On This Day (OTD) is designed to be run once a day, and in normal operation it will produce a report—a list of names and events—as soon as you start the program. The events must meet date criteria and other filters.
By default, OTD shows Birth, Marriage, Death, and Burial events that occurred on the current day, in any year, for everyone in the database.
The first time you run it, however, OTD doesn't know what TMG database you want to use, so it does not display any events. Select File>Open Database... and choose a TMG database. The program will produce a list of the day's events from that file, sorted from most recent to least recent (e.g., Jan 1970 before Jan 1969). If you want to see a different day, you can go back a day (Date>Previous Day or F3) or forward a day (Date>Next Day or F4). You can also open a calendar (Date>Choose Date... or Control-D) and choose any day of the year.
By default, OTD writes the report to the main window. Each name in the list is a clickable link. When you click on a name, the program opens a window that shows the TMG ID, birth date, death date and gender for the person, and the same info for the person's parents.
Mocakebi is explained on the Mocakebi page.
OTD features and options are described using a page for each menu:
OTD does not have a built-in printing capability, but you can use your web browser to print a calender; follow the directions below.
- Set the date range to a month (Options > Report Date Range > Month, or Ctl+F3)
- Set the output type to HTML (Options > Output Type > HTML)
OTD will then produce a calendar in HTML format and open it in your browser.
- Use the browser's print command to print the calendar.
You can also set the date range to Day or Week and send the output to your browser, but only the Month choice produces output in calendar form.
Configuring OTD to Run Each Time You Start Your Computer
If you want On This Day to run each time that you start your computer, you will have to add what is called a shortcut to the Startup menu. The instructions below describe how to do that. They were written specifically for Windows 2000, but they should work for Windows XP, too.
Do not be alarmed by the number of steps. None are very difficult. All these steps are in Windows; On This Day should not be open.
- RIGHT-CLICK on the "Start" button in the taskbar. The start button is the one you use to get the menu of installed programs, etc.
- One of the choices in the menu that opens when you right click will be "Explore". Click it.
- A standard Windows Explorer window will open. Double-click "Programs" to open that folder.
- Double-click "On This Day" to open that folder.
- RIGHT-CLICK on the "On This Day" icon and select "Copy".
- The "Programs" folder icon should still be visible in the list of folders on the left-hand side of the current window. You may have to scroll up if you don't see it. Click it.
- A folder with the name "Startup" will appear in the right-hand pane. Double-click it.
- RIGHT-CLICK anywhere in the right-hand pane of the current window, which now shows the current contents of the Startup folder.
- One of the choices in the menu that opens when you right click will be "Paste". Click it.
- Close the window by clicking the "X" icon in the upper-right of the window frame.
Those steps will copy an icon to the Startup folder. The next time you start your computer, the On This Day program will start and display the anniversaries for the current day (or whatever period of time you have selected in the program).
As mentioned above, OTD has various options including date criteria and other filters. It also has options that control its appearance. Whenever you change one of the filters or options, the program will scan the database to reproduce the event list. On my machine and with my data, that takes about 2 seconds. If you are going to change more than one of the settings and you would rather not wait, hold the shift key down as you select the option.
The shift key trick does not work when you use the keyboard to execute commands; you have to select from the menus using the mouse. Also, if the option is changed via a dialog window, you have to hold the shift key down when you click "OK" on that window. It doesn't do any good to hold it down before that.
The shift key trick does work when you start the program. Hold down the shift key, and then select On This Day from the Start menu. This allows you to change the database or options before a report is produced.
The shift key trick used to be the control key trick until I discovered that the control key trick interfered with some other options.