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Sentence Overview

GedSite creates text output using formatting instructions called "sentence templates".Note 1 GedSite's sentence templates combine literal text and variable references, and the program substitutes text in place of the variable references to create text output. Some popular genealogy programs have similar features, and the formatting instructions are called "sentence structures", "sentences", etc.

Sentence templates are attached to events based on the type of the event and the role assigned to the person. The default role is "Principal" for the person (or persons) to whom the event applies. For GEDCOM files that include support for witnesses to events, also known as "shared events", the default role for a witness is "Witness". For GEDCOM files that include role information, GedSite will assign the role defined for the person.

Source Application Sentence Support

Some applications include sentence templates in GEDCOM export files. GedSite's support for those templates is summarized in the following table.

Global sentence templates are associated with a tag type (aka "fact" or "event"), and every tag of that type will use the default sentence unless the tag has a local sentence, i.e., a sentence associated with the specific tag, and often called a "customized" sentence.

Source Application Global Sentences Local Sentences
Family Historian Supported* Supported*
Legacy Not supported Supported
RootsMagic Supported Principal - Supported
Witness - Not Supported
rootstrust Supported Not supported
The Master Genealogist Supported* Supported*
All Other Applications Not supported Not Supported
  • As of the last tested version, RootsMagic does not include local sentence templates for witnesses in its GEDCOM export file.
  • For Family Historian, GedSite only supports sentence templates when using Family Historian's "Export Gedcom File" plug-in. See the Family Historian page.
  • For The Master Genealogist, GedSite only supports sentence templates when using the "direct import" option. See The Master Genealogist page.
  • GedSite does not support sentence templates from applications except those listed above.

When GedSite does not support sentence templates from an application, or if those sentence templates are not included, it uses sentence templates constructed following the rules described on the remainder of this help page. GedSite includes pre-defined sentence templates for many tag types, but you may be using tag types outside that set. If so, you must define tag types in order to produce complete narrative output. GedSite has a Default Sentence that you may choose to use when there is no sentence defined for a Tag Type.

GedSite Sentence Templates

GedSite includes sentence templates for many common tag types including Birth, Marriage, Death, etc. You may replace the sentence templates predefined by GedSite using the Utilities > Edit Tag Types... command. You may also—and should—define sentence templates for any tag type where GedSite does not provide sentence templates for you.

Here is an example of a simple sentence:

[S] died on [D] at [L]

  • "[S]" is a variable reference. GedSite will substitute the name of the subject in place of the [S]. See the variable list below.
  • " died on " is literal text that will be included in the output.
  • [D] is a variable reference. When formatting the text for an event, GedSite will substitute the date of the event in place of the [D].
  • " at " is literal text that will be included in the output.
  • [L] is a variable reference. When formatting the text for an event, GedSite will substitute the location of the event in place of the [L].

Some variables, such as [S] above, always produce text. Others, like [D] and [L], may or may not. For example, if no date is assigned to an event, the [D] variable will not insert any text into the output. In order to control the text around variables that may be empty, GedSite supports variable expressions that combine literal text with variable references. The literal text is omitted unless the variable is not empty.

Here is an update of the previous example:

[S] died< on [D]>< at [L]>

  • "< on [D]>" is a variable expression. If the event has a date, GedSite will insert " on " and the date into the output. Otherwise, the expression produces no output.
  • "< at [L]>" is a variable expression. If the event has a location, GedSite will insert " at " and the location into the output. Otherwise, the expression produces no output.

As shown above, variable expressions may be used to add a preposition before a variable. For some variables, GedSite supports automatic prepositions that vary based on the value of the variable. The automatic preposition is included when the variable expression does not include any literal text.

For dates, the automatic preposition varies as follows:

  • The English preposition for a full date (day, month, and year) is " on ". Example: " on 6 December 1917".
  • The English preposition for a month and year date is " in ". Example: " in December 1917".
  • The English preposition for a year-only date is " in ". Example: " in 1917".

Here is an update of the example, now using the automatic preposition for the date variable:

[S] died<[D]>< at [L]>

It's possible to create flexible formatting instructions using variables and variable expressions as shown above. GedSite also includes some additional capabilities to support highly customized output for events. Those capabilities are described below.

Variables and Variable Expressions

The core components of formatting instructions are variables and variable expressions.

