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Using split memo field in ancestor chart


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#1 Dave Dalton

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 08:01 AM

I'm in the process of entering lots of records into TMG, and I have found that generating an Ancestor chart provides a quick check of where I am in this process and just what area up the line from a particular person needs attention. I have created a custom tag to keep track of my progress entering all the data available from a particular source into a person's record, but I can't display this tag on the ancestor chart (unless I have missed that option :o ?). What I am able to do is to add a field in the chart options, Data Types tab, consisting of a split memo, in my case "Birth* Memo2", and am then able to add to that split memo field a code that tells me where I am, in the form of ||code||. But I am having a couple of problems:

1) I must add a non-blank character before the first double lines or the report misses the memo split. The "Memo" help screen on this doesn't look like this would be necessary (it states that a blank must be placed between double lines after the first, but not before the first). Is this normal? A bug or a feature?
2). I would much rather place this code in the memo field of the person's name (Name-Var tag), but can't find how to activate it in the chart options Data Types tab.

Finally, is there a better way to do this?
Thanks, Dave Dalton

#2 Michael Hannah

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:21 AM

Hi Dave,

I don' t use that report much, so maybe some other user will have some suggestions about your memo. However, I do use color Accents in TMG a lot. Have you considered having a custom Flag that you can set to various values to show your progress? I do that, and have the person in TMG have a specific Accent color based on that Flag. Helps me in the Picklists, etc., to see who still needs editing. I notice on the Ancestor Chart Options in the Boxes tab that you can color various parts of a person's box using Accents. Maybe Accent colors based on a Flag will be sufficient to indicate on the chart the editing status for the person?

Hope this gives you ideas,
Michael
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#3 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 09:42 AM

Make sure the custom tag is marked Primary (with the *).

Here's one way to do it, using just a code number with no preceding text in the example. I made a custom tag with the title 'Progress' and preceded the split memo with the '>' character: >||123||. Since you have not included Memo 1 in the chart, the '>' character will not appear in the chart. In the report definition Data Types I selected Progress*Label: Memo2. The result in the Ancestor Chart is 'Progress: 123.'

Not sure if that is what you have in mind, but it may give you some ideas.

Virginia
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#4 RobinL

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 01:37 PM

On 25 May 2007, I reported a bug that the split Memo output for fields other than M1 within VCF requires that M1 has some non blank content for this to work. (28494)

Unfortunately, it now over 2 years since there have been any bug fixes to VCF. Let us hope that this area has some attention as TMG 8 is being prepared.
Robin Lamacraft
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#5 Dave Dalton

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 05:32 AM

Have you considered having a custom Flag that you can set to various values to show your progress? I do that, and have the person in TMG have a specific Accent color based on that Flag.

Michael, I had not looked at that option before you pointed it out. But after thinking a bit more about what it is that I want to do, I've decided that I really want a more robust entry in the chart to describe where I am with a particular person. The split memo field does that nicely. I can then also use the accent color feature to give me an even better indication of entry status.

Make sure the custom tag is marked Primary (with the *).
Here's one way to do it, using just a code number with no preceding text in the example. I made a custom tag with the title 'Progress' and preceded the split memo with the '>' character: >||123||. Since you have not included Memo 1 in the chart, the '>' character will not appear in the chart. In the report definition Data Types I selected Progress*Label: Memo2. The result in the Ancestor Chart is 'Progress: 123.'

Virginia, Is there a good explanation of the use of these tag fields somewhere? The best way that I've found to learn them is to pick my way through the various "Selected Tag Types" for box content options and to try them, which is slow, even with my fast system. For example, you point out in the first line of your response to use a "Primary" (with the *)" tag. What's that all about? And just why is there a set of tag types in alphabetical order towards the top of this very long list of tag types, then another alphabetical list below?

All, before I go forward with using the birth tag for this split memo entry, I would like to determine whether I can place it in the Name-Var memo field, which would be better because each person has one of these, but not necessarily a birth tag.

Thanks again,
Dave Dalton

#6 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 06:46 AM

Dave -

The first alphabetized group of tag types is the tag type 'Groups": Address Group, Burial Group, Death Group, etc. followed by individual tag types. (See Help for Tag Groups). There are specific options for the tag type split memos - Memo1, Memo2, etc.

Primary, from Help:
----------------------
Primary Tag
TMG allows multiple tags for the same type of event, relationship, or name.  It is necessary to designate one of these as "primary."  The primary designation will be used by Visual Chartform and at other times when only one tag of a type is expected. Primary tags are designated with an asterisk (*) or bold type, depending on the setting in File > Preferences > Program Options: Tag Box.

To use bold instead of asterisk to identify primary events:
Under File > Preferences > Program Options: Tag Box, click on Bold next to Identify Primary Event with.

To use bold instead of asterisk to identify primary names:
Under File > Preferences > Program Options: Project Explorer , click on Bold next to Identify Primary Name with.

----------------------

Also see Terry's tips on Primary tags:

http://tmg.reigelridge.com/Primary.htm

Virginia
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#7 Dave Dalton

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 05:51 AM

Virginia, thanks for the quick tutorial. That brought it all back to me. I then went to Getting the Most Out of The Master Genealogist to review further. It makes sense now.

After thinking more about it, I changed the name of the "ToDo" tag I had created earlier, calling it "Progress" like yours (describes the function better) and with a last updated date in the date field and sorting it to the very top of each person's list of tags in the date sort field, I am placing a summary in Memo 1 that can be as large as needs be and a quick summary in Memo 2 for printing on the Ancestor chart to help keep track of where I am. I also have a couple of custom flags to help me keep track of progress.

This begs a larger question. My family database is about 900 names now, entered mostly several years ago into another genealogy program from a list that had no supporting evidence. What I am doing now is researching all of this database and documenting (citing) evidence, changing relationships, and adding previously unknown people. Much of that evidence on the Cajun/Acadian side of my family is now available for quick reference in Stephen White's Dictionnaire Généalogique des Familles Acadiennes, which I finally obtained a copy of and which I refer to to access my copies of the original documentation for proof and citation.

Because of this, it is difficult to keep track of just where I am with these record updates. Questions like whether I have exhausted all of the references on a certain person contained in that dictionnaire and in other places, whether a person's entry is substantially complete otherwise, whether I can go further up the line or whether this entry is the top level, etc., have to be answered and tracked.

Is there a better way to keep track of progress updating an existing database? I'm sure most TMG users are faced with this, so this shouldn't be a unique question. Perhaps it need to go into another forum?

Thanks again,
Dave Dalton

#8 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:10 AM

That sounds like a good system, Dave. I think you'll find the experienced users on the TMG-L rootsweb mailing list a good resource for questions about tracking progress. You can subscribe here.

I use small 'working' charts, both descendant and ancestor, a lot in TMG. There are a number of threads here in the VCF forum on making working charts.

Virginia
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