The following article appeared in the September 2004 issue of the Newsletter from the RUG of Arlington VA.
This article focuses on some of the more unusual features of the Journal report, rather than the usual how-to information.
A Journal Report is used for publishing a book or an article in the formats requested by the leading genealogical journals. Thus, the journal report is also known as “the genealogy report”. Within the report there is a choice of four formats-the Register (NEHGR), the Record (NGSQ), TAG, and a “users custom” format. The first three styles are fixed with the first paragraph always containing the BMDB events and the second paragraph containing all other events for the individual. If writing a report for a particular Journal, then use that style. If not, the custom format provides the most options. When choosing which narrative report, consider who the reader will be and choose a report format that will not be confusing to that reader.
Can the format of the journal report be changed? To some extent, yes - particularly if you are using the custom format rather than one of the fixed styles. But, there are even some workarounds for the fixed styles which will be covered later.
To begin, Click Report, then click Journal. The Report Definition Screen will open. At the top is a box for the name of the report. Click Add and give this report a new name. The name should be unique and descriptive of the contents. All your saved reports of any type will be saved into the Reports subdirectory in TMG. So, it pays to think about your naming conventions before you begin creating reports so the list will make sense to you. If you name all reports by the person’s name alone, you’ll then not be able to distinguish a journal report for that person from an individual narrative, and so on.
Next on the Report Definition Screen, choose the Focus, or starting person, for your report. Since a journal report gives many people, either ancestors or descendants of the focus person, you may wonder why there is a choice allowing you to choose more than one person as the Focus of the report. The advantage of choosing more than one person as a focus in this report is that the report will only show duplication the first time it appears and thereafter will insert just the person’s name and a cross reference to the previous mention of that duplicate information. When you choose to output a group in this report, each individual in the group becomes the focus of one of the lines created. For example, if you filter for all the persons born in Virginia, the report will begin with the first person in your database born in Virginia and his descendants. Then the report will continue on a new page with the next person in the database born in Virginia and descendants, and so on until all persons in the database born in Virginia are covered.
Perhaps you wish to create a group output, but also to exclude some persons from the group. The best way to do this is to create a temporary database including only those individuals desired in the report and excluding the others. Then run the report from that new database. Another method of excluding some persons from a group of people is to output to a Word Processor and manually delete individuals. Or, you might use the option “Surname only”; but in this case, watch out for spelling changes of the surname because the report will cease whenever the spelling changes. Still another method of excluding some persons is to use the “Surety” options, selecting only those persons whose events have a high surety. But remember, all Event tags of lower surety than that chosen will be excluded from the report, not just the persons whose events all have a lower surety.
The final set of boxes on the Report Definition screen is the Print options. Most print options are self explanatory, but notice a few important features. If RTF is chosen as the output type, images and a table of contents are allowed in the options. If Word Processing output is chosen, images, indexes, contents, endnotes, and bibliography are all possible in the options. In addition, the Properties button in the Printer Setup window is global, but these printer properties are not saved with the report definition for most output types. The PDF output type is the exception; here the Properties window is distinct from other outputs and is saved with the report definition. Once printing starts, Cancel from the progress thermometer to stop printing; the Esc key does not work.
Now click on the Options button at the bottom of the Report Definitions Screen. This opens a Report Options Screen on which there are several tabs to set up reports as desired.
The General Tab is where you’ll find the choice of report format-NGSQ, NEHGR, TAG, or custom. But, remember some miscellaneous options will be unavailable unless the custom format is chosen. Also on the general tab is the choice of the number of generations to limit the size of your report and the direction of the report, either Ancestor or Descendant. On this tab, you can also choose the level of Surety and the placement of your Researcher ID information.
The next two tabs, Page Options and Fonts, help the user set up the report so that it is readable. Some of the page options are available in word processing only. Fonts can either be changed individually or all at once.
