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#1 Morbius

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 05:49 AM

I have reached a point where I have to start generating useful results from years of research. I think the Journal Report would be the best method, but I have no real experience with this report, and was wondering if anyone had any hints or recommendations.

I am looking to print and save reports as digital files. All my data for several lines of research are in a single project. There are multiple family lines, and I intend to generate a report for each family, even though some individuals will show up in more than one report. The files for some families will likely be quite large, involving several thousand people with a number of photos as embedded exhibits (only photos, though some individuals have more than one). I expect to generate the reports (one per family line) in MS Word, do the editing, and save as pdf files.

I haven't spent much time configuring sentence structure, so there will be significant editing (I have a daughter to help with this, so the reports will be shared via email). I want to include footnotes or endnotes (not sure which is best, but I am thinking endnotes; there will be a lot of them) and a bibliography as part of the report.

I am particularly interested in hints on dealing with endnotes/footnotes and the exhibits. I am also wondering about potential problems with the very large wird files that will likely result. I would appreciate any suggestions and comments.

#2 Jim Byram

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 06:57 AM

There are likely to be problems with the report sizes. I don't know there would be any size issues generating the files to PDF. If you use Word or LibreOffice, I'd use the 64-bit versions. There also might be a difference as to whether the output file is a Word or RTF document. You'll need to experiment if you hit any size issues.



#3 Terry Reigel

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Posted 12 October 2016 - 07:14 AM

If you create large files for Word with many footnotes or endnotes you will not be able to open them - Word will give a meaningless error message that totally disguises the fact that the issue is number of notes.  Try Jim's suggestions to use other word processors and/or output in RTF format.


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See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#4 Morbius

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 09:59 AM

Thanks for the information.  I have been experimenting some with the journal report.  One, to decide which format to use (FEHGR, NGSQ, TAG or custom), and there doesn't seem to be any significant difference in the formats.  Two, to understand the file size problem.  I am anticipating some really large files (I have been at this since 1987), and I am wondering.

 

In the report options tab, there is something called "Master Document File(s)."  One option is "One Per Generation."  If I understand this, it would break up the single journal report files, into multiple files; one for each generation.  It seems like this would greatly ease the file size problem, if I truly understand it..  Once the files are generated and edited, it should be too difficult to combine them into a single document.

 

One other thing I noticed while fiddling around, was something called "Combined Consecutive Footnotes/Endnotes."  I experiment with this some, and while it doesn't much reduce the test associated with endnotes, it does greatly reduce the number of endnotes.  I wonder if this would also help the file size problem.

 

thanks



#5 Terry Reigel

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 01:14 PM

Thanks for the information.  I have been experimenting some with the journal report.  One, to decide which format to use (FEHGR, NGSQ, TAG or custom), and there doesn't seem to be any significant difference in the formats.


You're welcome. The three journal formats are intended to replicate the standards of the respective journals. They do that by manipulating the various options on the Miscellaneous tab. Custom lets you set those options yourself. When you choose Custom it starts with the settings of the last journal option you has selected.
 

Two, to understand the file size problem.  I am anticipating some really large files (I have been at this since 1987), and I am wondering.
 
In the report options tab, there is something called "Master Document File(s)."  One option is "One Per Generation."  If I understand this, it would break up the single journal report files, into multiple files; one for each generation.  It seems like this would greatly ease the file size problem, if I truly understand it..  Once the files are generated and edited, it should be too difficult to combine them into a single document.

That's what is supposed to do. I've never tried it, but I recall comments that there were issues with it, but don't know whether the issues were with TMG or with Word. I recall hearing separately that the master document feature in Word had issues, but that's some time ago so don't know whether it applies to current versions. Please let us know if you try it what your results are.
 

One other thing I noticed while fiddling around, was something called "Combined Consecutive Footnotes/Endnotes."  I experiment with this some, and while it doesn't much reduce the test associated with endnotes, it does greatly reduce the number of endnotes.  I wonder if this would also help the file size problem.

That will reduce the number of notes, and I think the number, rather than the volume, of notes is the issue with Word but since M/S won't explain what the issue actually is it's hard to know.


