Monday, March 30, 2009

Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 4: Creating a Pedigree Chart

I downloaded the free RootsMagic 4 beta release in early March, and easily uploaded my Family Tree Maker file to it. In this series, I'm looking at different features of RootsMagic 4. I'm not doing a comprehensive review, just looking at features important to me.

Previous posts in this series include:

* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 1: Navigation
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 2: Editing Person Data
* Working in RootsMagic 4 - Post 3: Adding a Child to the Family

In this post, I'm going to create a Pedigree Chart for my father, Frederick W. Seaver (1911-1983). The Pedigree Chart is an item on the "Report" menu drop down list, as shown below:

Clicking on "Pedigree Chart," the program opens the "Report Settings" box.
I can change the Start Person if I need to by clicking on the "Start person" button at the top left. I can control how many generations are on the chart - I chose 6 (the choices were 4, 5 or 6). I can also choose to create cascading pedigree charts for more generations by checking the box "Print cascading charts and selecting then umber of generations in the middle left side of the "Report Settings" box.

There are four buttons on the right side of the "Report Settings" box - Reset, Layout, Fonts and Index. I clicked the "Layout" button and could select Portrait or Landscape, and the margin sizes, for the chart. I could have clicked the "Header/Footer" tab and added information to the header and footer also. The "Page Layout" screen looks like this::

Back on the "Report Settings" page, I clicked on the "Fonts" button, and this box appeared:

I could choose the font name, font size, bold, italic, underline and strike out for the chart names, the chart events and the chart labels. I was surprised that there were no color options for the Pedigree Chart. I would love to make the names and the lines in red or blue so that they stand out.

Next on the "Report Settings" box was the "Indexes" button - this brings up the "Index Settings" box:

In this box, I could change the fonts, font size, etc. for the Name Index and the Place Index. I could select no index, the index style and the number of columns. I chose "no index."

After going through all of the "Report Settings" box options, I clicked on the "Generate Report" button on the bottom right of the box, and my six-generation pedigree chart was created:

As you can see, the information for the 5th and 6th generations are limited due to size restrictions to get it all on one page. A four-generation chart shows all of the birth, marriage and death information, and a five-generation chart shows only the dates in the fifth generation (similar to the six-generation chart above).

What about the earlier generations? Without closing the Pedigree Chart, I can click on the "Settings" button in the upper left hand corner of the screen and get back to the settings:

In order to see the next five generations, I checked the "Print cascading charts" button, selected 10 generations, and clicked on the "Generate Report" button at the bottom right, and the program created 20 pedigree charts for me. Note that the continuation notice applies to the line above the notice. Here is the second pedigree chart, for no 32 on Chart #1:

Once you get used to the menu items and the navigation buttons, the program is pretty easy to use. It works very quickly - taking just about three seconds to create the 20 pedigree charts. I would like to see a bit more formatting on the Pedigree Chart (such as color options for the lines and the names, dates and events, but it works well.

In the next post, we'll check out the Family Group Sheet reports.

1 comment:

Chris said...

I noticed in your Report Settings screen grab that you had "Color Coding" selected.

If you had color coded your ancestral lines (Tools>Color Coding) in different colors, at least the names would have been colored.

I have each of my 4 grand-parental lines color coded with separate colors so my pedigree chard has 4 colors. The color codes also show up in the index on the left and the search index. Not in the People View.