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#1 NEreswearcher

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Posted 14 June 2020 - 11:48 AM

I have some questions about formatting my output.

Question 1: I have been experimenting with trying to get the format that I want modifying or creating new facts and sentence structures and have succeeded but I am using a carriage return (hit the enter key) in the sentence structure itself to get the new line. Then to get indenting I am placing spaces in the sentence structure to get the indents. I have also added  symbol to the sentence structure to get bullet points. None of this is (at lest not that I could find) in the RM help. If It is not documented this could be changed or over ridden by say version 8 and then I would need to start over again. Is there any documentation, books, help files that expound on what I am attempting to do? Best RM practices, RM for dummies etc.

The sentence from a fictitious test project:

[Person] appeared < in the [date:YEAR] census> as head of household <[Person:Age]>< [PlaceDetails]>< [Place]>< with wife [Wife]>< with husband  [Husband]><?[OtherPersons]| and other household members:| and no additional household members>
<#Son#      •   Son |      •   Sons >[Son][Son:Age]<#Daughter#
      •   Daughter |     
      •   Daughters >[Daughter]<#Father#     
      •   Father |
      •   Fathers >[Father]<#Mother#    
      •   Mother |
      •   Mothers>[Mother]<#Grandson#     
      •   Grandson |     
      •   Grandsons >[Grandson]<#Granddaughter#    
      •   Granddaughter |     
      •   Granddaughter >[Granddaughter]<#Grandfather#    
      •   Grandfather |     
      •   Grandfather >[Grandfather]<#Grandmother#     
      •   Grandmother |     
      •   Grandmothers >[Grandmother]<#Son-in-law#     
      •   Son-in-law |     
      •   Sons-in-law >[Son-in-law]<#Daughter-in-law#     
      •   Daughter-in-law |     
      •   Daughters-in-law >[Daughter-in-law]<#Mother-in-law#     
      •   Mother-in-law |     
      •   Mothers-in-law >[Mother-in-law]<#Father-in-law#     
      •   Father-in-law |     
      •   Fathers-in-law >[Father-in-law]<#Witness#    
      •   Witness |   
      •   Witnesss >[Witness]

This produces this:

1.  Henrietta Goodwin was born on 1 Jan 1820. She was the wife of  John Smith as listed in the 1850 census in Marlborough, Connecticut at the age of 30. She appeared  in the 1860 census at the age of 40 as head of household at 50 Main St. in Kalamazoo, Michigan with husband  John Smith and other household members:
      •   Sons Peter Smith and Joshua Smith
      •   Daughter Phoebe Smith     
      •   Grandson John Smith    
      •   Granddaughter Judy Smith     
      •   Daughter-in-law MarAnne Wilson


Question 2: I wanted to use age for a person and it works fine for [Person] [ThisPerson] etc. Can this also apply to a role, such as [Son:Age]? I have tried it but my attempts do not seem to work.



#2 TomH

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 07:05 AM

Yours are remarkable exploitations of two of RootsMagic's custom and proprietary features: sentence templates and shared events. As such, they are largely unsupported by other systems to which you may wish to transfer your data. You have already recognized the risk that a future version of RM might change support for them. Looking at the output, I would ask why you wouldn't incorporate the intended content as a note, either for the event or in a source.

The :age modifier only works with the subject person, as indicated (maybe not strongly enough( in Help.

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#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 08:23 AM

For the reasons Tom cited, I don't try to create complicated sentences with RM's sentence templates. Indeed, I have gone the exact opposite direction. I use point form sentences and I don't user RM's shared roles. For a simple minded and made up example, my reports might look something like the following.
 
John Doe
Birth: 12 Jul 1857, Bell County, Kentucky.
Death: 5 Aug 1918, Bexar County, Texas.
 
I spent many years trying to create sentences with RM that didn't look computer generated, but no matter how hard I tried the results looked very computer generated. I think the point form sentences actually read better than the full sentences I generated with RM. And I use a lot of notes that contributes further to the reports being readable.
 
To display census data with relationships, I use notes.
  • For the head of household, I include a transcription of the entire census entry for the entire household.
  • For each household member, I include two lines of data. The first line identifies the head of household and the relationship of the person to the head of the household. The second line includes the transcription of the line for the person.
I'm mostly happy with this approach. The data looks fine in reports and it transfers well to other software. The only improvement I wish for would be to be able to put the data into columns. But I don't see a way to do that in RM. Blanks don't really work very well to create a columnar report. And even if I could figure out a reasonable way to do it in RM, the results probably would not transfer well to other software.
 
The following examples are real.
 
Alva Edward (Alvy) Peters.
Census: 1900, Anderson County, Tennessee.
Head of household. Dist. 9, Enumeration District 10, 14 Jun 1900.
page 129a, dwelling number 7, family number 7, enumerated by Calvin H. Scarbrough, owns farm, has mortgage.
Peters Alva E. 29 head male married 6 years, white, born Oct 1870, farmer, born in TN, father and mother born in TN
Sallie J. 29 wife female married 6 years, white, born Jun 1870, born in TN, father and mother born in TN, 2 children, 2 living
Earnest L. 5 son, male, single, white, born Feb 1895, born in TN, father and mother born in TN
Elsie C. 1 daughter, female, single, white, born Dec 1898, born in TN, father and mother born in TN
Hulda A. 54 mother female widowed white, born Dec 1845, born in TN, father and mother born in TN, 14 children, 6 living
John W. 23 brother male single white, born Mar 1877, born in TN, father and mother born in TN
Martha E. 12 sister female single white, born Jan 1888, born in TN, father and mother born in TN
Henry H. 10 brother male single white, born Mar 1890, born in TN, father and mother born in TN.
----- Alva was listed as the head of household, but his mother owned the farm. She purchased it in 1893 shortly after she was awarded a widow's pension for the Civil War service of her husband John H. Peters. She and John never owned any land during John's lifetime. 
 
