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The Master Genealogist
Version 3.7 Gold Edition

The Master Genealogist (TMG) includes html files as a choice for most of its report printing. There are no background images or other bells and whistles to choose but the files produced are clean and fast loading. I'll be trying out several variables to see how the html conversion handles linked images and text files and various report formats.

The first attempt uses my grandmother, Lois Kellogg, as the base individual and uses the Genealogy Journal format, choosing Ancestral as the variation. It is quickly clear upon skimming through the results that a major factor in the quality of the pages is the quality of the text entries accompanying individuals in the program. This format produces a table of contents which links to:

  • Endnotes
  • Bibliography
  • Index of People
  • Index of Places
  • Index of Marriages
It rather annoyingly repeats the full reference to every instance of an individual, creating an excessively redundant listing but perhaps better that than a skimpy one. I do think highly of the endnote listing which links from the individual information as well as being accessible as a separate listing.

The very simplicity of the pages also would lend itself well to after editing and addition of background images and other material. This first attempt has over 700 individuals but relies on one main genealogy page and supplemental indexes rather than producing a slew of family pages, requiring tedious editing to make any format changes.

Stay tuned for the next attempt in which I first add some image and text links in TMG and try different report format.


The second attempt has about sent me around the bend!!! First off, I forgot to mention one small aggravation the first time around - files must be renamed to all lower case when uploaded to the server. I didn't really think about it the first time as it was only 4 or 5 files. This time around I have added some images and it was 8 or 9 files to rename.

I added four photos to my TMG database and one text file. Admittedly, this went smoothly as far as that went. I did find that by exploring around a bit in the Custom Report Writer (CRW) in TMG, you CAN change the background and some other coding items for the html output. I tinkered with one or two of these, especially the background color. I chose *embedded* for the photos and the one text file.

CLICK on *generate* and off it went with one crash and restart along the way (complete computer lockup and with 384mg of RAM, I don't think it was my system's fault). All seemed well second time around until I previewed it - the images were all those ugly little icons for broken links that Netscape uses. I cheated and went into the files and fixed those links so you could see how TMG shoves the images helter skelter into the middle. (The link was given as FILE:C/ and the path on my hard drive!)

Soooo... if you'll peek at Lois, her father Spencer, her mother Lida and Lida's aunt Ann Sinks Deshler, you'll see some nice pictures.... stuffed into a big hole in the middle of the page... the text file on the other hand (found at Lida's grandfather Nicholas Sinks) is just shoved into the paragraph and I really don't think shoving the text of a will into the beginning of a paragraph of information about an individual works especially with no breaks or setting off of the information.

True, I'm an experienced web author and some of my frustration is based on the ability and knowledge of how to place things more pleasingly, etc., but I do find these results cumbersome, awkward and ugly. My feelings at the moment are that the plain text results are good for getting a family up but that anything more than that can and should be added by hand.

Tune in in a day or two to see if I've found something good... or something worse!

Holly Timm
htimm@earthlink.net




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