How to Learn TMG in a Few Hours

The following outline is designed to allow a user to get an idea of how best to learn about TMG.  Mainly designed as the basis for developing a lesson plan for user groups or for individuals helping new or potential users, it can also be used as a study guide for personal learning, study, exploration, and experimentation. 

After completing studies based on this outline the student is not expected to be an expert.  This outline is only designed to take about five hours.  Many other TMG users have found that they have learned TMG well enough in less than five hours to be able to use the program to good advantage immediately.  This is just an introduction to TMG and with added use, the user will see added areas in which more study may be desired.   The user can then easily delve into those areas and learn how to apply those areas quickly since many of those areas would be touched on during this introduction.

The outline is designed to introduce various areas of TMG in very basic ways.  Then later parts of the outline will cover some of those earlier topics to a greater extent.  Thus what might be given a minute early in the study will be given five, ten, fifteen, or more minutes later. Also this outline is designed with the student who has some knowledge of computer use and a basic knowledge of the genealogical data.  For persons with more or less knowledge and experience in these areas, the time required for this will need to be adjusted.  So for the more knowledgeable person, the total time may be as little as two, three or four hours while another hour or two may be needed for others.  For the latter, it may be good to spread the study over a couple of days.  This would also allow the student time to experiment somewhat on their own.  A quick review at the beginning of a later session would tend to reinforce the information they had been given earlier.  Again this outline is not expected to cover everything in TMG.  It is only expected to get the beginner comfortable in using the program and somewhat beyond the novice stage.  Other detailed areas of the program that are not in the outline might be included for some while less emphasis is given areas in which the student has less interest or more experience.

The basic outline topics and expected discussion times are:

   I.  General program interface. (15 minutes)   

   II.  Program sub-systems. (60 minutes)   

  III.  Tags. (15 minutes)   

  IV.  Source Categories. (15 minutes)   

   V.  Data Entry. (15 minutes plus about 90 minutes hands-on practice)   

  VI.  Reports. (45 minutes)   

 VII.  Import and Export. (30 minutes)   

VIII.  Options and Preferences. (15 minutes)   

TMG Study Guide Outline

I.       General program interface. 
          a.   Welcome Screen and its options. 
          b.      The Layout, and its windows.
          c.      Navigation between persons.
          d.      The Main Menu and its sub-menus

II.      Program sub-systems. 
          a.      Tags and Tag Groups.
          b.      Master Place List.
          c.      Master Source List
          d.      Master Repository List.
          e.      Flags and Flag Manager.
          f.       Accents and Filters.
          g.      Timelines and Timeline Manager.
          h.      Projects, data sets, and Data Set Manager.
          i.       Research Log.
          j.       Exhibit Log.

III.     Tags. 
          a.      Standard and Custom.
          b.      Basic Sentence usage.
          c.      Local (individual) versus global changes
                   and consequences.
          d.      Principals, Witnesses, and Roles.

IV.     Source Categories. 
          a.      Source Categories and Source Types.
          b.      Standard versus Custom.
          c.      Source Templates.
          d.      Global versus individual changes.
          e.      Source Element Groups and Source Elements..

 V.     Data Entry. 
         a.      Create project.
         b.      Create data set.
         c.      Enter a family for four generations 
                  (basic data only) [Practice data set]
         d.      Enter more detailed information for one 
                  person above.
         e.      Create a second data set.
                    i.      Sibling of one of the above family.
                   ii.      Spouse and children of above.
         f.        Merge data set two into data set one.
         g.      Check for Duplicates.
         h.      Merge persons.

VI.    Reports. 
         a.      List of People
                    i.      Basic report.
                   ii.      Secondary Output.
         b.      List of Events.
                    i.      Basic Report.
                   ii.      Secondary Output.
         c.      Individual Narrative report.
         d.      Journal Reports.
         e.      Box and Fan Charts.
         f.       List of Sources.
         g.      List of Citations.

VII.   Import and Export.
         a.      Import.
                   i.      Other programs.
                  ii.      GEDCOM.
          b.     Export.
                    i.      GEDCOM.
                   ii.      Other formats.

VIII.   Options and Preferences. 
           a.      Layouts.
           b.      Toolbars.
           c.      Preferences.


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