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#1 CherylCh

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 07:34 PM

The lower right corner of the Edit Person window shows the sentence that will be generated for the highlighted fact, and also has an option to customize the sentence.  That option can be used to, for example, rearrange sentence variables such as [Date] or [Desc].  

 

However, as far as I can tell, it can also be used to write a sentence, or sentences, that make no use of the variables at all.  In the limited testing I have done with narrative reports, the sentence prints correctly and is properly footnoted.  This seems a better option to me than worrying about the size limit on the Description field or using the Note and having the footnote number appear between the sentence and the note rather than after the note.

 

In TMG, I used an Anecdote tag whose generated sentence consisted simply of the text typed into the Memo field.  In RM, I can't use the Description field for that because of the size limit.  I'd rather not use the Note field, because I can't control including the note in narratives on a Fact Type basis and because the footnote won't be in the correct place.  Is there any reason I can't just type what I want in the Customize Sentence window?

 

 



#2 TomH

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 11:00 PM

Just remember that narratives are the only reports that output what is entered in the sentence field. And the sentence field is not transferrable through GEDCOM to other software. And it is not a field that can be used for selecting people. If you are content with those restrictions, carry on.

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#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 08:15 AM

However, as far as I can tell, it can also be used to write a sentence, or sentences, that make no use of the variables at all.  In the limited testing I have done with narrative reports, the sentence prints correctly and is properly footnoted.  This seems a better option to me than worrying about the size limit on the Description field or using the Note and having the footnote number appear between the sentence and the note rather than after the note.

 

I'm really just following up on what Tom already said.

 

Your observation about being able to write a sentence template that uses no variables at all is absolutely correct. Sometimes, users will agonize over the finer details of the Sentence Template language to get a sentence exactly the way the want, when in fact all they have to do is to write the sentence exactly the way they want without using the Sentence Template Language at all - which is to say, without any variables or switches. Indeed, the thought has occurred to me that I could go into every single sentence template for every single event in my data base and customize each sentence so that a narrative report would look exactly the way I want it to look. And such "sentences" wouldn't have to be just one sentence. A "sentence" could be entire paragraphs if I wished, with the understanding that the superscript for a footnote would always have to appear at the very end of the text for that "sentence".

 

But consider Tom's warnings about the lack of portability of these "sentences" to third party software and the fact that they only work for narrative reports and not for Family Group Sheets and the like. And also remember that without variables, if you change something like a date and place for an event, the sentence will not automatically be adjusted to reflect your new data.

 

Jerry



#4 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 08:37 AM

One more followup here: just because you might create sentences with no variables does not mean that you wouldn't still record the dates and places for events in the normal places. Such data would export correctly and would appear correctly in RM's non-narrative reports.

 

Jerry



#5 zhangrau

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 09:53 AM

Since one method for "fixing" a database that acts as if it is corrupted involves a drag-n-drop to a new blank RM file (which has been described as a GEDCOM-like operation in other forum discussions), I wonder if customized sentences get lost during a drag-n-drop, or only during an EXPORT to GEDCOM. That would be a major consideration, I'd think.



#6 Laura

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 09:55 AM

I suggest at least the name fields be used in the sentence.. 
 
 
Otherwise, you will need to enter the name(s) manually and the name(s) will not be in Bold unless you manually add bold formatting in the sentence.
 
 
I would not use this method because of needing to change the data entered into the sentence if I made changes in the fact.  I would invariably forget or get distracted and not correct a sentence at sometime or other..  Once would be too many.
 
And the double entry of data would cause extra work and extra time spent.
 
Edit person customized fact sentences are transferred in a Drag and Drop.  Changed fact default sentences at Lists, Fact type list for program defimed facts are not.


#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:56 AM

Since one method for "fixing" a database that acts as if it is corrupted involves a drag-n-drop to a new blank RM file (which has been described as a GEDCOM-like operation in other forum discussions), I wonder if customized sentences get lost during a drag-n-drop, or only during an EXPORT to GEDCOM. That would be a major consideration, I'd think.

 

A drag and drop is a GEDCOM export/import behind the scenes. A drag and drop literally does a GEDCOM export followed immediately be a GEDCOM  import. Anything kept or lost with GEDCOM is kept or lost with drag and drop, and vice versa.

 

Sentence template information is retained on a GEDCOM export/import between RM and itself. Sentence template information is extremely unlikely to be retained when exported to third party software.

 

Jerry



#8 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 11:59 AM

And by the way, I am not suggesting or advocating in favor of template sentences without variables. I'm just describing capabilities of how RM actually works.

 

Jerry



#9 CherylCh

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 03:53 PM

Thanks to all for your helpful responses.  I think I'll do a little more experimenting to make sure I adequately understand the risks.  In any case, I'm not planning on using this for things like standard BMD fact types, although I would always have at least a sort date so that things will print in the proper order in narrative reports.  It's more for situations like this:

 

Baby Girl was born a few months after her father was killed in an automobile accident.  Her mother gave her up for adoption, as she already had two young children and could not care for a third alone.  Her adoptive parents were Mr. and Mrs. John Doe.