Ernest Lester (Lester) Peters.
Census: 1900, Anderson County, Tennessee.
Household of his father Alva Edward (Alvy) Peters. Dist. 9, 14 Jun 1900.
Earnest L. 5 son, male, single, white, Feb 1895, born in TN, father and mother born in TN.
 
Jerry
 
P.S. I usually say that I don't use RM's shared roles. The actual situation is a little more nuanced than that. I do use RM's shared roles a little bit, but only in a way such that no actual data is lost if my data is transferred to other software. For example, I share marriage facts with each of the spouses and I share birth facts with each of the parents. This doesn't add any new data to my database that could be lost on data transfer. But it does add a person's marriages to their personal timeline in narrative reports and it does add the births of their children to a person's timeline in narrative reports. 
 


#4 NEreswearcher

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 12:51 PM

TomH,

 

I have five genealogical programs. All five allow customizing sentences and sharing facts. It doesn't appear that any product doesn't see the use of both features but I'm aware of the problems associated with exchanging data between program and shared facts. I think at this time unless some program has made an attempt at exchanging  data that I will probably abandon the idea of sharing data between software programs with one exception. I have found that FamilyHistorian has several charts that I can use and they produce output that I can take to my local printer. RM doesn't have the chart that I want and the resolution of the RM output is not satisfactory to take to a local printer

 

Since I was using TMG from 1993 until late 2014 I got used to the power of their ability to format output. All my examples are from a test project to see if I could do better.

 

I tried incorporating the data into notes but there is a distinct lack of ability to format the notes in a fact and I was hoping to improve on that. Based on what Jerry has said and his examples it appears that he would agree that there is a lack of ability to format the note field.

 

Jerry your example is more what I hoped to achieve. The bullet points in my example were actually symbols copied from MS Word and pasted into the sentence structure. Is there any inherent danger in doing something like this to better format your output Jerry?



#5 TomH

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 02:26 PM

I'll attempt an answer to your question to Jerry. RM supports UTF-8 encoding in its GEDCOM so characters that conform to UTF8 should survive a RM drag'n'drop and export The recipient system needs to also support UTF8. You would have to test your destinations to confirm that your intended result survives.

 

Within RM, there is the question of what the Note Editor supports. Copying some examples from the Windows Character Map app shows that many do not display in the Note Editor as they appear in the Character Map. But the Symbols font and Lucinda Sans Unicode have bullet symbols and some geometrical shapes that do. 


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.


#6 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 02:48 PM

Further trying to answer your question, Tom already mentioned that a third party genealogy software would have to accept UTF-8 encoding to keep intact your RM data. At least one major RM competitor does not. In addition, you would have to try out things like saving RM's reports as PDF files and/or RTF files to see how the bullet characters show up. I haven't tried. They may or may not show up just fine, and it may depend on what PDF editor or RTF editor you are using.

 

Since I'm posting again, I'll add to my original message that my approach is certainly a compromise and is not without issues of its own. The most frustrating issue to me is that individuals mentioned in notes do not appear in the indexes that can be produced in RM's narrative reports. Individuals that appear in your reports as a result of role sentences do appear in the same indexes. So in the limited way that I do use RM's shared roles to improve the appearance of my reports, I also get those improvements indexed for free. I realize that I can manually add the XE entries to the RM notes by editing the RTF file after it is produced by RM to get individuals indexed. But up until now that has seemed more time and trouble than it is worth.

 

Jerry



#7 NEreswearcher

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Posted 15 June 2020 - 03:38 PM

thank you both for your help.

 

I guess I will need to do more creating and testing to see if any characters I create are UTF8 and if any recipient system supports that.

 

Having created a lot in TMG and then having to redo a lot of that I wanted to test and avoid any bad situations first.  I still run across some artifacts from my TMG days.

 

I will continue to experiment but I will probably hold off updating my major project until version 8 is out. (This year?)

 

Again thanks to both of you.



#8 robertjacobs0

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 07:40 AM

The Windows Notepad program allows on to change the ccding of text files by loading a text file and saving it right back out with different coding. Just to the left of the "save" button is an encoding button which offers UTF8, ANSI, UTF-16 LE & BE, and UTF-8 with BOM. To get to the encoding button you probably have to start with File/Save As.

 

IIRC, when I converted from TMG I had to alter the TMG GEDCOM to UTF-8 to get RootsMagic6 to accept it. I may have that backwards, but Notepad's conversion facility can be useful



#9 NEreswearcher

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 10:02 AM

robertjacobs0,

 

Thank you for that hint about notepad. I have also tried the character map application under windows 10 and I can  create symbols that conform to UTF8 and so far seem to work in RM and survives the trip via GEDCOM. (No guarantees that this will continue to work but at least it is tempting.) With new symbols, if they survive transfers, may allow me to better format my output, particularly if I use notes like Jerry does.

 

I guess next step is to create whatever I think is necessary under my test project and then see if all the transfers are working. Then I would need to check with various programs to see if there are any potential problems.



#10 Jim Byram

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 10:24 AM

If you want to create optimized GEDCOMs exported from TMG, I'd use "TMG to GEDCOM'.

https://tmgtogedcom.com/en/index.htm

 

It has a pre-constructed profile for making a GEDCOM for RootsMagic import (that you can alter if needed).