Terry's TMG Tips

Working with Layouts

This page updated 12 Dec 2011

Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9

In TMG you can adjust the size and position of the main program window as you please. Within that window, you can open as many of the following windows as you like, and adjust the size and position of each:

In the main window ("Tag Box") of the Person View, you can turn various columns on or off to display information about each tag, such as the age of the person at the time of the event, presence of witnesses, exhibits, etc. You can adjust the width of each of these columns as you prefer.

You can also display any of seven standard toolbars, and a custom toolbar. You can position them along any edge of the main window, or leave them "floating" within the main window. You can choose from three sizes of icons on the toolbars.

Any arrangement of these windows and toolbars is called a "Layout." TMG ships with several "Standard" layouts for different monitor resolutions. The appropriate one for your system is automatically applied.

You can create custom Layouts to suit your personal needs and preferences, even create different layouts for different types of work you do.

Changing Layout Items

You change the various parts of Layouts as follows:

Main Window – You adjust the size and position of the main window just as you do for any Windows program.

Interior Windows – You turn the individual windows on or off by clicking on their buttons on the Layout Toolbar:

Layout Toolbar

The shaded background indicates windows that are open. You can also open or close these windows from the Windows menu. Open windows can be re-sized and positioned by dragging using standard windows techniques. Note that if you let windows overlap, you cannot control which will appear on top when the Layout is reopened.

Tag Box Columns – The columns that display Age, and the presence of Memo text, Witnesses, Exhibits, Tasks, and Surety are turned on or off from Preferences > Program Options > Tag Box. You can also turn them on or off with the right-click menu in the Tag Box, under "Show columns..." You can specify in the same places that the Date column display the Date or the Sort Date, or that both columns are to be displayed. When you have the desired columns turned on, you can adjust their width, and the width of the other columns, by dragging. Position the mouse cursor in the title bar of the columns, at the divider between two columns, until it becomes a double arrow with a vertical line between them, then click and drag the divider to re-size the column.

Toolbars – You turn toolbars on or off by right-clicking any toolbar, and selecting from the context-sensitive menu that appears. Or, use the View > Menus menu. You select the size of the buttons – small, large, or large with text – from the same menus. Toolbars may be "docked" along the top or either side of the main screen, or can "float" anywhere within the screen. Docked toolbars have a small handle – the vertical bar at the left edge in the screenshot above. Floating toolbars have a title bar at the top like other windows. Move toolbars by clicking and dragging the handle or title bar, and change it's shape by dragging an edge. Toolbars dragged to the top or side of the main screen automatically become docked.

Once you have created a Layout you like, you can save it and recall it later, as described below.

Saving Custom Layouts

You can create and save any number of custom layouts to serve your purposes.

To save a custom layout, you first arrange the screen as you prefer. Then access the Layout Manager from the main menu, using View > Layouts > Manage layouts, or by clicking the button on the Layout Toolbar. In the Layout Manager you can save any number of different layouts, and give each a descriptive name so you can recall it easily later.

Changes to Layouts

When TMG opens, it applies the Layout that was last saved before the program was previously closed. The name of that layout will appear in the box in the Layout toolbar. Adjusting the size or position of either the main window, or any window inside it, "changes" the layout. Opening or closing any interior window is considered a change, as is any adjustment of the toolbars or columns widths.

Any change to the layout causes the name of the current layout to disappear from the box in the toolbar, signaling the change. Also, by default, when you exit the program, you will be prompted to save the changed layout. I find I quickly tire of that prompt, and advise turning it off (by un-checking the "Prompt next time" box on the prompt screen, or in Preferences, under Program Options>Startup and Exit).

Recalling Layouts

The last saved layout is automatically applied when the program is opened, or if you open a new project. You can recall any saved layout at any time by clicking on the drop-down arrow at the right end of the Layout Toolbar, and selecting the desired layout from the list. Or, choose from saved Layouts on the View > Layouts menu.

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