The Sources tab: The key here is the distinction between “Unique” and “Disable ibid”. “Unique” prints each source once and thereafter, additional citations reference the same source number; thus there is no need for ibid. However, if subsequent references to the source have different Citation Details even though the source is the same, then the short form of the citation will be printed with different CDs the second time the source is mentioned. To avoid this and only print each source one time, also check the box “Suppress citation details” when using unique. “Disable ibid” will always replace duplicate references to a source with the short form of the note instead of the word ibid.
Memos tab: Memo options have no effect if Sentence Structure contains an [M] variable. Here you can prevent duplicate printing for all witnesses to an event (e.g., everyone in a census household having the same census event details repeated under their name). To prevent this, uncheck “Include memos from witnessed events”. Another way to avoid duplicate printing of memos in witnessed events is to insert <[M0]> into all witness sentences in the master tag type list. However, remember that the latter will make a global change that then applies to all reports.
The next several tabs: Exhibits, Indexes, Publication Tools, and Sort By-are only available in some output types, such as word processing. Note that some word processors cannot print all of a group of people in a single report as mentioned above. Thus, there is a selection for printing one file/generation or one file/progenitor that is useable with those word processing programs. If multiple people are used as the focus of this report, then the Sort By Tab is where you determine the order in which the group of people will sort.
Tags tab: You need to think about this tab well in advance of using it. For example, you may want to create two types of output of the Journal report, one for family members and another for other researchers. In the former, you’ll want fewer events and less detail, while in the latter you’ll want full details. In this case, this report becomes highly dependent upon the data entering methods you have used. Early in your data entering process, you need to have thought about possibly creating extra tags. Let’s say you created two of each type tag, for example a birth tag. Birth Tag A will always contain a full transcription of the birth certificate or record which you type into the memo field, while Birth Tag B will have only the birth sentence or maybe a one sentence memo! If you have done this from the beginning, then it’s easy to create two completely distinct reports from the same report format-for a more detailed report, use only the A event tags, and for the less detailed report, use only the B event tags. (See Terry Riegel’s article on pages 114-124 in Lee Hoffman’s book for more about how to do this.)
Also on the Tags tab, if you use the “events” selection, you may find some events missing from your report, particularly witnessed events that cannot be included in the “primary only” selection, or more events than you expected. This is due to the fact that “primary only” will select those events you’ve tagged as primary, which could be none or could be almost all of them. The better method, then, is to use “selected tag types”. This selection allows the user to determine exactly which events will appear in the report. And in the case where you’ve created custom tags for alternate or disputed events as suggested above, some tags can easily be excluded if desired.
On the Names tab, the Custom Options-Parent, Other, and Child-are unique to this report. The Places tab is where you’ll find the choice of prepositions for the sentences in your report.
If you can’t find an option elsewhere, it is likely to be on the Miscellaneous tab. Some items, such as exclusion, living details, and blank lines, are on the Miscellaneous tab and are available only if you are using a custom format. Some helpful items on this tab include:
Exclusion overrides single exclusion markers and sensitivity brackets; but not double exclusion markers or hidden text [HID:] …[:HID] The Non-breaking character is a special “space” character, which does not allow a phrase to be broken when the text is wrapped at the end of a line. Usually the non-breaking character is ASCII 32; but you can change it in the box. A non-breaking space can be entered in any memo field or sentence structure by selecting Non-breaking Space from the right-click menu.
In three fixed Journal formats, remember that BMDB always appears in the first paragraph; but some folks want to change this. If you use the Custom format, you can turn this option off on the Miscellaneous Tab. Another easy way to change tag order is to simply change the sort dates on some tags so that they print in a different order. But what about changing one of the three fixed formats? First, understand that it is not just the BMDB that appears in the first paragraph, but all events in the Tag Groups birth, marriage, death, or burial. So for example, if you wanted a baptism event to appear in the second paragraph, it would only do so if the tag were NOT in the Birth Tag Group. Therefore, you’d need to create a new tag in the Master Tag Type list that was called, say Adult Baptism, and put it into the Other Tag Type Group. Do this by clicking Add in the Master Tag Type list, but be careful NOT to use the copy option there because copying the old Baptism tag would automatically put the new tag into the Birth Tag Group. BUT, take care not to place the primary BMDB tags in other tag type groups or you will disrupt other views, forms, and charts in TMG.
