Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Making a Descendant's Chart using RootsMagic 6

I received a question in email from a correspondent last week about making a Descendant's Chart using genealogy software, and so I set out to look at how to do this in the three major software programs I have.

She specifically wanted a chart that showed a set of parents, and then their children with their spouses (all of them), and all on one sheet of paper.  She had 10 children to show...so the one sheet of paper might be a problem, unless their boxes are very narrow.

This post uses RootsMagic 6, and I'll do posts on Legacy Family Tree 7.5 and family Tree Maker 2014 also.  Maybe I'll learn something in the process too.

1)  In the RootsMagic 6 Family View, I clicked on the "Reports" menu item and selected "Charts" and then "Wall Chart:"

2)  The "Wall Chart" dialog box has several options.  I added a chart Title, chose 1 Ancestor generation, and 2 Descendant generations, and checked "Print color coding," made the box size, and chose background colors:

I also clicked on the "Data to include" button on the screen above, and selected to show birth, death and marriage dates, but not places or values, and selected word wrap and include photos:

3)  I clicked OK on that screen, and then "Generate Report" on the "Wall Chart" dialog box, and saw my chart:

This chart is 25 inches wide and 7 inches high.

My ancestors are shown with a red background because I chose to show the color coding.

Spouses of the persons in the children's generation are shown, but the spouses of the grandchildren are not shown.

The oldest generation (my great-grandparents) are shown on the right-hand side of the chart for some reason.  I have tried to center all of the generations without success.  Is there a secret code used here, or is this how it was designed, or have I totally messed something up? [Note, I vote for the latter...]

Here is another version with the word wrap unchecked, the boxes widened a bit and the background color changed:

This chart is 30 inches wide and 7.5 inches high.  I like it better than the first chart.

A chart with one generation of descendants looks like this:

This chart is 10 inches wide and 6.5 inches high, so it would fit on one page.  But there are no spouses for the children.

What if I do the chart from left to right?  Here's what it looks like (zoomed to fit):

That chart is 21 inches high and 12 inches wide.  It still has the parents at one end of the chart instead of in the center of the page vertically, and it doesn't show the spouses of the grandchildren.

4)  I've seen charts that have the children and their spouses on two different lines - like children 1, 3 and 5 (and their spouses) on the second line down and children 2, 4 and 6 (and their spouses) on the third line down.  That would save space, and might permit a family with say six children to be on one sheet of 8.5 x 11 page.

My conclusion is that RootsMagic 6 won't satisfy my correspondent's wishes.  Unless there is more magic that I haven't found yet in the chart options.

UPDATED:  18 September:  Reader Geolover suggested how to move the generations around on the screen, so I tried it - here is the result:

I could only save the modified image  above as an .rmc file (RootsMagic proprietary format), so I used the Windows Snipping Tool to save the portion of the image with content:

The problem with the snipping tool generated image is that the resolution is not great.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2013/09/making-descendants-chart-using.html

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Geolover said...

To reposition a box, including to create an additional tier, just click on it and move it with graphic cursor. To reposition a couple or family group, hold down ctrl, click the boxes to be moved together, and move them with graphic cursor from your mouse.

I have not found a way to show children emanating from a couple rather than from one parent. Maybe FTRFI.

Robin Patterson said...

Disappointingly complex, maybe. Familypedia's "/descendants" subpages list up to 4 generations of descendants automatically, though with no spouses and no detail except page names (which include birth and death years as standard).

Lisa Gorrell said...

I tried it but my RINs printed and I couldn't see how to make those not print.

Thanks Geolover for telling how to reposition the boxes.

Jim's Girl said...

Thank you Randy and Geolover! Moving boxes to create a third row would solve my problem. Perhaps RootsMagic is the way to go.

Kate, aka Jim's Girl

Sue Maxwell said...

Lisa, if you go to Tools > File Options > Number to display after name, and set it to "none". then your RINs will not display on the chart.

Sue Maxwell said...

Robin, not disappointingly complex, just powerful. Once you set the criteria you want for a chart (like number of generations), you don't have to change it until you want something different on your next chart. Even then you can change the criteria within the charting process without completely closing out of the charting program.