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Mike Talbot

Creative uses of composite TMG charts

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If you look at the example posted, THANKS VIRGINIA, I am not using images at all. Are you saying I can define a PEDIGREE chart in TMG with boxes? I don't see that option. That's what I would like, but only see the option for boxes in reports sent to VCF.


One thing I see is you have the date and place in one data field. I have been using two. I haven't got the time or patience to try that tonight (taught Kindergarten today) but will try it tomorrow. I think that may save me enough space in the ones were I have


B. 14 Jun 1865

in VA


If I can squeeze that all to

B.14 Jun 1865 in VA



then that would save me at least ten rows. Also noticed that I have a blank line where places aren't given that I could lose altogether. I may actually be able to keep my place styles, which I prefer. <G> I changed just the women and almost got it within 11!


I would need to then move the first generation as you said to get it within 8 inches, but that's easily doable. I can't thank you guys enough! I am so excited. I have longed for a chart like this for ages. Now I just have to make the changes to the men and print it out. If I can get my page to work, the later ones ought to work fine.


We have had a semantics problem. You were using correct TMG terminology where a PEDIGREE is a PDF format chart-like report. I was thinking in generic genealogy terms where a Pedigree Chart = Seize Quartiers = a 5 gen Ancestry Chart. I was wrong (or right about the wrong thing).


I stopped using the TMG Pedigree report way back in the TMG 4 days and forgot about it until your last message jogged my memory. Reasons: TMG-PDF output is inflexible, unattractive, no images, I have had a multitude of PDF related problems and then- VCF lights up my day (I'm predjudiced toward VCF).


The Compressed Pedigree is not too bad, if you don't often have trouble with PDF and can settle for incomplete data.


All the things that I wrote were true, but only about VCF charts. Please forgive my misunderstanding. You could produce a chart identical to the Pedigree one that you posted using VCF.


If you must use the TMG PDF Pedigree report, add to your Wish List:

Overlap the first (or first two) generation(s), there's lots of room for that.


You might still try the 6 pt. font (and different fonts) for all but the name (and eliminate prepositions, I never liked cyber-English. It looks so computer generated <g>). I hope that all the VCF related stuff in this topic will be useful to someone, someday.


Best wishes and mea culpa,

Mike Talbot



No problem, you are stating the exact same reasons that I don't like it. I was able to play with the one line data and got the chart I want. The husband box is slightly larger than the womans because of the marriage event, so I am going to try and put in a blank line and see if that will give a more uniform look and yet still stay on one page. The one reason I prefer the PEDIGREE chart is mine prints 89 pages. In VCF I would have to enter each ancestor as a separate chart. In the PEDIGREE chart, I enter my name and it formats all 89 charts. If there was an option for something like that in VCF, then I'd be a happy camper. :)

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Mike, I'm confused by Teresa's Pedigree reference also - as you can see. I thought your suggestions for compacting her chart were great - and I learned a few new things.





I am trying to get a 5 generation PEDIGREE chart with boxes. The thing is when I run a PEDIGREE chart from TMG .(REPORTS>PEDIGREE CHART) it will automatically format the continued on pages. The chart runs 89 pages. If I try to do the same chart in VCF, I can get the boxes, but I have to then create a chart for each ancestor, add the continued on part, etc.


WHat I would like is for TMG to print the 5 generation pedigree chart with boxes (preferably allow me to pick from the fancy frames) without me having to use VCF at all. The TMG Pedigree chart has to be the ugliest and hardest to read chart of any genealogy program I have ever used. Putting the data into boxes would help a great deal.


Running the same chart from VCF would require me to set up 89 different charts, then edit each one. That's not something I would want to do on a regular basis.

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Attached is an update of Gen. Patton’s ancestor chart. It is augmented with data realized as omitted or discovered after it was first posted. Virginia’s color box fill technique (see that topic in this forum) was used to emphasize Patton’s royal descents.