Terry

See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#6 Jim Byram

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 02:31 PM

Just a note... If you want to use 'Include spouse events' on the Miscellaneous tab (which you are likely to want), you must select 'Custom  format' for the style on the General tab. You can try the three predefined styles and note the different selections for each and those settings that you prefer with the custom style. I use a custom report configuration using the custom style that is a mix of the settings used in the predefined styles.



#7 Ann Shepherd

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 03:25 PM

Thanks for the information.  I have been experimenting some with the journal report.  One, to decide which format to use (FEHGR, NGSQ, TAG or custom), and there doesn't seem to be any significant difference in the formats.  Two, to understand the file size problem.  I am anticipating some really large files (I have been at this since 1987), and I am wondering.

 

In the report options tab, there is something called "Master Document File(s)."  One option is "One Per Generation."  If I understand this, it would break up the single journal report files, into multiple files; one for each generation.  It seems like this would greatly ease the file size problem, if I truly understand it..  Once the files are generated and edited, it should be too difficult to combine them into a single document.

 

One other thing I noticed while fiddling around, was something called "Combined Consecutive Footnotes/Endnotes."  I experiment with this some, and while it doesn't much reduce the test associated with endnotes, it does greatly reduce the number of endnotes.  I wonder if this would also help the file size problem.

 

thanks

 

Hi, Just a couple of comments as I've grappled, and am still grappling, with the issue of the large amount of data I wish to produce in journal format. I've been researching for 10 years less than you have but do have a great deal of information and many thousands of exhibits for the 6,500 plus in the family I wish to produce a journal for.

As far back as 2008 I tried to get the Master Documents process to work and it failed every time. I asked some of the TMG experts at the conference cruise in that year and they thought it should work, though not many had tried it. One thought was that it might be  limitations in Word - but I knew that Word could handle very large documents using the Master documents process as at my work we had done it for a large inquiry and produced multi-volume printed reports. (Though we had to work very closely at times with Microsoft experts in this country who did say we were pushing this to its limit.) Therefore I don't know why my Master docs wouldn't work in TMG - maybe the interaction between TMG and Word for this process with very large files, maybe Word limitations ... 

So my obvious suggestion is that you experiment very early in the piece with Word output - Master document or otherwise - beginning with reasonably small reports and expanding on them if possible. I tried doing journal reports for individual branches - 3500+ pages. Just not viable as printed output. Custom format is definitely the way to go as you can do quite a few things to simplify and reduce output.

In the end I'm opting for a printed book for the 1st 4 generations of the family (using TMG custom journal output as a 1st draft) and Second Site output for the rest.

Just some thoughts to add to the mix. I'd be very interested in your experiments and final decision.

Ann



#8 Morbius

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 11:41 AM

An update.  I have continued to experiment with the journal report; with some success, though I am still struggling a little with the sometimes odd sentences that come out of the database. 

 

I tried some small files (100 people or so, of three generations) using the "Master Document File(s)" function.  The files came out ok, but I had to go through a process of combined the three resulting files.  Kind of a pain, but really just a matter of editing.  I will continue working with this, using larger groups of people, and will report out my results, if there continues to be an interest.

 

I also tried the "Combined Consecutive Footnotes/Endnotes."  While there were much fewer endnotes, the amount of text didn't really vary all that much, and I found it hard to sort out which sources were listed in each endnote.  With three or more combined endnotes, it was difficult to sort out where one citation ended and the next one started.  Unless I am forced to in order to reduce overall file size, I don't think I will use this function.

 

I am still having a little difficulty getting a good sentence structure; a couple of examples.  A person with several variations of their name (my grandmother has about 20 such variations), and residence tags. 

 

As set up, the database generates a single sentence for each name (I track all of the name variations I find, as an aide to searching for people in the pick list).  I know that these sentences can be combined, but I would have to find and combine all the names for each person.  I am wondering if there is a way to rewrite the basic sentence structure in the tag to combine (concatenate?) with other name tags that may or may not be there. 

 

For residence tags, I include all members of the household as a means of tracking the ebb and flow of a families residences over time (census records would be the best example of this); with parents as the primaries and others (children, relatives, etc.) as witnesses.  The resulting residence tag makes for an easy way of tracking families, but for some clumsy sentence structure.  Any thoughts?