Another often requested correction in Journal (and other narrative) reports is creating more paragraphs. This can be especially useful if you decide to embed memos in the report. To create a paragraph you need to insert either two carriage returns [:CR:] or one carriage return and one tab [:TAB:] in the sentence or memo which will begin the new paragraph. You could type these into each sentence in each tag type, but it would be better to use right click and in the sub-menu which appears, click on carriage return or tab to insert it. However, where in the sentence you place the [:CR:] and [:TAB:] is also important. Placement at the beginning of a memo moves the first few words of text into the previous paragraph, unless [M] is the first or only data field printed in the sentence structure of that tag. Placement at the end of either the memo or the sentence results in the source reference or footnote number moving to the beginning of the next paragraph. So, the best placement is the beginning of the sentence. Remember, if you make these changes globally in the Master Tag Type list, then the paragraphing will appear in every report using that event type. There are two alternative methods of creating paragraphs. One is to create a custom tag for paragraph creation containing only [:CR:] and/or [:TAB:]. The problem with this is that it results in an additional period that needs to be removed from the report text. Another alternative is to create custom versions of several common tags with embedded control codes, then use these versions only whenever paragraphs are desired.
Preview Reports are critical. The purpose of a preview report it to get quick, frequent looks at a report, so you can review how it will look and make corrections. In Lee Hoffman’s book, Terry Reigel states, “Creating a custom “Preview” Report Definition in your favorite format…is the key to getting exactly what you want from your reports.” TMG’s reporting toolbar (off by default), contains three Preview Reports, but not the Journal Report. To create a your own Journal Preview Report in the Report Definition Screen, click Options and on the General tab, check the box “Bypass the Report Definition Screen when this report is called from a toolbar button”. Then create a custom toolbar button for your report and turn it on. When you click this button, you will not see a report definition screen, and will not be allowed to change the format of the report. Instead, the report will open directly on your screen and it can be printed. You will want to set up all the options prior to creating the preview report. But, if you’ve not yet decided which options you want, you can also create a custom toolbar button for this report, without checking the “bypass” box on the General tab. Then click the toolbar button and continually make option changes until you finally have the report you want. Then go back and check the bypass button.
The Endnotes/Footnotes Report and the Bibliography Report are similar. Each must be first turned on. Endnotes/Footnotes are turned on by checking Sources on the Sources Tab in Report Options and Endnotes on the Sources, Memos, or Exhibits tabs in Report Options. Bibliography is turned on by checking Sources on the Sources Tab in Report Options and Bibliography on Publication Tools Tab in Report Options.
By default, sources will print as endnotes if sent to the screen or the printer. Only the File Format and Word Processing will print notes as footnotes, and then only if the word processor allows footnotes. After creating a report with endnotes or footnotes, the Accumulated Endnotes screen appears reporting how many endnotes were printed in that report. These endnotes will continue to accumulate until you actually print the Endnote report. To view the Endnotes Report, click Reports, Endnotes, Print. If another report is opened before you print the first Endnote report, the Accumulated Endnotes screen will appear again and offer the choice of “SAVE and continue accumulating endnotes” or “CLEAR”. If you are printing a book and want the notes to accumulate, SAVE will accumulate the endnotes/footnotes. But if you are printing a single report and do not want the footnotes from the previous report, select “CLEAR” to clear the endnotes file and start over with new endnotes for a new report. Endnotes sent to a file are sent as text and will not accumulate over more than one report. Similarly, the Bibliography Report will continue to accumulate on all subsequent reports, even across many projects, until you explicitly order a Bibliography report. The accumulated sources will be sorted alphabetically. To obtain a Bibliography Report, click Reports, Bibliography, Print. Bibliographies sent to a file follow the rules of your word processor and will not accumulate over more than one report.