Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree
Illustration by Richard Downs

Customizing and printing charts


Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree

with Jeff Sengstack

Video: Customizing and printing charts

Charts and reports are a great way to share family tree information visually and quickly. There are lots of different kinds of charts and reports inside Family Tree Maker, and I'm not going to show you all of them. There are various reasons why you'd use one over the other and various options within each one. But rather than go through all of those, I want to just show you the quick way that you can look into this a little bit by going to Help and then Help for Family Tree Maker, go down to Publish and double-click on Charts and you can see all the various kinds of charts, and each one gives you a full explanation about what the chart is about and what are the options.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 5m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Why grow your family tree?
      1m 43s
    3. Workflow for growing and sharing a family tree
      1m 51s
    4. Using the exercise files
      1m 12s
  2. 39m 37s
    1. Installing Family Tree Maker
      1m 29s
    2. Introducing Family Tree Maker
      4m 38s
    3. Standardizing names, dates, and locations
      1m 59s
    4. Getting started with Family Tree Maker
      4m 50s
    5. Including source information
      3m 29s
    6. Adding more names: children, spouses, unrelated individuals, and parents
      6m 0s
    7. Inputting notes, facts, and media
      7m 36s
    8. Fine-tuning information
      5m 45s
    9. Viewing and printing simplified ancestor charts to identify gaps in knowledge
      3m 51s
  3. 16m 44s
    1. Going on a treasure hunt
      1m 20s
    2. Getting photos and documents onto your computer
      12m 12s
    3. Using DNA to trace your roots
      3m 12s
  4. 12m 56s
    1. Finding others who have researched your family tree
      5m 4s
    2. Importing family tree files
      5m 10s
    3. Talking to older relatives
      1m 1s
    4. Visiting ancestral locales
      1m 41s
  5. 24m 10s
    1. Leafing through Family Tree Maker's ancestry hints
      2m 44s
    2. Installing Family Tree Maker's viewer
      1m 34s
    3. Merging ancestry hint document data into your family tree
      12m 23s
    4. Saving documents and linking them to individuals
      7m 29s
  6. 24m 53s
    1. How the internet can help you
      3m 53s
    2. Drawing up an internet research strategy
      5m 28s
    3. Tips, tricks, and techniques for searching
      7m 43s
    4. Reviewing the major internet genealogy sites
      7m 49s
  7. 48m 18s
    1. Associating place names with people and events
      8m 55s
    2. Adding, viewing, and linking images and media to people
      9m 41s
    3. Customizing and printing charts
      9m 34s
    4. Backing up, restoring, and exporting files
      5m 46s
    5. Setting the home person
    6. Finding relationships
      1m 19s
    7. Sorting children
      1m 1s
    8. Replacing terms
      1m 11s
    9. Making facts private
      2m 35s
    10. Moving data items
      1m 42s
    11. Reviewing data
      2m 7s
    12. Merging two trees
      3m 30s
  8. 7m 49s
    1. Creating family history audio recordings, videos, slideshows, and DVDs
      3m 43s
    2. Collaborating and sharing online
      4m 6s
  9. 2m 17s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 17s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree
3h 2m Appropriate for all Nov 03, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree shows how rewarding and informative building a family history can be. Genealogy instructor Jeff Sengstack teaches how to find lost ancestors, connect with living relatives, and collaborate with others to grow a family tree. He explains how to use the Family Tree Maker application along with and other internet sites to track down census data, immigration records, and other important documents, and then organize family tree data. Jeff also presents tips on how to scan old photos, create video slideshows, and build family web sites. Exercise files accompany this course.

Download Jeff's free genealogy tips from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Learning multiple methods for tracking down ancestors
  • Exploring the database
  • Working with Family Tree Maker and its ancestry hints
  • Using DNA evidence to trace a family branch
  • Conducting live interviews with family members
  • Importing and scanning photos and documents for use in a family tree
  • Using Family Tree Maker's advanced tools to link images, documents, and places to individuals
Family Tree Maker
Jeff Sengstack

Customizing and printing charts

Charts and reports are a great way to share family tree information visually and quickly. There are lots of different kinds of charts and reports inside Family Tree Maker, and I'm not going to show you all of them. There are various reasons why you'd use one over the other and various options within each one. But rather than go through all of those, I want to just show you the quick way that you can look into this a little bit by going to Help and then Help for Family Tree Maker, go down to Publish and double-click on Charts and you can see all the various kinds of charts, and each one gives you a full explanation about what the chart is about and what are the options.

