The Master Genealogist (TMG) is a very popular and powerful Windows genealogy program. As good as it is, someone can always determine some way to make it even better. PathWiz! is an add-on utility written by Bryan Wetton in Australia that adds a lot of functionality. Version 3.1 of PathWiz! was reviewed in this newsletter on July 18, 2004 in an article written by Mark Lang. However, version 4.0 has just been released and this week I spent some time with the newest version.
PathWiz! is an exhibit management tool which allows you to access a TMG Version 5 or 6 project database table containing paths to and information attached to exhibits (graphical images and other files) stored anywhere on your local hard drive. If you are not familiar with The Master Genealogist, you may not understand the power of "exhibits" in that program. However, experienced TMG users know that exhibits are the heart of this powerful research program. PathWiz! simply adds a lot of flexibility to the way in which exhibits are stored and managed within The Master Genealogist.
The following is a short list of some of the capabilities of PathWiz!:
- If you are changing computer storage arrangements or sending your backup (.SQZ) files to a chart printing service, PathWiz! can consolidate all the required image files into one folder.
- PathWiz! adds the ability to directly edit the Topic, Reference, Description and Caption fields of a list of related exhibits ( for example - External Images attached to persons) from one screen. The user can view the actual internal and external images during editing.
- A "Comprehensive Exhibit Catalogue" may be produced both internally and in Microsoft Word - effectively an inventory of all exhibits.
The PathWiz! program operates in a number of steps and maintains complete protection of your original data files. TMG itself will be closed during use of PathWiz!
Experienced PathWiz! users will want to note the changes in the latest version 4 of PathWiz!:
- A radically changed "wizard-style" user interface
- Now operates properly at 800 X 600 pixels
- Can now split Microsoft Word reports into manageable sizes. (Word apparently has a limit on how many images can be shown in full. The new ability to split the reports into smaller, manageable reports provides a workaround to Microsoft's limitation.)
- Now includes the full Exhibit Description in Microsoft Word reports
- Now includes details of Place and Citation exhibits and all exhibits captions
- Works with TMG Version 5 and the new Version 6
I downloaded the 4.2-megabyte PathWiz! file from the program's web site. A file of that size will require about twenty minutes to download on a 56k modem connection. However, it required less than one minute to download using my cable modem broadband connection. I then double-clicked on the newly-downloaded file and followed the instructions that appeared on my screen. Less than a minute later PathWiz! was fully installed.
Normally, I would write a bit about how the program operates; how to open files, select reports and perform other functions of the program. However, Bryan Wetton has already written that report so there is no need for me to duplicate it here. Instead, look at the PathWiz! home page at http://www.sceya.com.au/pathwiz and scroll down a bit until you find " The 10 STEPS in using the program." You can also read Mark Lang's earlier article in this newsletter.
I would strongly suggest making a backup copy of your data before launching PathWiz! or any other program that is going to use your valuable genealogy files. You have spent many hours putting data into those databases, you do not want to have a problem with a power failure or any other glitch while those files are open.
All in all, PathWiz! is an excellent add-on utility for The Master Genealogist. All TMG users will be interested in this program. The more exhibits a TMG user has, the greater the need for PathWiz!
PathWiz! is available in two versions: freeware and commercial. I have been describing the commercial version. The freeware version of PathWiz! is the same except that it does not have:
- pictures in the catalogue
- Microsoft Word catalogue
- importing from a text file
- the ability to put new information back into TMG
The commercial version of PathWiz! has two prices: Australian customers may order it for $AUD 22 including GST. Overseas customers can purchase PathWiz! for $AUD 20 (roughly $15 in U.S. funds, depending upon the daily exchange rate).
For more information about PathWiz!, to download the free version or to purchase the commercial version via a safe and secure online order system, go to: http://www.sceya.com.au/pathwiz