Terry's TMG Tips

Journal Introduction and Conclusion

This page updated 26 Apr 2008

Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9

TMG's Journal reports may optionally include an introduction section that precedes the normal genealogy section, and a concluding section that follows the traditional report. Both sections are useful for discussions that apply to the contents of the report as a whole, as opposed to being linked to a specific person in the report. Some material that might be placed in these sections include the following:

The material for the Introduction and the Conclusion is entered into special Tags – JournalIntro and JournalConclusion. The following sections describe how these special Tags work, and discuss some considerations that may be helpful in making use of them.

For some examples of the use of these special Tag Types, see my article on Producing a “Publishable” Article.


The JournalIntro and JournalConclusion Tags are entered for the person who will be the focus person (starting person) of the Journal report. They have these characteristics:

Considering the points discussed in the following section will help produce the desired results.

Creating a Report Title

Since the normal report title created by values entered in the Report Title field on the General tab of Report Options appears after the Introduction section, most users will want to create an overall title for the report as part of the Introduction. Some useful controls for construction this title include:

Font Control – There are two sections on the right-click menu of Sentences and Memos that can be used to control the font used for the title. The font weight can be directly controlled by using the Format codes for Bold, and the size of the text can be controlled by the Format code for Point Size. With the Point Size control you indicate the point size of the text directly. For example, the following would produce a title in 14 point text:

[SIZE:]14;My Report Title[:SIZE]

An alternate method is to use the standard Font settings on the right-click menu, in which case the actual font characteristics used are controlled by the Fonts tab of Report Options when the report is generated. For example, if one specifies the "Titles" font, the report Options settings for Titles are applied. This will result in the same font setting that are used for the normal report title. The "Labels" font settings seems to be little used by reports, so specifying that font would allow one to use settings for the main title entered as part of the Introduction that are different than those used for the normal report title. These Font controls allow control of the typeface used in addition to the weight and size.

Centering – Most titles are centered. The centering control, described in my article on Centering and Indenting, can be used to achieve that effect.

Placing Font Controls – Best results are probably achieved by placing the font controls in the Memo. Some, such as Point Size, cannot be used in the Sentence to control the way text placed in the Memo or other fields is rendered. Others, such as Bold and Centering can be placed in the Sentence and still apply to the output of fields referenced by variables. Test your work to ensure the desired results are produced.

Since the title produced by the Report Title field in Report Options appears as a subtitle when you add an Introduction section, consider whether it should be changed from the default settings. By default, the Report Title field for a Descendants Journal is

Descendants of [F]

which produces a title similar to

Descendants of Robert Edwards Gapsch

You can enter any title you like, with or without the use of the variable [F], which produces the name of the focus person of the report.

How Many Tags?

The default Sentence for both Tag Types is <[M]> so the default usage would be to enter the desired text in the Memo of the Tag. The report title, and section titles used, as well as the entire text of the Introduction can be placed in the Memo of a single JournalIntro Tag. Similarly, the text of the entire Conclusions section can be placed in a single JournalConclusion Tag. Alternately, one may choose to create a series of Tags of each type, perhaps one for the Title, one for each paragraph of text, and if subtitles are used, one for each subtitle. If multiple Tags are used sort dates must be assigned to sequence them correctly.

The decision as to which method to use seems to be largely personal preference. Some may find it easier to work with the entire text in one tag, while others will prefer to break the Introduction and Conclusion into smaller sections. If citations will be used, placing the entire text in a single or very few Tags will likely require use of Embedded Citations.

One advantage to using separate Tags for various parts is that Roles can be constructed for each different type of section, and those Roles can appear in the Person view for each Tag. For example, one could create Roles for title, subtitles, body text, and indented text.

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