Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Enhanced ancestry.com Member Tree Viewer

Ancestry.com announced an enhanced Ancestry Member Tree viewer last week in Jen Hodnett's post Member Trees: A New Way to View Your Ancestry.com Member Tree on the Ancestry.com Blog.  See Jen's post for all of the enhancements and improvements.

I had to try this out, since it sounded pretty useful to me, at least for navigation within the Tree.  Here is the pedigree chart in my tree:

The blue background text above the chart says "Coming soon! Improved Pedigree View, Family View and More! Check out a preview of what's new and let us know what you think."

I couldn't help myself - I clicked on the link and saw:

There are three text boxes to the right of the "see What's New!" box at the top left, for "Easier Navigation," "See More of Your Tree" and "Improved controls."  The screen above shows the popup boxes that show when I ran my mouse over the "Easier Navigation" box.  See Jen's post for a full description of the new features.

On the Pedigree Chart, I clicked on the right arrow next to Isaac Seaver in the upper-right corner of the chart, and the tree expanded by another four generations:

Note that the tree can be expanded for only one selected person in the right-most generation.  This is good, but being able to expand more than one would be nice!

There is a Zoom slider control in the Tool Bar on the left of the chart.  If I zoom out, I can see the whole chart (at least along the one line I choose) on my screen:

All of the above is in the "Pedigree View."  There is a "Family View" button in the top left of the chart.  Clicking the "Family View" you can see the generations including the siblings of your direct ancestors.  If you have thumbnail pictures attached to the persons in your tree, they will show on the chart:

These enhancements are useful, I think.  Navigation to a person in the extended family tree is improved considerably - you don't have to click one person  at a time. 

Perhaps the best enhancement of all if that the Print function for the Pedigree Chart and the Family Chart is significantly improved.  The Print icon is at the bottom of the Tool bar.  Here is a screen image of the 5-generation Pedigree Chart that can be printed out:

If there are more than five generations, then there are succeeding pages.
This is much better than doing a File: Print on the chart that I complained about before.  There is another Print option - to create the charts on the screen in a MyCanvas printout, which takes some time (a minute?) to create and print.  The controls are at the top of the Print screen above (not shown) - the user can choose to print a Book, Poster or a Calendar.

Disclosure:  I am not an employee, contractor or affiliate of Ancestry.com, and have not been remunerated for this post.  I am a paid subscriber of Ancestry.com, but have accepted gratuities from Ancestry.com in the past.

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