Variables

The examples in GedSite Sentence Templates above include simple variable references like [S] and [D]. Variables also support parameters that influence the output of the variable. The syntax of a variable reference is:

[variable:optional-parameter:optional-parameter ...]

A variable reference starts with [ and ends with ]. The text between the brackets must include a variable name, such as S or D. If a variable reference includes parameters, those parameters appear after a colon (":"). For example, to insert only the year from a date regardless of whether the date has a month and day or not, use the Y parameter of the D variable:

[D:Y]

Most variables output a value that comes from the GEDCOM data, such as the name of a person, a date, a location, etc. Some special-purpose variables produce a special value or influence the output in other ways. For example, the "+" and "-" variables are used in variable expressions to vary the output based on whether other variables are empty or not.

See the variable list below for more information about variables and variable parameters.

Variable Expressions

As shown in the GedSite Sentence Templates section, variable expressions are used to vary text based on whether a variable has a value or not. They may also be used to evaluate alternatives and insert the first alternative that is not empty.

When a variable has a value, the variable is considered "true", and when a variable does not have a value, it is considered "false". Every variable reference produces a true or false result, and every variable expression also produces a true or false result. The true and false results influence the processing of the subsequent formatting instructions.

The simplest form of a variable expression refers to a single variable, for example:

<[D]>

The D variable reference returns the tag's date, if any. When wrapped in "<" and ">" to create a variable expression, the D variable reference will include the automatic preposition for a date, i.e., "on 12 May 1952", "in May 1952", or "in 1952".

You may include your own literal text before and/or after the variable reference:

<in [Y] or after>

The prefix "in " and the suffix " or after" will only be included in the output if the tag has a date with a year.

Variable expressions may include multiple variables. The variable expression will only produce output if all the variable references are not empty.

Alternatives

Variable expressions support alternatives where GedSite will evaluate the alternatives until one of them produces output, i.e., until one has a "true" result. When an alternative produces output, the remaining alternatives are ignored. Alternatives are separated by the bar ("|") character:

< alternative1 | alternative2 | ... alternativeN >

A common use of alternatives is to vary the output based on whether an event has one or two principals:

[S] <and [PO] were|was> enumerated on the census< of [D:Y]>

The GedSite variable expression alternative syntax looks similar to the "< | >" construct used in TMG, but there are important differences.Note 2

Nesting

Variable expressions may be nested: one or more inner expressions may be an alternative for an outer expression. The Lifespan Example includes variable expression nesting.

Special Variables Used in Alternatives

Variable Description
+ The [+] and [-] variables are designed for use with variable expression alternatives.

The [+] variable returns true if the prior output is not empty. It is used to process an alternative only if prior sibling expressions have produced text. So, for example, you can use it to add a delimiter between sibling output.

The [-] variable is the opposite of [+]; it returns true if there is no prior output. It is used to process an alternative only if prior sibling expressions have not produced text.

The [+] and [-] variables support optional text as a parameter. So, for example, [+:, ] will insert a comma and a space into the output only if the prior output is not empty.

+:text
-
-:text
?:variable The [?:variable] variable tests whether the variable passed to it returns true or false without producing any output. So, for example, [?:D] will return true if the [D] variable returns a value, but it will not insert the date into the output.

Lifespan Example

GedSite includes the parameter :LSP to produce a lifespan for a person. If you were attempting to produce similar output using GedSite's variables and variable expressions, you could use the following sentence fragment:

<(<b. [S:PB]><[+:, ]d. [S:PD]>)>

For a person who was born in 1901 and died in 1977, the output would be "(b. 1901, d. 1977)".

Notes:

