Terry's TMG Tips

Combining Output Sentences

This page updated 5 Jan 2008

Version note: Applies to TMG 8 & 9

Generally, each Tag in TMG creates one or more complete sentences of text in narrative reports. Thus each Tag produces a separate output sentence. A special "Join to Previous Tag" code permits the output of two or more Tags to be combined into a single sentence of narrative output.

The "Join" code, [+], is placed at the very beginning of the Sentence of the second or following Tag. When this code is present, the following "rules" are used to create a combined output sentence:

The code can be typed into the Sentence field, or added by selecting "Join to Previous Tag" from the right-click menu.

An Example

Use of the [+] code may be easier to understand with an example. Suppose we wanted to join the output of the Death and Burial Tags so that they produce only a single sentence in narrative reports. We might do it as follows:

          Default Tags          Joined Tags

Death Tag Sentence:

[P] died <[D]> <[L]> <[A]>

[P] died <[D]> <[L]> <[A]>

Burial Tag Sentence:

[P] was buried <[D]> <[L]>

[+], and was buried <[D]> <[L]>

Sample output:
He died 3 Mar 1852 in Memphis, Tennessee at age 51. He was buried 5 Mar 1852 in Elmwood Cemetery.
He died 3 Mar 1852 in Memphis, Tennessee at age 51, and was buried 5 Mar 1852 in Elmwood Cemetery.

No change is required in the first Tag of the joined pair. In the Sentence of the second Tag, the [+] code is added, followed by a comma and space. The [P] variable is removed since repeating the pronoun "He" is inappropriate.

The Fine Print

Obtaining satisfactory results with this feature requires taking into account the following considerations:

From the above, it may be apparent that the combined sentences feature should be considered an advanced feature. It is certainly possible to create unintended results with it, for example by failing to construct the sentences appropriately, by adding or editing other tags, or choice of report Options.

Sentence Structures can only be edited in Advanced Data Entry mode. They cannot be modified in Beginner mode, nor are they visible on the Tag Entry screen. To change to Advanced mode, select that mode in Preferences > Program Options > Data Entry.

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