Terry's Gedcom Publisher Tips

Using Gedcom Publisher to Share Your Genealogical Data

This page created 24 Jun 2019

Version note: Applies to Gedcom Publisher 1

John Cardinal, long time TMG user and creator of several companion programs for TMG, has written an amazing program to produce electronic books (e-books) from TMG Project files or Gedcom files produced by other genealogy programs. It's called Gedcom Publisher, and you can read all about it on John's website. In it's simple-to-use default mode it produces very nice e-books with very little user input, and it offers many options to customize the results for users who prefer to personalize their books.

Electronic books provide an attractive alternative method for distributing the results of our genealogical research. While many of us dream of producing a nice hard-bound paper book recording our findings, in practice that may not happen. Not only is it expensive and time consuming, but once it's published it can't be readily updated with new information. Electronic books in contrast are relatively easy to create, and can be easily re-issued when new information is found. They share these features with websites, but unlike websites are easy to share and can be carried on a small portable device. Each has its advantages, and there is no need to choose between them: I offer my e-books for downloading to readers of my website. See for example my Glabe Family site, and scroll to the bottom of the page.

The e-books created by Gedcom Publisher can be distributed privately to family and friends, placed on a private Internet website, or uploaded to a commercial e-book site. The program creates the traditional title page, table of contents, and indexes found in paper books, allows the user to create chapters with custom text or images, and creates chapters that present your family history as recorded in your genealogical database.

The people in the family history chapters can be arranged as descendants of an ancestral couple, ancestors of an individual, or in custom arrangements. The data about each person can be presented in several formats. The one I prefer is called Narration, and produces output similar to a journal-style report produced by genealogy programs. There are also several variations using columnar formats and bullet-item formats, for those that prefer a more structured layout. The sequence and exact items of data presented for each person can be customized to suit the preferences of the user.

Some examples of e-books created with Gedcom Publisher can be found in the Examples section of John's website.

In my articles here I describe some of the features of Gedcom Publisher, and some techniques I have found useful. The articles range from general information suitable for beginning users to fairly obscure techniques of interest only to more advanced users. There are articles on the following topics:

General Information
Understanding and using Gedcom Publisher
The Basics of e-books - Understanding what e-books are new
Getting Started - The basic steps to creating an e-book with Gedcom Publisher new
Refining Your Book
Adding content, and using available features to achieve the results you want
Adding Content to Chapters - adding text, images, links and more to your introductory chapter and custom chapters new
Controlling Who is Included - controlling who is included in the book, and in each chapter new
Creating a Custom Cover Image - creating a custom cover for your book new
Custom "Front Matter" Pages - creating a separate credits page, preface, etc. new
Excluding People with TMG Flags - fine-tuning who is excluded by use of TMG Flags new
Advanced Techniques
Some advanced techniques I've found useful
Creating User Styles - customizing the appearance of the book with User Styles, using the Element Inspector as an aid new

You can also use the Search function to locate topics of interest.

If you need help in finding the best way to apply the program to your application and preferences I would suggest subscribing to John Cardinal's Gedcom Publisher support list, where John and other users are always ready to provide help. And don't forget to consult John Cardinal's very helpful and comprehensive Gedcom Publisher website.

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