  1. The formatting instructions will produce the correct output when there are no birth and death dates, only one or the other, or both.
  2. "[S:PB]" produces the primary birth date of the subject. "[S:PD]" produces the primary death date of the subject.
  3. Nesting is used to wrap the result in "(" and ")": if the inner expression is false, i.e., does not produce output, the outer expression will be false and the "(" and ")" will be suppressed.
  4. The "<b. [S:PB]>" variable reference produces the "b. " prefix and the primary birth date if the person has a primary birth event and that event has a date.
  5. The "[+:, ]" variable reference produces the ", " output, but only if the prior variable expression (the birth date) is not empty.
  6. The "<[+:, ]d. [S:PD]>" variable expression has two variable references. As described in #5 above, the "[+:, ]" variable reference produces the ", " output if the prior birth date variable reference has produced output. "d. [S:PD]" produces the "d. " prefix and the primary death date if the person has a primary death event and that event has a date.
  7. If the person does not have a primary death event, or if the primary death event does not have a date, the <[+:, ]d. [S:PD]> variable expression will not produce any output. The expression includes two variable references, and both must be true or the expression is false. The result of "[+:, ]" is always true, but it may or may not add text to the output. "[S:PD]" may or may not be true. If it is not, the variable expression is false and no output is produced.

Variable List

People Variables

GedSite supports several variables to refer to people attached to an event. They are listed in this section. Each of those variables supports a common set of parameters to refer to characteristics of a person, such as the person's age. Those parameters are listed in the People Variable Parameters section. Absent any parameters, the variables produce the name (or names) of the people who match the description shown below.

Variable Description
A All people attached to an event
AO All people attached to an event other than the current subject
S The current subject, i.e., the person whose narrative is being constructed
R:role The people with the given role or roles; see Role Variable
RO:role The people with the given role or roles other than the current subject; see Role Variable
P All principals attached to an event
PO All principals attached to an event other than the current subject
W All witnesses attached to an event
WO All witnesses attached to an event other than the current subject

Role Variable

The Role variable accepts a parameter that determines which roles to select. So, for example, "[R:Child]" will return a list of all people attached to the event with the role "Child".

You may specify more than one role by separating the role names with a comma, so "[R:Parent,Child]" will return a list of all people attached to the event with the role "Parent" or the role "Child".

You may specify any of the People Variable Parameters after the role name(s).

People Variable Parameters

People Variables accept parameters to choose which characteristic of a person you want to add to the output. The parameter is added after the variable name and a colon, for example, [S:A] produces the age of the subject.

Parameter Description
(count) Number of people who qualify; see Count Parameters section below
A Age computed by subtracting the primary birth date from the date of the current event; see the Age Parameters section below for additional parameters, including the :A:TEXT parameter for accessing ages entered as text
ATTRIBUTE:name The value of the Attribute with the given name; see additional ATTRIBUTE parameters
GENDER Gender (M, F, or U); see additional GENDER parameters
ID ID number
LED Last edited date (change date)
LIVING Living state ("living" or "deceased")
LIVING:T Does not return any text. Returns true if the person is alive. Example:

[S] is <[S:LIVING:T]alive|deceased> will produce "John Doe is alive" or "John Doe is deceased".

When used with multiple people, returns true if any are living. Example:

<[A:LIVING:T]some or all alive|all deceased> will produce "some or all alive" or "all deceased".

LIVING:F Does not return any text. Returns true if the person is deceased. Example:

[S] is <[S:LIVING:F]deceased|alive> will produce "John Doe is deceased" or "John Doe is alive".

When used with multiple people, returns true if all are deceased. Example:

<[A:LIVING:F]|all deceased|some or all alive> will produce "all deceased" or "some or all alive".

LSP Lifespan formatted according to the Dates.Person Entry Lifespan format
N Full name; see additional N Parameters
NRL Name and role label, with the role label in parentheses
NWRL Name and, if witness, role label, with the role label in parentheses
PARENTS Names of parents; see Parent Parameters section below
FATHER Name of father; see Parent Parameters section below
MOTHER Name of mother; see Parent Parameters section below
PB Primary birth date
PD Primary death date
PO Pronoun: object pronoun (her, him, him/her, them)
PP Pronoun: posessive (her, his, his/her, their)
PS Pronoun: subject (she, he, he/she, they)
RL Role label
RLORTL Role label or tag label: tag label for principals, role label for witnesses
S Surname
WCCHILDREN Word Choice Children returns one of three strings based on the number of children of the person, with variations for zero, one, or more than one; in English, the words are "children", "child", and "children", respectively
WCPARTNERS Word Choice Partners returns one of three strings based on the number of partners of the person, with variations for zero, one, or more than one; in English, the words are "partners", "partner", and "partners", respectively
WRL If witness, role label
# Returns the number of people selected by the person variable, so [R:Bridemaid:#] might return 0, 1, or more, depending on the number of witnesses with that role
#CHILDREN Returns the number of children of the person
#PARTNERS Returns the number of partners of the person

People Variable Index

You may specify an index number with any person variable to access one of the qualifying people, from 1 to 9.