Since the old chart had so much hand editing and additions from standard TMG charts, it was preserved. New standard charts were generated (this is a composite chart). Just the components that had changed on the new charts were copied and pasted over the old chart. This editing of the old chart resulted in far less work than editing a new composite TMG-VCF chart from scratch.




For old movie buffs, a chart on Mickey Rooney’s family and “friends” is also attached. It demonstrates how a large number of boxes can fit on a letter size chart. Explanatory text has been added both inside and outside the boxes.



This chart is not a composite of many charts. It began as a single large standard TMG Descendant Chart on Rooney’s father. Rooney’s paramours were each linked to him in the TMG database by a non-standard tag in the marriage group (the only non-standard tag that I ever use). Components were moved to force-fit them to letter size paper using VCF. Many connector lines were deleted and replaced by fewer lines for clarity. Photos were imported.



Note, that many boxes and components have been overlapped (such as boxes partially covering other boxes) to save space. Connector lines to non-biologically related people have been changed from red to blue and have been simplified and moved for clarity. Inserted photos have been used as partial backgrounds.



Since some of the Rooney data is based on celebrity rumors and gossip, it may contain errors.




Instead of frustration when serious projects hang-fire, you may find such non-related projects to be fun, relaxing and informative. It is certain that you will learn many useful techniques that can directly apply to your more serious pursuits. I know that I do.



Do it your way,


Mike Talbot



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Attached is a Relationship Chart made from a composite of standard VCF Ancestor Chart components. Text was hand added with VCF and two pictures were imported. This type of chart is a big hit with your relatives.


With this post, I renew my long standing plea and fervent wish that TMG replace the current word processor oriented Relationship Chart (useful but unattractive, inflexable, no exhibits and truncates text in long lines) with a VCF version.


Best wishes,

Mike Talbot


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The first attached example is a 5 gen. Ancestor Chart on the ever-popular Bonnie Prince Charlie. The raw chart, as generated by TMG, was 11 x 16 inches, primarily due to many exhibits.

To edit the chart to one sheet of letter size paper, 15 selections of components were moved upwards with VCF, as follows. Select all components below the top box in the fifth generation and jog it upwards, taking care to not cover desired data or image parts. Do this sequentially for the last 14, fifth gen. boxes. Note that this resulted in a significant overlap of boxes in the fifth generation. With a little practice, you will learn to estimate how much to overlap. If you misjudge, you can tweak things the other way (a wee bit tedious but worth the effort).


The first 2 generations were then overlapped as described in a previous post, by moving two selections of components to the left.

A Descendant Chart was also generated to develop the boxes for his 3 spouses (1 wife, 2 mistresses, hand edited to name children). These 3 boxes were then copied and pasted to the Ancestor Chart. Several components had to be moved a little to make room for the spouse boxes at the desired place.


Two images were inserted into the chart and moved to the back to serve as partial background for the chart. Virginia's box fill color technique was used to emphasize royal ancestors. All of this was easier done than said.


The next two attached examples are Descendant Charts on the Barrymore family and the Tyrone Power family and friends. Each was a large single Descendant Chart (about 1 x 2 feet) as generated by TMG. Components were moved with VCF so that each chart fit on a letter size page (8.25 x 10.45 on my printer).


Many connector lines were deleted and replaced with a simpler line structure. Red lines show biological connections, blue lines are for social connections. Note that many boxes overlap one another to save space. Yes, some genealogy chart standards are violated in these examples. But, when the meaning is clear, why not? Virginia's box fill color technique was used to emphasize the descendants.


These data and charts have been compiled over many years. Some modifications are recent to take advantage of valuable lessons learned from this forum. It should be noted that it is usually quicker and easier to modify a complex chart than to start from scratch when data changes occur (copy and paste components from new charts to old).

Interest in this topic still seems high. Please let me know when you tire of these example charts or would like more detail on a specific technique or a different application. Remember, you may have to switch to "full screen" mode to view the bottom of some charts.

