Friday, January 23, 2009

Legacy Charts with Picture Backgrounds

I've been experimenting with Legacy Family Tree 7 and Legacy Charting for some time now. I do this mainly in hopes of finding an absolutely beautiful and wonderful combination of information and background that I can get made into a wall poster by Generation Maps at some time (see, Janet, I haven't forgotten you!).

Today, the Legacy News blog (I'm assuming Geoff Rasmussen) showed a sample chart that pulled one of his kids photos in as a background - see his post Legacy Charting Tip - a mug shot for a background. I thought it looked very neat. I hadn't tried that before - it looked easy and it was.

I made four-generation charts for my father and my mother, using their photographs as a background (with about 40% transparency). Here's what they look like:

The user can control the sizes of the boxes, the spacing between the boxes, the color and weight of the boxes and the connecting lines, and the format of the items inside each box. To make the background in Legacy Charting, you click on Appearance>Backgrounds>Select Image and find the picture you want to use as the background. You can then set the Transparency level. It is really easy.

My problem with all of the charts is keeping the number of pages down to a manageable number. I wanted a four-generation chart with the name, birth date/location, marriage date/location and death date/location on my chart, but that resulted in a two page chart with the picture stretched vertically. So I eliminated the locations and got the chart above. I can get a five-generation chart with all of the information I want and an unskewed picture, but it's on four pages.

I noticed that Geoff got a five-generation chart on one page, but included only the name and birth-death years, which is probably good enough for most recipients of such a chart. I'll have to experiment more.


Geoff said...

Randy, here's an idea to get more generations on a page. First, choose how many generations you want. 5 or 6 for example. Then, on the Publish tab, click the export button to export to a .jpg or .pdf. Using either Windows' printing (right-click on a picture and select print) or Adobe Reader, you have the ability to print the .jpg or .pdf to one page. This will automatically reduce the chart (no matter how large it is) to one page. Give it a try, it works great!

familytwigs said...

They are beautiful Randy. I have only the free Standard version of Legacy and I could do that. I have been playing with it. What beautiful charts! I've had Legacy on here for a long time and I had not even open the charting section.
Thank you!

Janet Hovorka said...

You know Randy, we can fit more info in a smaller space, readjust, or do anything else you want to do. Let me know when you are ready.