Examples

Example Description
[P2] Returns the name of the 2nd principal.
[W3] Returns the name of the 3rd witness.
[R2:Child:A] Returns the age of the 2nd person with the role "Child". Note that the index number goes after the "R" and before the colon that introduces the role name(s).

There are no standards for the sequence that witnesses are specified in a GEDCOM file, so the sequence number is not predictable and that limits its use. The most useful examples are [P1] and [P2].

N (Name) Parameters

Parameter Description
NP The NP ("no pronoun") parameter prevents the substitution of a pronoun in place of the name.

Example:

[S:N:NP]

First The First parameter returns the first name from the Given name part. The first name is defined as the start of the given name field up to the first space, or the end of the given name. With a given name of "John Jacob", [S:N:First] would return "John".

The First parameter returns a computed result and cannot be used like a name part.

Example:

[S:N:First]

Casual The Casual parameter returns the Nickname part from the name record, or if there is no Nickname part, it returns the first name from the Given name field. With a given name of "John" and a nickname of "Jack", [S:N:Casual] would return "Jack".

The Casual parameter returns a computed result and cannot be used like a name part.

Example:

[S:N:Casual]

Name Parts You may use name parts as parameters to return one or more parts of a name. The name parts are Title, Given, Nickname, PreSurname, Surname, Suffix, and Other.

Examples:

[S:N:Given]

[S:N:Title+Surname]

Poss The Poss parameter adds the possessive suffix "'s" to the name.

Examples:

[S:N:Poss]

[S:N:First:Poss]

Count Parameters

The people variables support "count" parameters you can use to vary the text based on the number of people who are included in the variable.

When a count parameter is used without any subsequent parameters, the variable reference returns true or false but does not produce any output. If you specify a parameter, the variable produces output if the number of people passes the count filter.

Count with No Parameters

The examples below use the W (witness) variable, but you may substitute any of the other People Variables including R:role, P, PO, A, AO, etc.

  • [W:+] is true only if there is at least one witness
  • [W:-] is true only if there are no witnesses
  • [W:1] is true only if there is one witness only; works for [W:1] to [W:9]
  • [W:1+] is true only if there is one or more witnesses; works for [W:1+] to [W:9+]
  • [W:1-] is true only if there is one or fewer witnesses; works for [W:1-] to [W:9-]

Example:

<[R:Bridesmaid:2+]The bridesmaids were [R:Bridesmaid]|The bridesmaid was [R:Bridesmaid]>

Count with Parameters

The examples below use the W (witness) variable and the N (name) parameter, but the same structure works with other People Variables and Parameters.

  • [W:1:N] will produce the name of the witness if there is one witness only; works for [W:1:N] to [W:9:N]
  • [W:2+:N] will produce the name of the witnesses if there are two or more witnesses; works for [W:1+:N] to [W:9+:N]

Example:

<The bridesmaids were [R:Bridesmaid:2+:N:Given]|The bridesmaid was [R:Bridesmaid]>

Parent Parameters

The parent parameters (PARENTS, FATHER, MOTHER) support all the other person variable parameters. So, for example:

  • [S:FATHER] returns the name of the subject's primary father
  • [S:FATHER:A] returns the age of the subject's primary father at the time of the associated event, if the age can be calculated
  • [S:MOTHER:PB] returns the date of the subject's primary mother's birth

Age Parameters

The A (age) parameter supports further parameters you can use to modify the value.

The ":TEXT" parameter will return the age text entered in the database rather than the calculated age.

The ":TORC" (Text or Calculated) parameter will return the age text entered in the database, or, if that is empty, a calculated age.

The ":AT" parameter will add a prefix and suffix to the age value using the Strings.At Age Format string. In English, that defaults to "at age {0}". So, for example, [S:A:AT] will produce the subject's age in the form "at age 30".

You should avoid using the :AT parameter. GedSite supports it to simplify RootsMagic sentence handling. A better option is to specify the prefix and suffix in a variable expression such as "<, at age [S:A],>", which produces the same output but puts control of the prefix and suffix in the sentence rather than hidden in a String variable.

