Terry's TMG Tips

A Simplified All-purpose Source Type

This page created 28 Jun 2003

Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9

TMG's system for handling sources is designed to require minimum data input, while having the program construct source notes in the formats suggested for initial citation, subsequent citations, and bibliography entries. But using this automated feature does require entering the source data in a specific format to enable the program to understand it. Some users find that some sources do not fit the supplied templates readily, and others find the whole process to be more than they care to deal with.

The simplified Source Type described here was designed in response to requests on TMG-List for an easier way to enter data in sources.

If You Find the Whole Process More Complicated than You Need:

Then you may find my Simplified Source Type, described below, is just what you are looking for.

If You Use TMG's Source Types, But Occasionally Find a Source that Doesn't Fit Well:

Then you may find my Simplified Source Type, described below, a useful solution, provided you can live without a separate format for initial and subsequent citations, and for the Bibliography.

If you need the ability to specify separate Full and Short form footnotes, you could adapt this model, perhaps by placing the short form entry in the Comment field, but you may be better off just entering your desired text directly in the Output Form tab of the Source Definition screen.

Terry's Simplified Source Type

The idea here is to create a custom Source Type that allows you to enter your source description exactly as you want it to print out, rather than entering various elements in their fields and having the program create the text. This requires a little effort to create the custom template, but once that's done, entering individual Sources may be a simpler process. Here's what is required:

Creating the Custom Template

The first step is to create the new Source Type. There is a detailed description of creating custom Source Types in my article Creating a Custom Source Type. But that may well tell you more than you want to know about the subject, so the short version is here:

1. First, you have be sure your system is set to allow custom sources. By default it is, but if you have imported a Data Set using another Category, or have changed the Category, it might not be. To verify your setting, use the Tools > Source Types menu to open Source Types screen. On the second line of the screen, it will say "Source Categories:" and should be followed by "Custom." If a different Category is shown, see the first section of my article on Creating Custom Source Types for directions for changing it.

2. Next, create your custom Source Type itself. Starting from that same screen, click the Add button to open the Add Source Type screen. In that screen:

a. In the Custom Source Type field, enter a name you will recognize. I'd suggest:

.Simple Sources

Note the period at the beginning; that will make it appear first in the list of Source Types when you create any new Source.

b. In the "is most similar to" field choose anything - it doesn't really matter but an entry is required, and the default Ancestral File entry is fine.

c. In the Full footnote field enter:

[TITLE]<, [CD]>

d. Enter the same for the Short Footnote.

e. In the Bibliography field, enter just:


f. Click OK and then Close to exit those screens and get back to the main screen.

Your custom simple Source Type is done! You never have to do this part again -- from now on you just do the following each time you create a new source.

Using The Simplified Source Type to Enter a New Source

Use the Tools > Master Source List menu to open the Master Source List. Click the Add button, and in the Source Types screen that opens, select your custom Source Type – if you put the period as the first character of it's name it will be the first one on the list. Click the Select button to open the Source Definition Screen. Now enter the information for the new Source:

a. Enter a name for it in the Abbreviation field. That's the name you will see in the Master Source List, and in the Citation box of any tag where you cite this source. So it doesn't matter just what you enter, so long it will enable you to recognize this Source later.

b. In the field to the right of Title button, and enter exactly the words you want to appear in your source notes.

c. Click OK and then Exit to get back to the main screen.

That's all! Your new Source is created.

Converting Existing Sources to this Type

You can easily convert existing Sources to this new type. Open the Master Source list as above, and select the Source you want convert, and click Edit to open the Source Definition Screen. Then do the following:

a. Click the Source Type button, and in the Source Types screen, scroll to your custom Source Type and select it, then click the Select button.

b. Change the Abbreviation if you like.

c. Enter the wording you want in the Title field, as above. You can use Windows cut and paste feature to transfer the wording from another field if you want.

d. You can remove any wording in the other Source Element fields if you want, but it doesn't matter as they will be ignored.

e. Click OK to close, and then move to the next source if you want.

Citing Your New Source:

Open the Citation Entry screen of the Tag where you want to cite your Source, and enter it like any other TMG Source. The Citation Detail feature will work if you want to use it for such things as page numbers or other special notes for a particular citation, but you can ignore them if you want.

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