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 One

There's a lot more to creating an index than meets the eye! That's what I took away from the first half of our July TV-TMG User Group meeting.
  • Not all TMG reports include an option to create an index - and those that do require that the report be sent to a word-processor. We chose a Journal report for our experiment.
  • Creating an index in TMG is only the first step. That index must be populated in the word-processor, too. Most of us use Word, so we continued the experiment by exploring some of Word's indexing options.
  • TMG allows the inclusion of indexing codes in memo fields. Before entering those codes, it's a good idea to determine your preferred indexing format. You want the final index to be consistent, whether the code came from a memo field or from a tag's sentence.
Let's start with our final index and work backwards, looking behind the scenes in both TMG and Word.
People section of index
Places section of index
If we analyze the content and format of this index, our choices - and alternatives - will become clear.
  • The People and Places sections are separate. This is not a combined index.
  • There are three columns.
  • There are potentially three indexing levels in both sections. The levels are indented.
    • Level 1 (the type of index - People or Places [Occupation will be discussed later]
    • Level 2 (Surname or Place name)
    • Level 3 (Given name or Place container elements, largest to smallest)
  • In TMG terms, the Places index includes three elements: the Place Detail, the City, and the County, in Level 2. Each Place Detail includes its containing state, county, and city in Level 3. Each City includes its containing state and county in Level 3. Each County includes its containing state in Level 3.
  • Level 1 and Level 2 have been formatted in bold face, and the Level 1 font type is larger than the other levels.
  • The content of this index comes from TMG; most of the format is applied in Word.
Ready for Part Two?

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