ATTRIBUTE Parameter

When used with the :name parameter only, the ATTRIBUTE parameter inserts the value of the named attribute into the output.

The ATTRIBUTE parameter supports an additional parameter you can use to test the attribute value. If the attribute value matches the parameter value, the variable reference returns true. Otherwise, it returns false.

Example:

[S] was <[S:ATTRIBUTE:Related_By:A]an ancestor|[S:ATTRIBUTE:Related_By:?]not related|related>

GENDER Parameter

With no additional parameters, the GENDER parameter inserts the person's gender into the output. The gender text is drawn from the Gender Strings properties.

The GENDER parameter supports an additional parameter you can use to test the gender value. When any of these parameters are used, the variable reference returns true or false but does not produce any output.

  • [S:GENDER:F] is true only if the subject is female.
  • [S:GENDER:M] is true only if the subject is male.
  • [S:GENDER:U] is true only if the subject's gender is unknown.

The "GENDER:F", "GENDER:M", and "GENDER:U" parameters are not subject to translation in response to the site language, so you should always use the English values shown here.

Example:

[S] was <[S:GENDER:F]female|[S:GENDER:M]male|an unknown gender>

Tag Variables

The Tag Variable [T] supports several parameters to refer to name and event fields. For convenience, some of those parameters may be used without specifying the "T:" prefix. With the "T:" prefix or with no prefix, the references refer to properties of the current tag.

[S] was born<[T:D]>

[S] was born<[D]>

Parameter Description
T:D or D Date of the event; see additional D (date) parameters
T:Y or Y Year of the event
T:SD Sort date of the event
T:L or L Location (AKA place) of the event; see additional L (location/place) parameters
T:M or M Memo text for the tag; see additional M (memo) parameters
T:N or N Name from a Name tag, empty for event tags
T:TL or TL The tag label of the event
T:WM or WM Witness Memo text for the current witness; supports M (memo) parameters and you may use [WM:Note2], etc., to refer to split memo parts

You may use Tag Variable parameters with the PB and PD parameters of People Variables.

The father of [S] was born< in [S:FATHER:PB:L]>

M (memo) Parameters

The M (memo) parameter returns text associated with the tag.

For GEDCOM tags that GedSite treats as Events, there may be one or more text properties. GedSite stores the text properties under a part name that indicates the origin of the text in the GEDCOM file and/or the meaning of the text. You may insert one or more of those text properties using the M (memo) parameter.

The two most common parts are "Text" and "Note". There are other part names that are specific to certain GEDCOM tags.

The "Text" part contains any text that is on the main GEDCOM tag for the event. For example, the GEDCOM NCHI tag is used to record the number of children for a couple. The family record for a couple with five children would include an NCHI tag as follows:

1 NCHI 5

When GedSite reads the GEDCOM file, it puts the "5" text into the "Text" part of the memo.

The "Note" part contains any text that is recorded via a GEDCOM NOTE tag. Expanding on the example above, the GEDCOM NCHI tag may include a child NOTE tag to include additional text. The family record for a couple with five children might include an NCHI tag with a NOTE tag as follows:

1 NCHI 5
2 NOTE All children were born in Maine

When GedSite reads the GEDCOM file, it puts the "All children were born in Maine" text into the "Note" part of the memo.

M Parameter Examples

Part Name Example Description/Explanation
(none) [T:M]
or [M]
If you do not specify a part name, the M parameter returns the Text part if it is not empty. If the Text part is empty, it returns the Note part. If both are empty, the variable is empty.
Note [T:M:Note]
or [M:Note]
Return the Note part of the memo.
Text [T:M:Text]
or [M:Text]
Return the Text part of the memo.
Less Common Memo Parts
Age [T:M:Age]
or [M:Age]
Multiple GEDCOM tags allow an AGE child tag. The text from the AGE tag is placed in the "Age" memo part. It's usually best to access the age text via the A:Text person variable parameter.
Cause [T:M:Cause]
or [M:Cause]
Multiple GEDCOM tags, including the DEAT (Death) tag, allow a CAUS (Cause) child tag. The text from the CAUS tag is placed in the "Cause" memo part.
Relation [T:M:Relation]
or [M:Relation]
GedSite creates an Event from the GEDCOM ASSO (Association) tag. If the ASSO tag includes a child RELA tag, the text from the RELA tag is placed in the "Relation" memo part.
Temple [T:M:Temple]
or [M:Temple]
GedSite creates an Event from LDS Ordinance tags including BAPL (LDS Baptism), CONL (LDS Confirmation[?]), ENDL (LDS Endowment), SLGC (LDS Child Sealing), and SLGS (LDS Spouse Sealing). If those tags include a child TEMP (temple) tag, the text from the TEMP tag is placed in the "Temple" memo part.
Type [T:M:Type]
or [M:Type]
GedSite creates an Event from the GEDCOM REFN (Reference Number) tag. The REFN tag supports a sub-record, TYPE, to indicate a "user-defined definition of the USER_REFERENCE_NUMBER." If the REFN tag includes a TYPE tag, the text from the TYPE tag is placed in the "Type" memo part.

