Monday, October 31, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 14: Making Descendant Charts

In Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 13: Making a Direct-Line Descendants Chart, I created a Direct-Line Descendants Chart. 

What about the "standard" Descendants Chart, the one with a starting person and then a number of generations?

Here is what I found:

I started with my immigrant Seaver ancestor, Robert Seaver (1608-1683).  I have over 7,400 descendants of him (in 15 generations) in my database, so I thought that this might be an interesting test of the software.  I decided to start with only three generations because I wanted to make useful charts.  

From the "Publish" workspace and "Collection" tab, I selected the "Descendant Report:"

Here is the result for the three-generation Descendants Chart (I already had settings for background, layout (Book), Items to Include, Fonts, Page Setup (landscape), etc.):

Apparently, the three generation chart is too wide to show all of the first generation descendants on one page of the chart.  For the "Book" layout, there are 43 pages of charts like the above to cover the three generations. 

So how big is the Descendants Chart in a "Poster" layout for three generations:  Here is a screen shot at 10% size:

The three-generation chart is 257 inches (that's over 21 feet!) wide and 6 inches high.  That's nice, but a lot of work to tape together if I print it out, and not really useful for me - I really want something with ten or twelve generations - can that be done?

Here is a close-up view of a twelve generation Descendants Chart from Robert Seaver (in "Poster" layout with a "Portrait" page):

And the view with 10% magnification of a part of the Chart:

This Descendants Chart is 5,922 inches wide (more than 493 feet, or 1.6 football fields) and 20 inches high, and, if printed, would produce 1,482 pages.  That might be really impressive, eh?

I Saved the Chart above, and FTM 2012 saves it within the database, apparently, since the database file size  is a lot bigger than it used to be!  I tried saving it as a PDF file, and the message says that the PDF page would be "clipped."  That apparently means that it has a "Book" layout.  The file size is 10.6 mb.

for reference purposes, a  six generation chart has 362 pages, and measures 2,891 by 8 inches.

An eight generation chart has 1,340 pages, and measures 5,358 by 17 inches.

A ten generation chart has 1,458 pages, and measures 5,816 by 18 inches.

So, those charts aren't really useful to me, since I can't get lots of descendants on one manageable charts.  However, the program did create them fairly quickly and included everything I wanted - I was impressed that it could create something so large!

For many generations of Descendants, the most useful Chart or Report is probably the "Outline Descendant Report" in the "Relationship Reports" collection.  Here is the first page for 12 generations of descendants form Robert Seaver:

There are "only" 320 pages for this report, which has about 7,400 names in it. 

Readers need to understand that Descendants Charts created by other software programs, with similar chart content and design options, will have sizes similar to FTM 2012 chart sizes.

What other Charts or Reports would you like to see examined in this series?  I'm thinking the "Extended Family" chart...

See all posts in this series at Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 Compendium.


Janet Hovorka said...

You know where for help with fitting a big descendant chart fit into a reasonable space :). I have pictures of one we squished recently here:

And thanks for the best of the geneablogs shout out yesterday. I'm so glad you liked it. Keep reading, we're having some success and I'm learning alot about what works.

mbm1311 said...

You've are like a good genealogy newspaper worth checking every morning with my coffee! Thank you for the time and quality that you give us.

You could take a file down to the local print shop or Staples and have them print a chart on one large sheet. Right?

The real issue becomes being able to rearrange the information on the page to use the paper space better and keep a strong visual impact!

ArtMes said...

The problem with Family Maker 2012 (which I recently upgraded from FTM 11) is that is only shows three generations in book format, where FTM 11 used to fill up the page appropriately. I have a book that is 330 pages, and now with the same information it is well over 750 pages because the chart size has increased. I have searched high and low to try to make the changes, and nothing works (it is always 3 generations that it shows. In my opinion, FTM 2012, has a long way to go to be like FTM 11.