Best wishes and enjoy VCF for those special charts,


Mike Talbot




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In the chart on Bonnie Prince Charlie, in the previous post, Stewart was consistently mispelled as Stuart. Well, at least I was consistent.


Sorry about that,

Mike Talbot

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The attached 4 generation descendant chart was edited in VCF to fit on legal size paper (8.5 x 14 inches). The unedited chart, as generated by TMG, was 12 x 16 inches.


Gen. George Patton's ancestry chart was posted in a previous message in this topic. General Patton’s Descendant Chart was chosen for two reasons. Many of the complexities of most families are found among his descendants. And, to further honor the finest military mind of the 20th Century, perhaps in all American history, in my opinion. Had Patton’s political skills been commensurate with his military skills, WWII in Europe could have ended a year sooner. Casualties on both sides would have been significantly reduced. Central Europe would have been saved from almost half-a-century of oppression and stagnation in the communist abyss. The “Cold-War” may not have been. Again, all of this is my considered opinion from a study of the actual events.


The goals for editing the large chart were to make it fit on a standard paper size and to eliminate the confusing connector lines between descendants and their spouses. Two rules were self-imposed for this clarification. Descendant and spouse boxes should touch or even overlap where possible. Spouse boxes should remain offset from descendant boxes, but perhaps less so, to conserve space. An added benefit of offsetting spouse boxes from descendant boxes is that all descendants within a generation can be separately group-selected from spouses using the shift-key/draw-rectangle method and vice-versa. This offset is also useful if you later decide to color-fill certain types of boxes.


When there are multiple spouses and the genealogical complexities do not allow all spouse boxes to touch, different colored (or gray-scale if b/w) connector lines were used to differentiate social from biological relationships.


The first editing was done to eliminate the ambiguous and confusing connector lines between the descendants and their spouses. Those connector lines were group selected for each generation, using the shift-key/draw-rectangle method, and deleted.


Next, the descendants, already offset/indented from spouses as generated, were easily group-selected and moved down to touch the first spouse for each generation. Subsequent spouses were individually moved as needed. The arrow jog-keys were frequently used to move selections and components when finer control was needed than is possible with the mouse. (Note, the jog-keys will sometimes freeze-up and be ineffective. Tapping the Esc-key will usually free them for renewed action.)


Then, entire generations were group-selected and moved to the left to compact the chart width. This shortened the connector lines from parents to kids.


Next, the Patton and wife boxes were moved from the far right of the chart to the upper- right and the connector was redrawn. Then the 5 large picture JPG files were imported.


Finally, group-selections and individual components were moved about to make them all fit in the desired space and supporting text was added. This is the hard part and depends on perseverance and practice. As you practice, your skill, vision of what needs to be done to meet your goals and speed will greatly increase. The chart was then trimmed using the size to components in the tools menu.


Save your intermediate work, often. I wish that I could better describe each step in the peocess.


Making such fancy charts for everyone in your database is neither recommended nor even practical. But, do use them often for those special areas and cases that interest you the most and you would like to share with others. The Ahnentafel Report and Descendant Indented Chart can satisfy most requirements when large masses of many generations of people are involved.


Best wishes,

Mike Talbot


PS: You might need to switch to full-screen mode to scroll to the bottom of this chart.


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A Christmas Idea


Produce a set of a descendant and an ancestor TMG-VCF chart for your favorite relative. Place the two charts back-to-back in a transparent sheet-protector and attach it to their present.


Examples of the types of charts that make perfect gifts are attached, using Marie Josephe Rose de la Pagerie Tascher as the example subject. Her family and friends called her Rose, but her second husband called her Josephine. History remembers her as the Emperess Josephine, first wife of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.


See previous posts in this topic and those topics started by Virginia for the methods used to produce and edit such VCF charts.


Josephine's 4 gen. descendants are VCF edited to fit on legal size paper and her children's 5 gen. ancestors are edited to letter size.


If you need help or have suggestions, post your questions and comments in this forum.


Merry Christmas and Holidays,

Mike Talbot



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