A (article) Parameter for M Parameter

The M (memo) parameter supports an A parameter that you may specify prior to any part names. The A (article) parameter will insert "a" or "an" before the part text. This is useful when constructing the sentence for an Occupation event, for example:

[S] was [M:A:Text]<[L]><[D]>

If the Text part is "farmer", the output will be:

John Smith was a farmer.

If the Text part is "accountant", the output will be:

John Smith was an accountant.

At present, the A parameter will only return a value for English (U.S.) and English (UK). Future versions may add support for other languages.

Split Text

Some genealogy programs support split text fields where the text is divided into sections using special characters. For example, TMG uses the "||" characters to split text:

memo part 1 || memo part 2

GedSite recognizes TMG's split text delimiters and divides the text into separate parts. GedSite appends the sequential part number to the base part name to produce the names of the second and subsequent parts.

Split Text Example

Given the following records in a GEDCOM record written by TMG:

1 BIRT
2 NOTE 9 pounds 6 ounces || 20.5 inches

The note for the Birth event would be split into two parts accessible through the following sentence variables:

Variable Value
[M:Note] 9 pounds 6 ounces
[M:Note2] 20.5 inches

D (date) Parameters

The D parameter supports the following additional parameters.

Parameter Description
D:NP "No prefix", omits any automatic prefix that GedSite would normally supply in the absence of a user-specific prefix
D:WP "With prefix", includes the automatic prefix even if the user supplies a prefix in a conditional reference

L (location/place) Parameters

GedSite supports multiple place records for a single event. The GEDCOM converter assigns an index number based on the intended use of the place record. The PLAC record, if any, is assigned to index 1. The ADDR record, if any, is assigned to index 2. Some source applications have custom GEDCOM tags for additional place records, and those are assigned index 3 or higher.

By default, the L parameter will return data from the place record with index 1. To access a different place record, specify the index number using the :I parameter, i.e., :I2, :I3, etc.

The L parameter supports the following additional parameters.

Parameter Description
L:At Uses "at" as a prefix. The actual prefix is localized by Strings.Place.Prefix, Place w/ L:AT; see Place Prefix, below.
L:FIRST Returns the initial text from the formatted place result up to, but not including, the first comma.
L:NG "No Geocode", prevents the addition of a mapping service link if the place does not have a latitude / longitude value. This is useful for "place details" records where the location text is not a complete value.
L:In Uses "in" as a prefix. The actual prefix is localized by Strings.Place.Prefix, Place w/ L:IN; see Place Prefix, below.
L:NP "No Prefix", omits any automatic prefix that GedSite would normally supply in the absence of a user-specific prefix
L:NS "No Suffix", omits any automatic suffix that GedSite would normally supply
L:SHORT Returns the short version of the place name. Returns the full place name if there is no short value supplied by the GEDCOM source application.
L:part-name Restricts the output to the specified part-name(s); separate multiple parts with ":"; see Place Parts, below
L:I2 Returns the value of an event's ADDR tag.

When using Family Historian sentence templates, the {address} variable is mapped to [L:I2].

When using Legacy sentence templates, the [address] variable is mapped to [L:I2].

When using RootsMagic sentence templates, the [placedetails] variable is mapped to [L:I2].

L:I3 Returns the value of the first custom place value record for an event.

When using Family Historian, the _PLAC record is stored in place 3. In Family Historian sentence templates, the {_place2} variable is mapped to [L:I3].

