified in the General tab in the Report Options screen.
When reporting an event that took place in a New England town, Register articles drop mention of the county. Of course, one can fix this with manual editing - and manual editing will be necessary, no matter how many TMG tricks one knows - but is there any way to do this in TMG?
- The user can define a "Short place template" in TMG's Preferences, under the "Current Project Options > Other" option. When defining a report, in the Report Options screen in the Places tab, one can choose "Use Short Place field." Of course, if you define your "Short place template" as City, State only, your report will be accurate and complete for events that occurred in New England towns only. This TMG option is not your best choice for this report!
- Did you know that you can edit the "Short place" field for any place listed in the Master Place List? If your report is designed to "Use Short Place field," TMG will use the "Short place template" you defined in Preferences - unless you edited a location's "Short place" field in the Master Place List. The former is the global definition of a short place; the latter is the local definition of that place, and local definitions override global definitions. By editing the "Short place" field in the Master Place List for all New England town locations, you can tell TMG to "Use Short Place field" in your Register style Journal report, secure in the knowledge that any Ohio or Pennsylvania town reference will include the county, as well. Warning! If you do this, you'll need to be aware that a New England town's county name will be omitted in all reports defined to "Use Short Place field."
Given the fact that you will still want to edit your report to minimize redundancy, editing the "Short place" field in the Master Place List may be something you decide isn't worth the effort or the potential confusion. Still, this is a very nice TMG feature, and many users are not aware that it exists.
Our Register style report still doesn't match the actual journal articles, but one of TMG's most powerful reporting features is its ability to export reports to several word processor programs. That way, one can make use of that word processor's features. The next post will demonstrate the final steps in converting our TMG Journal report from so-so Register style to something that almost matches the real thing.