Terry's Second Site Tips

Tag Groups

This page updated 19 Apr 2013

Version note: Applies to Second Site 5 & 6

Tag Groups allow one to separate the Tags that are output in Person Pages into groups, which then can be separated from other groups of Tags to be placed in a specific sequence, and if desired formatted differently. This article describes that feature and offers some suggestions for its use. Other articles in my Second Site Section cover other topics about customizing your site.

Topics Included in this Article
Understanding the concept of Tag Groups
Adding Tag Groups
Creating additional Groups
Modifying the appearance of a Tag Group
A Second Example
Using Tag Groups to create links to other pages

Tag Groups are one of the many items that are controlled in the Pages > Person Entry section. The functions of that section are described in my Customizing Your Site article.


Conceptually, Tag Groups are relatively simple. Using them involves these steps:

By default, all Tags are in the Body group, will be displayed according to the Format selected for the site, and will appear in Sort Date sequence.

Also by default, there is a BMDB First group, composed of all Tags in the Birth, Marriage, Death and Burial groups. It is also of the Body Type. This Group is by default inactive, unless your sdf file was imported from an older version of Second Site, and in that version had the "BMDB First" option selected.

To group the BMDB Tags at the beginning of each person's section, as is done by default in TMG's Journal reports, you simply make the BMDB Group active. In the Pages > Person Entry section click in the box in front of the BMDB First group, as shown in the screenshot below.

One appealing application for Tag Groups would be to collect all census Tags in a separate group, and present them in a table format to separate them from other Tags. Help contains some suggestions that should assist in doing this. To access that Help page, open a Tag Group and press F1.

The following sections describe some other applications for the Tag Group feature, and suggest some ways to modify the formatting of Groups. The two sections that follow provide detailed instructions, using as an example a Narrative Panel to highlight research notes included for various people in a narrative-style site. Following that is a second example illustrating how Tag Groups can be used to provide a special section providing links to a Custom Page for specific people.

In the first example the objective is to create a boxed note as seen here:


Adding Tag Groups

To create a new Group for special treatment of some Tags, go to the Pages > Person Entry section and click the Add button. This opens the Choose Item Type screen, from which you choose Tag Group and click OK.

Edit Flag Events Screen

This opens the Edit Tag Groups screen:

In this example I am creating a separate Group for my Research Notes Tag. I use that Tag to record significant concerns about the data for a particular person, such as questions about whether I have the correct parents for that person. I want that Tag to appear after all other Tags, and to have the text set off in a box from the other text about the person.

On the Edit Tag Group screen I've entered data in these fields:

In assigning Tags to Groups, Second Site examines first all Panel Groups, in the order in which they appear in the list in the Pages > Person Entry section, then all Body Groups. If the Exclude option is checked in each Group, Tags that appear in earlier Groups do not appear again in later one even if they would otherwise be included.

Because of this design generally you should not change the Flag Filter for the main Body Group to "Selected." Typically that Group is processed last, and will include only Tag Types not specified to be in other Groups. Changing its Tag Filter to "Selected" requires you to remember to select any new Tag Types you may create later, or they will be omitted from your site.

On the Narrative Panel tab, I selected the "New Paragraph" Option. Since this is a Panel Group, which would automatically be set off from neighboring text, this would not ordinarily be necessary. But since I use this Tag Type also in TMG reports, the Sentence for it begins with formatting codes to set of the output off this Tag from others in TMG's narrative reports. Checking this option causes any leading formatting, which is not needed in Second Site, to be ignored.

Other types of Panel Groups have other options on their corresponding tabs. Help explains them fully; to access it press the F1 key while the Edit Tag Group screen is displayed.

I want the note created by this Tag to be in a box centered horizontally on the page, so I made the following settings on the Panel Options tab:

Panel Options

From the Alignment drop-down list I selected "Center." I entered zero in the Width field so that the width of the Panel can be set by the reader's browser. I then adjusted that to 80% of the browser width with styles, as discussed below.

The box around this note and other formatting details were produced by Stylesheet settings, as discussed next.

Using Styles to Modify the Appearance of a Group

The appearance of most items in a site created with Second Site is controlled by Stylesheets, as described in my article on Customizing Your Site. This section discusses some specific styles that are useful in modifying the appearance of Tag Groups. There are a group of Styles in the Stylesheets > System > Tag Groups section that apply specifically to Tag Groups, as outlined in the screenshot below:

Syles for Tag Groups

In the example in the preceding section we defined a Narrative Panel Tag Group for research notes tags. This screenshot shows how I modified the styles in the Stylesheets > System > Narrative Panel section to create the appearance shown in the sample output shown above. I made the following changes from the default values:

A Second Example

This example illustrates a method of using Tag Groups to create a special section at the top of the People Page section for specific people. In this case, that section provides links to Custom Pages with family background information for the person's family, but the technique would work equally for any other content.

I used Flag Events to create the links. The same result can be obtained with traditional TMG event Tags, but I think using Flag Events is simpler when a lot of people are involved because you do not have to add or remove actual Tags as you add or remove people from the group. Instead you simply change the value of the Flag used to create the Flag Event for each person added or removed. See my Flag Events article for details on how I created the Family Tag used in this example.

The objective was to create a section like that outlined in the example below:


After creating a Flag Event with the Label "Family," as described in my Flag Events article, I created a new Tag Group:


For this application I made the following entries:

On the Table Panel tab of the same screen I made the following selections:


I set the Item Content to display the Memo from my Flag Event, since that is where I placed the HTML code for the link. For the List Output Type I selected "Person Entry List" since that provides a list where the label in the first column is not repeated if there are multiple Tags in the group, matching the labeling of the "Charts" item, for example.

On the Panel Options tab I made the following entries:


I entered 0 in the width field so the link text will fill the entire width of the page if it is that long.

In order to have the section created by this Tag Group appear at the top of each person's Person Page entry, I moved this item to between Chart Membership and the BMDB First Tag Group in the Pages > Person Entry section. Note that the Research Note Group, described in the first example in this article, is placed between the Body Tag Group and the Family Section so it will appear after all other tags. (I sorted all disabled items to the bottom of the list to get them out of the way.)

Sorting Tag Groups

The output of the various Tag Groups and other items appear in the Person Pages in the order they appear in this list. You can re-order the items by selecting one and using the green Up and Down buttons at the bottom of the screen, or by dragging them with your mouse.

These setting produce the "Family Background" section shown in the example at the beginning of this example.


These two examples illustrate but a few of the many possibilities that the Tag Group feature offers to customize one's site. Hopefully they will suggest methods that will serve the needs of others.

ReigelRidge Home Terry's Tips Home Contact Terry


The Second Edition of my sell-out book, A Primer for The Master Genealogist, is now available.

Details are can be seen here.


Copyright 2000- by Terry Reigel