Become a Better Researcher

Our research problems are unique and our genealogy software, to be useful, must be flexible enough to match our respective problems and our respective methods. The Master Genealogist is that software, but power and flexibility has a down side. The more options a program has, the more decisions the user must make. This year, the Tri-Valley TMG User Group will explore those options and make some of those personal decisions. Would you like to play along with us? Do each month's assignment, and if you like, e-mail it to us at: We'll post some of the completed assignments on this blog each month. Let's hear it for choices!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Recapping the July Meeting - Part Four

Your TMG report may include an index, but that index is not printed by TMG. It must be populated by your word processor program. I'm sure the manner of doing this varies from program to program, but all of them probably have a dialogue box that allows you to format that index before it is inserted into the document. You should experiment with these options, too.

Word index dialogue box
This screenshot shows the format options we selected at our meeting. Note that as you change these options, the Print Preview will show them in action.
  • The indented format was already selected when we opened the dialogue box. It matches our selection in TMG. This is a TMG format choice that can be changed in the word processor.
  • We chose to use a three-column format. It saves paper, and it is easily read.
  • Note that we chose to right-align the page numbers and included a leader. This choice made our index look neat and clean, and it was very easy to read.
That's as far as we got at our meeting. We created a very satisfactory index, but I wanted to play a little more. I decided to investigate that Modify button, circled in the screenshot. This is what I found.
Index style dialogue box
This dialogue box allows the user to select an index level and modify its style. In my index, I modified the font size, font weight, and paragraph spacing for Level 1, and I modified the font weight for Level 2. Voila!
The index
The indexing options in TMG and your word processor deserve exploration. A book-length publication without an index will not be read, and you have wonderful tools to make sure your well-researched, well-documented book is also used and enjoyed.

For more information on TMG indexes, read Barbara Grempler's article on the WhollyGenes forum. Don't forget TMG's help file! Whenever you're investigating a TMG feature, you should always check it out.

[Note that the help file claims that one can enter a person's ID number in the manual code, instead of that person's name. Perhaps that worked in an earlier version of TMG, but I have been unable to make this work in version 8. I have not tested it yet in version 9.]

1 comment:

  1. As expected, this is a thorough, clear and explicit re-cap of the process. "Before entering those codes, it's a good idea to determine your preferred indexing format" is truly the gem of beginning, and the exercise is seems more daunting than the actuality. The usefulness of this tool warrants learning to use it, and these four notes cover the process extraordinarily well.