#9 Morbius

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 11:42 AM

I forgot to mention, I have decided to use the "Custom" Journal Report format.



#10 Terry Reigel

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Posted 28 October 2016 - 12:20 PM

An update.  I have continued to experiment with the journal report; with some success, though I am still struggling a little with the sometimes odd sentences that come out of the database.


If you are using the standard Sentences you should expect the narratives to be stilted, or worse. If you care about the quality of the narratives you really need to customize the Sentences for each Tag Type so they work well with the way you use them.

If you really care about the quality of the narratives you need to create different Roles to suit different situations, and/or customize the Sentences is some individual Tags.
 

I tried some small files (100 people or so, of three generations) using the "Master Document File(s)" function.  The files came out ok, but I had to go through a process of combined the three resulting files.  Kind of a pain, but really just a matter of editing.  I will continue working with this, using larger groups of people, and will report out my results, if there continues to be an interest.


I would like to know how you find that works. I hope to publish some books that would be pretty long and may need to use that technique.
 

I also tried the "Combined Consecutive Footnotes/Endnotes."  While there were much fewer endnotes, the amount of text didn't really vary all that much, and I found it hard to sort out which sources were listed in each endnote.  With three or more combined endnotes, it was difficult to sort out where one citation ended and the next one started.


Combined notes are helpful in theory but really don't work well if you have long notes, especially the first footnote when you include notes in the Comments field of the Source Definition to explain the note.

Do consider how many of the Citations you want to appear in the output. You can exclude those that are repetitive or don't really add anything. My "rule" is to show no more than three, sometimes fewer, unless the sources are conflicting and I think more are needed to explain.
 

As set up, the database generates a single sentence for each name (I track all of the name variations I find, as an aide to searching for people in the pick list).  I know that these sentences can be combined, but I would have to find and combine all the names for each person.  I am wondering if there is a way to rewrite the basic sentence structure in the tag to combine (concatenate?) with other name tags that may or may not be there.


First, I'd suggest you reconsider whether you want all those variations to appear in reports. I include in reports only 1) the one name I think the person actually used, 2) nicknames that are not obvious diminutives of that name including cases where the person went by a middle name almost exclusively, 3) cases where a person substantially changed his or her name, and 4) "farm names." While recording variations may be useful in research, my view is readers of a report don't want to wade through them.

If you want you can concatenate the output of different Tags by putting the [+] code in front of the Sentence of all Tags after the first (I assume that works for Sentences of Name Tags - I see it is not on the right-click menu for them). However I think you will find that you need to not use that code on the first name to be displayed (remember that the primary Name Tag is not actually output but it combined with the first other Tag.) This means I think that you would have to assign one Name Tag Type to the first name, and another to all following Name Tags. Roles would be useful for this but they are not supported for Name Tags.
 

For residence tags, I include all members of the household as a means of tracking the ebb and flow of a families residences over time (census records would be the best example of this); with parents as the primaries and others (children, relatives, etc.) as witnesses.  The resulting residence tag makes for an easy way of tracking families, but for some clumsy sentence structure.  Any thoughts?


Are you talking about the output for the parents or the children? What Sentences are you using? You might look at my Census Tag for one idea about how to output the names of children in the household with the parents, and also output for the children. It is described in an article on my website.


Terry

See my Tutorials and Articles on using TMG at tmg.reigelridge.com

The Second Edition of my book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is still available
. For more information see my website.

#11 Morbius

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 04:07 PM

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions, and I have continued to experiment with this.  I can see right away a major error.  All this time I have been happily collecting and collating data on a variety of families, but I failed to put enough thought into sentence structure of the tags recording that data.  Much of this can be done in editing, but good sentence structure would eliminate much of that effort.  I am afraid it may be too late to fix a lot of that globally, but I'll try to figure out that as I go.  The one journal report I have generated had only 210 people (file size 726kb) so I haven't hit the size barrier yet.  But, I am thinking I am wanting to compile and ancestors family and an allied family (e.g. a spouses family) into a single report.  Combining the two sets of data and footnotes shouldn't be a problem, but I am wondering if there is a simple way of combining the two bibliographies?






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