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, February 17, 2013

TMG's NGSQ and NEHGR Reports

Have you ever printed a Journal report using TMG's default settings for Register (NEHGR) or Record (NGSQ) style? If so, you might have said to yourself, "This doesn't look much like an article from one of those journals." Face it. No matter how sophisticated and powerful your genealogy software is, it's designed to help you think. It cannot do your thinking for you. If you want to create a professional genealogy, you need to engage your brain in the process. TMG and a word processor, though, can help. We investigated both the NEHGR and NGSQ styles in our January 2013 meeting. Because it requires a few more interesting tricks, this blog will report only our NEHGR findings.

We first created a two-generation genealogy Journal report using TMG's default Register (NEHGR) style options. This style choice restricts some of the available report options. These are the unrestricted options we chose.
  1. In the Sources tab, we checked "Footnotes" and "Combine consecutive footnotes/endnotes."
  2. In the Memos tab, we checked "Footnotes."
  3. In the Tags tab, we checked "Selected" and checked only "Birth," "Burial," "Divorce," "JournalConclusion," "JournalIntro," "Marriage," and "NarrativeChildren."
  4. In the Dates tab, we checked "Months spelled out."
  5. In the Places tab, we checked "Use place styles."
  6. In the Names tab, we checked "None" under Identifiers.
  7. In the Fonts and Colors tab, we changed all fonts to 12-point Times New Roman, with the exception of the Title, which was changed to 14-point, bold, Times New Roman.
Comparing that output to articles in the October 2012 issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register led to some quick changes in these default options. To change these options, it's necessary to change the style from Register (NEHGR) to Custom.
  1. In the Names tab in the Report Options screen, we checked "Include surname" under Child names.
  2. In the Miscellaneous tab in the Report Options screen, we checked "Include spouse events" under Format.
Here's a PDF of the resulting report. Although the generation numbers and the generation line in this report are (almost) correctly formatted, it still doesn't really look like an article from the NEHGR. The differences are really too numerous to list in this blog, but most of them are enumerated in this comparison chart. Note that this is not an official comparison chart; it's one I compiled after studying the references listed at the end of the chart and comparing them to TMG's NGSQ and NEHGR reports.

Although creating a professional genealogy report in an approved style will always require manual writing, or rewriting, combining some great TMG features with the styles feature in Word (or your own favorite word processor) will allow us to come much closer to that approved style. Here's our final computer-driven report. Doesn't it look a lot more like an article in the NEHGR? Check out the next post to see how this report was created.

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