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 Two

The contents of our index is determined by the choices we make in the Indexes tab in the Report Options screen and the manual index codes we insert in our memo fields. This screen shows our choices, and you can read some of our discussion points.

Experiment with the options on this screen until you get the index you prefer.

Indexes tab in the Report Options screen
  1. Our People index section includes a surname index. There is no separate index by given name. Included in each entry under a specific surname is the given name with the lifespan, years only, in parentheses. Because we did not include a given name index, checking or not checking "Combined index" in this section is irrelevant. (Note that I could not see any difference in the index if "Also use sort template" was checked or not.)
  2. Three different place elements are included in our Places index: place detail (L2), city (L3), and county (L4). The larger containing elements for each one are listed largest element first; e.g., "Vermont, Caledonia Co." are the larger containing elements for index entry "Danville."
  3. Although we played with the Marriages index, we did not include it in this report. Note that separate bridge and groom indexes can be created or the two can be combined.
  4. Checking "Combined index" in this area combines the People and Places indexes. This might be okay for a small report, but might be very confusing for a larger report.
  5. We liked the appearance of the index when the subheadings were indented. It seemed very clean and clear. Would you like to know what the index looks like when "Merge all indexes" is checked? Experiment! :-)
If you include extensive narratives in your journal reports, you must also index those narratives. This can be done in Word (or your word-processor of choice), or it can be done in TMG. Of course, you want your manually coded index entries to match those created by your TMG option choices. Are you ready for Part Three?

If you don't want to mess around with adding index codes to your TMG memo fields, but you do want to learn more about formatting your index, skip Part Three and head straight to Part Four.

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