Thursday, October 25, 2012 Chart and Report Print Options

One of the significant problems with online family trees is that they have not offered many readable charts as print or save file options.  I've been critical of Member Trees in the past for not creating readable and quality standard charts - pedigree charts, family group sheets and individual reports.

Since I had not tried to do this recently, I decided to check it out today, and was pleasantly surprised that has improved some of their standard chart offerings in the Ancestry Member Trees.  Here is what I found:

1)  Pedigree Chart -- in the Pedigree View for a person, the screen shows four generations with the green shaky leaves for Hints for record collections:

There is a "Print" icon in the upper left of the screen, and when I clicked that I saw a five generation pedigree chart suitable for printing:

That looks much better than I recalled...but it has only "United States" for a place name in all of the ancestral generations.  That's unfortunate.

At the top of the screen above, there are options to "Create a book," "Create a poster" and "Create a calendar."  I clicked on "Create a poster and saw:

This is a 24" wide by 36" high poster that displays nine generations, and will sell it to me for $39.95.

2)  Family Group Sheet -- On the Person Profile page, I clicked the "Tree pages" link at the top and saw a link for "Family Group Sheet."  I clicked on that and saw:

I like the presentation on the web page.  Unfortunately, there is no printer-friendly Family Group Sheet option.  I printed it using the File > Print for the web page, but it came out fairly small with the Ancestry page header and ad banner footer.  It didn't print my thumbnail photos, either.

3)  Individual Summary -- On the Person Profile page, I clicked the "Print" link in the menu below the Person's name, and then the "Printer Friendly" link and saw this (2 screens shown):

This printed out on three pages, including all of the Facts, the Family Members (with birth and death dates only), and all of the Source citations.  It included the thumbnail image, but not the media items attached to Event source citations.

This is better than it used to be, but is still not "wonderful."  I would like to see a source number on the Event list, and I'd like see the list of source citations with the source number and complete source citation, rather than just the Source name.

One of the major reasons that I still prefer to use genealogy software to enter all of my research data, names, dates, places, events, sources, notes, and media is because the variety and quality of the reports and charts produced by the genealogy software is much better than online family trees.

I know, I'm picky... but presentation is everything in genealogy!  I also know that Ancestry really wants users to buy their coffee table books, their posters and their calendars.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver


Barbara Jean Mathews said...

Ancestry World Tree would let me choose a Register-style printout.
This gave me details on multiple generations. I really miss that.

Now, to get such useful printouts, I have to export from Ancestry and import into my genealogy program. Then I have to put up with the horrid version of footnotes that Ancestry exports.

Carl Smulder said...

I was just in the web to go look for great calendar printing templates but I haven't expected to see this novelty that would actually allow me to go back into time. This is very interesting. Thanks for the heads up!

Unknown said...

I've been looking to print a list of addresses for various Ancestors. As my family all stemmed from the same area, I would love to go and photograph their houses. I've spotted them on Google maps, but it would be tedious to go through all the records since 1750 (big famillies too) and then to write it all down before I go. It would be far better to be able to print a list direct.

@serendipitousP said...

Margaret I found a site that will import your GEDCOM file and then plot everyone on a world map, I'd be happy to send the link when I get home tonight.

@serendipitousP said...

Margaret I found a site that will import your GEDCOM file and then plot everyone on a world map, I'd be happy to send the link when I get home tonight.