Friday, March 7, 2008

Testing Legacy Charting - Post 2

I blogged about my initial testing of the free pre-release version of Legacy Charting in on Tuesday.

I did a bit more experimenting tonight with different page, box, line, background and color options in order to get some idea of the file sizes, number of full size pages, etc.

I imported my large Master ancestral database (over 20,000 individuals) and Legacy Charting had no problem importing it and displaying it. Using relatively small boxes, I checked to see the full scale size of charts as a function of number of generations for a typical "perfect" pedigree chart. The test showed (other tests may vary depending on program input):

* 4 generations -- 25.5" wide by 22.0" high, 6 8.5" x 11" pages, 15 ancestors

* 6 generations - 42.5" wide by 55" high, 25 8.5" x 11" pages, 63 ancestors

* 8 generations - 51.0" high by 220" high, 120 8.5" x 11" pages, 255 ancestors

* 10 generations - 68.0" wide by 847" high, 616 8.5" x 11" pages, 1023 ancestors

* 12 generations - 76.5" wide by 3355" high, 2745 8.5" x 11" pages, 4055 ancestors.

This test told me that a 6 or 7 generation chart is about the biggest anyone would want to make full scale and have it created as a large wall chart - my full scale 6 generation chart would be 3.5 feet wide by 4.5 feet high.

When you have designed a chart that you like, you can save it as an .lwc file on your computer - the 6 generation chart was about 2.5 mb in file size and the 12 generation chart was about 6.7 mb.

You can also export the file to a number of file types - I chose .jpg so that I could import it into this post. As a .jpg, I can open the file in a picture viewer and print it on a single page. The maximum readable size for a one page 8.5" x 11" chart that I found was 5 generations. I had to increase font sizes for the names (=28), dates and locations (=24) to try to make them readable on an 8.5" x 11" page. The full scale Chart was 42.5" x 55.0" with 6" wide boxes and 0.5" spacing between boxes in the 5th generation. The full scale chart .jpg file was 3963 x 5190 pixels, and 6.6 mb in file size. My printer took a long time gathering all of the information, and the type is barely readable - I need a magnifier to read it well.

Realistically, a 4 generation chart is the largest suitable for an 8.5" x 11" page printout of the .jpg. file. The full scale Chart shown below is 34.0" wide by 33.0 high, with 6" wide boxes and 0.5" spacing between boxes in the 4th generation. It has 12 full scale pages, 63 ancestors, and the .jpg file is 3715 x 3115 pixels, and "only" 1.2 mb. The names, dates and locations are fairly readable.

As you can see, I put a tree background on the chart, and ran the transparency down to around 30%. I put a large title on the top of the page - you can vary the font type and size. There are a number of different box fill color schemes - I chose the blue (males) and pink (females). The only problem with the printed version is that the blue and pink fill colors of the boxes don't print uniformly on my inkjet printer. I'll probably go back to a clear box fill with some edge colors.

All in all, I still think that this is a very useful program. However, there are limitations. 6 or 7 generations is a reasonable maximum number in order to make a full scale chart. Without dates and places, you might be able to make a large wall chart of 8 or 9 generations that doesn't exceed 8 feet in height or width.

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