 

There are also situations where I have a long list of similar fact types for an individual, and if they are printed individually in a narrative, the text can become very tedious.  While I want to see the individual items listed on the Timeline view and in the Edit Person screen, I would prefer something like this in narratives: Between 1838 and 1850, he served as moderator of the annual meeting of the Strawberry Baptist Association on eight separate occasions. During the same period, he was selected to preach the keynote sermon twice.  

 

Not this:  On 26 May 1838 William served as moderator of the annual meeting of the Strawberry Baptist Association.  On 25 May 1839 William served as moderator  in Botetourt County, Virginia for the annual meeting of the Strawberry Baptist Association. On 1 May 1841 William served as moderator  in Botetourt County, Virginia of the annual meeting of the Strawberry Baptist Association.  And so on, interspersed with similar repetitive verbiage about personal property tax lists and a separate footnote for each sentence.

 

I'm thinking that the way to do this would be to have the Moderator fact type not print for narratives, but have a separate fact type, something like ModSummary, that would be used only in narrative reports.  That preserves the underlying data for those places where I need to see all the details and for GEDCOM export.  It will be a little extra work to write the summaries, but I'll only have to do it once and the narratives will sound much better.  It's not as though I have this issue with every individual in my database (I wish).

 

Cheryl



#10 CherylCh

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Posted 26 December 2014 - 05:22 PM

I created a block of text 400 characters long (including spaces) with a marker every 100 characters.  In my test database, I selected an individual in a small tree (to cut down on drag & drop time) and added 3 facts for this person, all of the same fact type.  I put the same text block in the description field for one fact, in the note field for the second, and in the customize sentence field for the third.  I then dragged and dropped this tree (about 50 people) into a new database.  In the new database, the description field included only the first 100 characters.  Both the note field and the customize sentence field contained all 400 characters.

 

Then, in my copy of Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic 6, I wrote "100 character max" every place I found a reference to the Description field.   By the way, I hadn't tried the drag & drop functionality before. That's kind of cool.



#11 DoninRiver

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 02:41 PM

What are the max number of characters for both the note field and the customize sentence field?  This info should be in the instruction manual.

 

Don



#12 TomH

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:07 PM

I would say that any technical limit is well beyond the practical limit and the latter is for you to judge. I would not put a page of text into the custom sentence and a page is probably more than I would be comfortable with in the Note Editor.

Tom user of RM7630 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#13 DoninRiver

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:14 PM

You use the term practical limit.  Please define.



#14 TomH

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 03:32 PM

I did define my practical limits. You decide for yourself what yours are.
 
Practical
adjective

1. of or concerned with the actual doing or use of something rather than with theory and ideas.
"there are two obvious practical applications of the research"
synonyms: empirical, hands-on, actualactiveappliedheuristicexperientialevidence-based
"practical experience"

 

2. so nearly the case that it can be regarded as so; virtual.

"it was a practical certainty that he would try to raise more money"
synonyms: virtualeffectivenear
"a practical certainty"










 


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#15 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:20 PM

RM stores its data in an SQLite database, and the data we are talking about is stored in TEXT or BLOB fields. The default limit for these fields is a billion characters. I don't know if the RM database is using this default or not, but in any case I'm sure it's huge. As Tom said, it's so huge that you should decide on your own practical limit because your practical limit will be far less than the technical limit.

 

Jerry



#16 zhangrau

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 04:39 PM

I routinely put transcripts of death notices and obituaries into the Notes of my custom fact type Obituary (as well as the Research Notes section of the appropriate Source Citation).. These transcriptions vary from a single sentence to multiple paragraphs, I think I started doing this a couple years ago. I'm not aware of any problems with this approach while upgrading to subsequent versions of RM (currently using RM 7.5.2.0).

 

I just created a Named Group using the criteria Obituary > note > is not blank. The group currently contains 1,046 people. My notes indicate that RM7 became available 26 Nov 2014 and that I upgraded from RM6 on 14 Oct 2015 (one of my longest pauses between availability and upgrade, by the way). People View shows the earliest Last Edited date for the Obituary Notes group to be 26 Oct 2015, which suggests that my long term average is to enter about 1-1/2 obituaries per day. However, since I am constantly entering new data, I cannot say that the Last Edited date is actually connected to my Obituary fact type use.

 

Which has me wondering, if only incidentally, whether there is any way to find out when a particular fact for a particular person was last edited?



#17 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 06:03 PM

Which has me wondering, if only incidentally, whether there is any way to find out when a particular fact for a particular person was last edited?

 

No.

 

Jerry



#18 TomH

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Posted 17 August 2017 - 09:16 PM

 

No.

Uhh, that's true within the RM UI but each record in the EventTable has an EditDate value of the form "40983.6637022801". It is technically possible to do what zhangrau asked.


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#19 zhangrau

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Posted 18 August 2017 - 07:33 AM

Some time ago I made a half-hearted attempt to get started with SQL. I let myself stop when I didn't feel like there was a whole ot I would do with it. I do have my wishes for RM features, but I'm not really interested in becoming a programmer. So, it's nice to know that data is captured by RM, but not too likely to rise very high on my personal to-do list.

 

Gotta go prepare for a charity bike ride (tomorrow).