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Barbara Grempler

How can I preview sentence output?

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How can I preview sentence output?

Applies to: TMG


Answer (TMG v7): The Sentence Preview feature in TMG v7 helps you to predict what a sentence will look like in a report. On the Tag Entry window, click the [sentence] button to edit the sentence for the current tag. (The [sentence] button is available if you have set File > Preferences > Data Entry > Data Entry Mode to "Advanced".) The Sentence structures window shows a preview of the output from the current sentence.


If you enable the "Recalculate the preview with each keystroke" option, the preview will be updated as you edit the sentence. Otherwise, you have to press the [Refresh] button to update the preview. Some users find the real-time updating distracting, and those users should disable the "Recalculate the preview with each keystroke" option.


Answer (TMG v6 and previous): TMG does not include a sentence preview feature: you can not see the sentence with the variable codes replaced by the appropriate tag data without running a report. As a result, many users create a custom toolbar button to minimize the steps necessary to produce a "sentence preview" report. Follow the instructions below to add such a button to your toolbar.

  • Select a report type, either an Individual Narrative or Journal.
  • Make a new report, or select an existing report. Customize it according to your preferences.
  • Set the focus to "Use the Current Focus Person."
  • Print to: Screen.
  • In Options, select "Bypass the Report Definition Screen when this report is called from a toolbar button."
  • Assign an appropriate Configuration Name for the Report and remember it: you'll need that in a subsequent step.
  • To customize the toolbar, access View > Toolbars > Customize (or right-click on the toolbar and choose Customize).
  • From the Unused Buttons: column > Select Run a report of a specific name > Add > Select Report from the drop-down list.
  • Enter a description in the ToolTip message and Select the Text or Icon to appear on your button.

When you click on the button, from the toolbar, the report will preview to the screen.


By the way, some users choose HTML output for their preview report. That way, they can review the report output in their web browser and switch back and forth to TMG to modify tags, etc.

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