Place Prefix

The L parameter supports several prefix options described above. They were implemented primarily to support source programs that specify a prefix via an option on a variable name. In a GedSite sentence, it's typically best to let GedSite determine the prefix, or add a prefix with an expression, i.e., "<in [L]>".

Place Parts

The L parameter supports named place parts and will restrict the output to those parts only. Unfortunately, standard GEDCOM does not support named place parts, and most GEDCOM source programs do not provide the information via custom GEDCOM tags. GedSite stores the text on the GEDCOM PLAC record in a part named "@Full".

Variables for Formatting

The following variables are used for formatting text.

Variable Description
[BOLD] and [/BOLD] Text enclosed between the [BOLD] and [/BOLD] variables will be rendered inside an HTML B (bold) element. By default, text inside a B element is rendered with font-weight set to bold.
[EM] and [/EM] Text enclosed between the [EM] and [/EM] variables will be rendered inside an HTML EM (emphasis) element. By default, emphasized text is rendered in an italic style.
[BR] The [BR] variable inserts the value of the Strings.Sentences.Line Break property. The default value of that string inserts inserts an HTML BR (line break) element.
[INDENT] and [/INDENT] Text enclosed between the [INDENT] and [/INDENT] variables will be indented. More precisely, the text will be rendered inside a DIV element that is assigned the gs-indent CSS class. The properties of that class are controlled via the Styles.Person Entry.Block Indent section.
[ITAL] and [/ITAL] Text enclosed between the [ITAL] and [/ITAL] variables will be italic.
[PARA] The [PARA] variable inserts the value of the Strings.Sentences.New Paragraph Break property. The default value of that string inserts two line breaks and the text required to indent the start of the sentence.
[STRONG] and [/STRONG] Text enclosed between the [STRONG] and [/STRONG] variables will be rendered inside an HTML STRONG element. By default, text inside a STRONG element is rendered with font-weight set to bold.

HTML Expressions

GedSite's variable expressions use the "<" and ">" characters that are used in HTML to start and end HTML tags. As a result, if you want to use HTML in a GedSite sentence, you usually must escape the "<" and ">" characters using GedSite's escape character, "\". So, "<" and ">" are entered as "\<" and "\>" when adding HTML to a sentence.

For convenience, GedSite recognizes several HTML tags even when the "<" and ">" characters are not escaped. It treats them as "HTML expressions". To use the following small subset of HTML, you can enter the text without escaping the "<" and ">" characters.

HTML Tag Description
<b> and </b> B element (bold)
<br> BR element (break)
<em> and </em> EM element (emphasis)
<i> and </i> I element (italic)
<strong> and </strong> STRONG element (strong emphasis)
<sub> and </sub> SUB element (subscript)
<sup> and </sup> SUP element (superscript)
<u> and </u> U element (underline)

Seams and Punctuation

As GedSite evaluates a sentence, it appends new text to the end of any previous text in the output until there are no more variables or literals to process. The text location where new text is added to the existing text is called a "seam".

GedSite adjusts punctuation at seams. If the characters on either side of the seam are punctuation, GedSite chooses one or the other, but doesn't leave both. The rules vary based on the characters involved. GedSite ignores spaces when it evaluates whether either side of the seam is a punctuation character.

The Sentence Strings section defines the characters that are considered punctuation so that GedSite can be configured to support different languages.

Notes

  1. On this page in particular, and on GedSite help pages in general, the word "sentence" refers to the formatting instructions that mix variables and literal text to produce text output. Some programs call the formatting instructions "templates", or "sentence structures", etc.

    A sentence is not limited to producing a single grammatical sentence as the text output. The program does not evaluate the grammatical structure of the text output and it may include multiple grammatical sentences if so desired.

  2. GedSite Alternatives compared to TMG

    The GedSite variable expression alternative syntax looks similar to the "< | >" construct used in TMG, but there are two important differences:

    • GedSite evaluates the alternatives in sequence and stops when an alternative produces output. TMG chooses the first alternative if an event has one principal and the second alternative if an event has two principals.

      As a result, TMG expressions have to be reversed to work properly in GedSite:

      TMG:[S] <was|and [PO] were> ...
      GedSite:[S] <and [PO] were|was> ...
    • GedSite supports multiple | characters to support multiple alternatives.
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