Now the options are almost always the same from one chart to the next. Edit, Select, Mark, Remove, but they give you instructions on each chart on a chart-by-chart basis. Reports tend to be more text oriented, but again, their options are similar, then there are all kinds of reports down here below, which you can also check out I think by just running through this little Help file. We'll take a look at the few though. We're going to look at the Pedigree and the Descendant. We're going to look at Genealogy Reports. These are sort of like official genealogy style reports. The Ahnentafel is the number one official report that people use all the time in genealogy.

We'll look at Relationship Reports, specifically the Outline Descendant Report that I like a lot. Now we'll talk about books a little bit, particularly that how you make a book online. So let's go back to Charts and I'm going to start with the Pedigree Chart. This is an ancestry chart. You start with a person and go back in time, one generation at a time. I can double-click on this to open up the Detail view or I can just click on this tab to open up the Detail view, there it is. This is the default view, the anchorperson, in this case my dad and then his parents, parent's parents, that kind of stuff. And it says birth date and death date and then if you have marriage dates, it will list that.

Those are the facts that are included here by default. Now you can change the facts that are included in the Pedigree tree or any other kind of chart. So I'm going to click on this thing that say Items To Include. That opens up this dialog box and those are the three that are being included, a Name and a Divider, notice how does that work. This is name with a divider underneath, and that's the standard way to show it here. But I want to add something else. I want to add occupations. So I click on this little plus sign. It shows all the facts that you've worked with inside Family Tree Maker. Ones that you've added, plus ones that are there by default. So I'm going to the Occupation and click OK and before I close this, I want to look at some of the options here and it says Include blank facts.

That means if they don't have an occupation, there will be a blank there in case somebody wants to hand write the occupation in, if you're giving it to somebody to kind of fill in some blanks for you. In this particular case, I'm going to uncheck that so there aren't any blank occupation fields and other fields as well that are blank. Here is this little thing. It says Display user-defined short place name. I talked about the place name issue in another video. You can give sort of like nicknames to places and this is where you can click this and have those nicknames or short names to show up as part of the place. So I'm going to click OK and it's going to change it and show all the occupations where occupations are listed.

Accountants, Grocer, things like that. So now we've edited it this way, but there is much more you can do. In fact, it's almost insane all the things you can do inside these charts and reports in terms of how you make them look. I go over here and I can change the font for each element inside there, Names, Facts. I can change different fonts, different colors, I can have multiple colors, I can have one color for Occupation, one color for Facts, one color for Names and this gets pretty wild in terms of the options that you have. We can also talk about the Borders and Boxes, so we can fill in the boxes with certain colors and have borders as well.

So for instance, I've got Females. I'll have a Border for them that is we'll say well, I have this color here for that border and now a Fill of a slightly different color. So women will have that color and men will have a different color. That'll be green let's say and we will have a Fill for them. Let's say White Smoke as it's called. I'll just show you how that looks. You can have things visually represented that way if you want to and you can really go absolutely nuts in terms of how you want this thing to look.

You can also add a background to it. They are backgrounds that come with Family Tree Maker and you can take a look at these things and kind of go, which one do I want? If I want let's say Old Map for example. Then I could say that's a little too obvious. I want to tone that down a bit, so I can change the transparency of it. See, it's 80% transparent, which means it's almost completely transparent or you can make it fully opaque, so it depends on how you want your map to look in there. You can also select your own images to use in a background. You want to include pictures. If you have thumbnails that you have of these individuals you can select the thumbnails.

We have no thumbnails in this particular case, but you can click pictures with report as well. So once you've got all this done, if you want to, you can save the report by just going Save Chart and you call this, well, we will call it Pedigree Chart for David Kells SENGSTACK. That's fine. If you want to print it out, you can print it out now. I'm just sending it to your printer, or you can share it by saving this as a PDF file or as an Image and the PDF file is sort of a universal file that Adobe makes that you can read on any Adobe Reader and you can make comments on it as well. It's a great way to share information.

