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.
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.
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:
- Orientation Left to Right
- Chart Size 15 generations
- Gap between boxes, same generation 5
- Gap between boxes, between generations 20
- Box size, Width 165 pixels
- Box size, Minimum height 10 pixels
- Box fill, Color white
- Box border,Color blue
- Box border, Width 1 pixel
- Frame Grey shadow
- Connector line, Width 2 pixels
- Connector line, Color red
- Title Tahoma, 10 pt., bold, black
- Names Arial, 9 pt., bold, black
- Data lines Arial, 8 pt., regular, black
- Solid, Color White
Data Type tab:
- Place preposition (Blank)
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.
- 1 Birth* Group Abbr Date Placeprep Place
- 2 Death* Group Abbr Date Placeprep Place
- all others (blank)
- Miscellaneous Allow Word Wrap
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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