Terry's TMG Tips

Settings for Ancestor Charts

This page created 27 Jul 2001; reformatted 20 Jan 2002

Applies to Version 8 & 9

Traditionally ancestor charts are formatted in tree fashion, with the focus person at the bottom, and all the ancestors arranged above like branches of a tree. However, because of the horizontal orientation of the individual boxes, it turns out that you can fit many more ancestors on a chart if you arrange the chart from left to right, instead of from bottom to top. See the photo below for an example. I recommend this arrangement if want to fit a large number of ancestors on a chart.

Chart sample

I find I can fit around 14 generations across a three-foot wide chart with reasonable sized type for viewing from about two or three feet away. The height of such a chart depends on how complete your family information is. The suggested settings below produce a chart like that shown in the photos, and may give a starting point for creating your own chart.

Some Suggested Settings

Here are the setting I use for my wall charts - the references are to the tabs on the Options Screen, reached from Report Definition Screen:

Chart Style tab:

Boxes tab:

Lines tab:

Text tab:

Background tab:

Data Type tab:

I apply the following settings (Box Contents) to the Focus Person, Male Ancestors, and Female Ancestors. I use the combination date/place entries to avoid empty lines in charts when only one or the other is known. I do not include marriages because TMG creates an empty line for the marriage when there are marriage tags with no date or place information, and I find those empty lines bothersome.

Other tab:

Editing for Best Appearance

After generating the chart, I like to make a number of changes that cannot be done with the options settings. I do these by editing the chart in VCF. See my Chart Editing Tips for details.


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