But instead of printing it out now or anything else, I'm just going to save it as I did. Now I'll go back to the Collection and now under Saved Charts, there will be that chart and I can always come back to that chart with those parameters that I have put on and work on it that way. We'll look on the other chart view here, look at the Descendant Chart. The default view of the Descendant Chart might look kind of disappointing. It's very little information. Well first of all, we're going the wrong direction. We are starting with a living Sengstack. We want to actually start from somebody way back in time and then go forward. So I am going to go back to the last Sengstack or the first Sengstack.

We can look it that way. Here is the first one. Now it'll say more, but again it's kind of spartan. I want to include more generations, so you have the options to have even more generations than three. There are seven generations in this particular tree, seven plus the originals so eight altogether. I want to count those. We got all eight generations there now. Now I want to include more information. The default view is just names, but you can up here again and include more information the same way we did before by clicking on this and going let's say we want to get Birth, okay, and we want to get the Marriage for example.

The default view is very spartan, but again you can make it look any way you want. That's just these boxes tend to lend themselves to having fewer bits of information inside them but we will fill it out anyways. So now I can see how it looks as you add more information and again all those little options that I showed you before with fonts and borders and colors and things and you can put different color border and pictures right here. Most options, as I was suggesting earlier, are available for all of these different kinds of charts. I'm not going to go through that again for you. Let's move on to the Genealogy Report. We'll talk about the Ahnentafel Report. The Ahnentafel Report is a really narrative oriented report, but just pretty specific in terms of how it works.

I want to go back in time a bit here by going back, back, back, or forward I should say. So we could see it going back in time. So it's going to be Ahnentafel is the ancestral report, so we start with one person and then we go back in time and now you're going to notice something. They're all numbered. But there is actually some reason behind these numbers. All men are even numbers and all women are odd numbers, except for the anchorperson. So if you look here, you could see that this is a second-generation because it's 2 and 3 and 3 would be the woman. Here is a third-generation, 4 and 5, and the next generation, 8, 9.

Women is odd, man is even, and then it's very narrative. It talks about so-and-so did this as a sentence. It doesn't say it just died 24 December 1897. They make it into a sentence. It's very readable. It's a really comfortable way to look at your genealogy. Let's go back to the Collection again, move on down to the Relationship Reports. I like the Outline Descendant Report because it gives me a quick look at the whole darn tree. So inside the Descendant Report, we've got to go back in time again, so I'm going to click on the Index, go on Johann.

There, that's our oldest one. Excuse me, wrong one. I am going to get this one, there we go. Those are the eight generations and this is just a great way to see a quick rundown on facts about all these people in a tabular form like this where I can again, I can go up here and say how many things do I want to include here besides Birth, Marriage and Death. Let's go on to the final thing and that's Books. If you go to Books, you can create a printed book online using MyCanvas. This is a service of

There is a charge for it and there are all kinds of books that they can do beside genealogy books. Maybe picture books, or books about weddings. Really, in this particular case you would want to use it for your family tree and so if you do it from within Family Tree Maker, you can upload your family tree right to MyCanvas and they can start working on it for you right away. So I'll just click on this. Let's say Create Book and it says, who do you want to include in your book? I will include my entire family tree in the book. I'm going to privatize living individuals. I'm going to not include private facts. Here we go.

It has now loaded up my family tree into this bookmaking site and I can proceed from here. I can give my Tree a name, I can describe it, and I can accept the Submission Agreement, which talks about the facts that you're putting this stuff online. And then I can move forward from there where I can select how the book looks, which pictures I want to include, I can go back and go grab some pictures and add it if I want to do that. I can build the whole book here to the point where I like the layout, I like the way it looks, and then will then publish it. It will actually bind it for me, hardcover, however I want it bound, and of course, there will be a charge for that.

But I have talked to people who have done this and it's one of the most satisfying things they can do. They could have that thing sitting right there on the coffee table and people get a chance to page through it. But it's a tactical thing is really a valuable part of the whole Family Tree Maker experience. So all these little guys working together. Let me switch back briefly. All these folks working together and the charts and the reports are just a great way to share your family tree.

There are currently no FAQs about Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Course retiring soon

Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree will be retired from the library on April 13, 2015. Training videos and exercise files will no longer be available, but the course will still appear in your course history and certificates of completion.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.