Monday, October 24, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 9: The "Ahnentafel Report"

One of the most important features, for me, of any genealogy management program is the narrative reports that it produces.  I put all of my biographical family history information into the Notes. 

In Family Tree Maker 2012, the Narrative Reports are in the "Publish" Workspace and in the "Genealogy report" list.  There are only two Narrative Reports available, the "Ahnentafel Report" and the "Descendant Report."  Here is the "Publish" Workspace screen with the "Genealogy Report" item selected:

I had my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) selected in the People workspace previously, so I created the "Ahnentafel Report" (a list of ancestral families from one person, in an ancestor order similar to a pedigree chart) for him:

The default number of generations seems to be four.  In the screen above, you can see that there is a heading at the top of the page, a sub-heading for the generation number, and then text. 

There are icons in the right-hand panel for "Items to include," "Fonts," "Page Setup," "Save Report Settings," "Use Report Settings," and "Save Report." 

For this report, the "Items to include" menu looks like this:

The default seems to be Name, Birth, Marriage and Death facts.  The user can add other items to the list of Facts by clicking the Plus button, or can delete items from the list by highlighting the item on the list and clicking the X (delete) button.  A user can click on the "Name Options" button below the list of items to select from an "Options: Names" list - shown in the screen above).

There are Fact options (I chose "Include only Preferred Facts," Note options (I chose "Include Person notes" and "Include Fact Notes") and Source options (I chose "Include sources"). 

The "Fonts" icon in the right-hand panel opens the Fonts menu which permits the user to specify  the Font, Size, Color, alignment, and font effects (bold, italic, underline) for the Report Title, Report Headers, Report Body, Report Footer and Preparer Information items.  This menu is shown below:

The "Header/Footer" icon opens the Header/Footer menu and the user can select the options desired. 

The "Page Setup" icon opens the Page Setup menu where the user can specify portrait or landscape pages, and select the top, bottom, left and right margins for the report.

Any time the information in one of these four icons is changed, the Report is generated again, so the user is advised to set the report settings using a small number of generations so as to minimize the report generation time (four generations took less than ten seconds, but I've waited several minutes for ten generations).

When the user is finished selecting the "Items to Include," the "Fonts," the "Header/Footer" and the "Page Setup," the settings can be saved using the "Save Report Settings" icon. 

In the right-hand panel (shown above), the user can select or edit the Report Title, specify a background image, define the Number of Generations, and click on several report options.  When everything has been specified, clicking on the "Generate Report" button sets the program off to create the "Ahnentafel Report." 

The screen above shows the top of the "Sources" section of the report.  The sources are always provided as Endnotes - there is no Footnotes option with the "Ahnentafel Report."

The user can use the "Save Report" icon to save the report within the FTM 2012 system on your computer - I haven't been able to find the file in my file folders.  The benefit of this is that the user can go to the "Saved Reports" item in the "Publish" Workspace menu to open a saved report.

The user can click on the "Print" button in the upper right-hand corner to print the report.  The user can click on the "Share" button in the upper right-hand corner (shown in screen above) to share or save the Report to:

*  Upload to Ancestry
*  Upload to MyCanvas
*  Send as PDF
*  Send as CSV
*  Send as RTF
*  Send as Image
*  Export as PDF
*  Export as CSV
*  Export as RTF
*  Export as HTML

The "Export" function permitted me to "Save As" to my computer files. 

While this "Ahnentafel Report" seems very well done, there are some things I would like to see added or improved, including:

*  I would like to see an option to start each Generation at the top of a new page.

*  The "Notes" I have in this particular file, imported from my RootsMagic 4 database, have extra spaces in the text caused by FTM's use of the CONCatenate GEDCOM tag for all lines, rather than the CONTinue GEDCOM tag like most other programs use.  This happens in the Sources also.

*  Each person with Notes has a "Notes for [person name]:" line added.  There is no blank line after this line - I would like to see another option in one of the menus for this so that it stand out a bit.

*  There is no opportunity to include photographs or document images in this report. 

*  While this is a true "Ahnentafel Report" - meaning a list of ancestral families, I would like to see an option to include all spouses and all children for each person in the ancestor list.  The spouses do show up in the Child's list of the person's parents, but the other children do not.

*  Sources are provided only as Endnotes.  I would like to see a "Footnotes" option, and an "Endnotes after each Section" option. 

*  My Sources were improted from RootsMagic 4 and have formatting (bold, italics, etc.) and the formatting does not come through in FTM 2012, but shows up is, for example, <i> for italics.

*  I would like to see an option for the Preparer's Name in the Footer (there is a check box for "Include Preparer's Information" which puts the information on the last page of the report.

*  There is no Index for Names or Places provided in this report. 

*  I would like to see an option for an "Introduction" page that would go at the beginning of the Report, so the user could explain something about the report - not everyone who receives this report will understand exactly what it is and how it was created.

*  One request that I've had for years, and I know that many persons have, is that there be an option to save the file as a Microsoft Word document (and other word processing systems also) with Field Codes for the Names and Places.  That would permit users to move text around without having to completely revise the Index.

What other additions or changes to the "Ahnentafel Report" in Family Tree Maker 2012 would you like to see?


Cousin Russ said...


Great review!

Two items / questions.

I thought Anhentafel meant Table.

Seconds, as to images in this type of report, isn't this report a more formal report and that images were not included?

That doesn't mean they shouldn't be, but up until now, I thought that is why they were not included.

I am going to guess that your Export to a wordprocessor statement does not include the Export to RTF feature, as you can export to an RTF.


Unknown said...

I really wish that they would give us an option to produce the report with footnotes rather than endnotes.... Randy have you found a way to do this?