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Printing Family Tree Maker Charts

Designing a chart in Famiy Tree Maker

Designing your genealogy chart in Family Tree Maker is quick and easy!

Family Tree Maker is an excellent program that can easily produce a variety of gorgeous genealogy charts ready for printing. Since it is the most popular genealogy program in use today, here are some simple design tips that will help Family Tree Maker users create gorgeous looking charts while keep their printing costs as low as possible.  The same techniques shown below for Family Tree Maker 16 and earlier also apply to the more recent versions of Family Tree Maker.  the only difference is that the menus for selecting these options of changed somewhat.

Including Photos or Graphics

If you'll be including photos or graphics on your chart, you can optionally resize them prior to including them on your chart.  Although Family Tree Maker allows you to scale the size of the photos you place on your chart, the program is still saving the original full-size photo.  This can make your FTM file very large if you have a large number of photos that have large file sizes.  For example, if you're adding a photo that would normally print as a 5 X 7 or an 8 x 10, and it will only be appearing on your chart as a photo that is 2 inches tall, so you may want to resize the photo before importing it into FTM.  This is not necessary, but it will dramatically reduce the file size of the photo and keep FTM from getting into the hundreds of megabytes big process.

   Play videoWatch video about adding photos to your family tree chart if you're using FTM 16 or earlier

Family Tree Maker Page Breaks

If you've ever printed a small family tree chart using 8.5 X 11 inch paper, you already know that you don't want your boxes to be cut in half at the page breaks. Since we'll be printing your family tree chart on continuous roll paper, you'll be doing the exact opposite. You'll want to change the settings in Family Tree Maker to allow the boxes to overlap page breaks that you see on your screen. In FTM 16 and earlier, this is accomplished by right clicking anywhere on your chart, and then selecting "tree format". Make sure the overlap page breaks box is checked as shown in the first example below.  This will eliminate a lot of wasted white space, reduce the width of your family tree chart, and keep your printing costs low.  You don't need to worry about finding a setting for continuous roll paper as we handle that on our end.  If you're using a more recent version of Family Tree Maker, the option for making this selection is always visible in the chart options panel on the right side of your screen as shown in the second example below.

    Play videoWatch video about removing page breaks in your family tree chart if you're using FTM 16 or earlier

Eliminating page breaks in Family Tree Maker version 16 & earlier

Eliminating page breaks in Family Tree Maker 16

Eliminating page breaks in recent versions of Family Tree Maker

Eliminating page breaks in Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker Box Sizes

Another thing that you can do to fine tune the size of your printed genealogy chart is to adjust the width of the boxes.  For exceptionally long family tree charts, adjusting the box sizes could trim a few feet off the total size and reduce your cost.  If you're using Family Tree Maker version 16 or earlier, this is accomplished by right clicking anywhere on your chart, and then selecting "maximum box width". This bring up a second screen as shown in the first example below.  If you have previously selected "word wrap" under "options" in "items to include in each box", long lines will simply wrap, creating a taller box, but saving you on the width. You should never use the FTM feature that allows you to drag individual boxes or branches of your tree.   Although everything may appear the way you want it to look on your monitor, when it comes time to print, your chart won't print correctly.  If you're using a more recent version of Family Tree Maker, you can adjust your box sizes by selecting the third icon from the left which appears right under "chart options" on the right side of your screen as shown in the second example below.  When you do this, another options box will appear which will allow you to adjust your box sizes, box outline colors, and chart border.  To save on space, you may also want to un-check the option "all boxes same size" which is the default setting.

    Play videoWatch video about adjusting the box sizes on your family tree chart if you're using FTM 16 or earlier

Setting box sizes in Family Tree Maker version 16 & earlier

Setting box sizes in Family Tree Maker 16

Setting box sizes in recent versions of Family Tree Maker

Setting box sizes in Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker Picture Sizes

You will also want to adjust the size of any photos that you want to appear in any of the boxes.  The default size for photos is much smaller than you will want them to appear on your chart.  We recommend a photo size of around 1.2 inches. If you're using Family Tree Maker version 16 or earlier, this is accomplished by right clicking anywhere on your chart, then selecting "maximum box width" and finally adjusting the picture size in the new box which will will come up as shown in the first example below.  If you're using a more recent version of Family Tree Maker, the option for making this selection is always visible in the chart options panel on the right side of your screen as shown in the second example below.

Setting picture sizes in Family Tree Maker version 16 & earlier

Setting picture sizes in Family Tree Maker 16

Setting picture sizes in recent versions of Family Tree Maker

Setting picture sizes in Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker Font Styles and Sizes

Although it won't have a major impact on the size of your family tree chart, selecting a good font size and style is important.   If you select too small of a font in order to keep your chart small, you run the risk of it not being easily readable by relatives with less than perfect eyesight. The default font size in Family Tree Maker for most items is 6 or 7 points which is way too small to use for printing.  While it may look fine on your monitor when you zoom in on an entry, you'll probably want  most of your font selections to be between 8 and 12 points. It's usually a good idea to make the person's name one font size larger than the rest of the data entries and also selecting bold type. Unless you're trying to keep your chart a certain size, we normally recommend 12 point bold for the names and 10 point regular for the additional birth, marriage and death facts.  The fonts named Arial or Tahoma are the most popular and easily readable fonts from our experience.  Although there are many fancier fonts that can be used, they are often harder to read by older members of a family.  In Family Tree Maker version 16 and earlier, font selection is accomplished by right clicking anywhere on your family tree chart, and then selecting "text font, style and size".  A second box will then come up which will allow you to select the font size and style for each of your entries as shown in the first example below.   If you're using a more recent version of Family Tree Maker, you can adjust your font sizes and styles by selecting the second icon from the left which appears right under "chart options" on the right side of your screen as shown in the second example below.  When you do this, another options box will appear which will allow you to adjust font styles and sizes.

    Play videoWatch video about adjusting the font sizes on your family tree chart if you're using FTM 16 or earlier

Setting font sizes and styles in Family Tree Maker version 16 & earlier

Setting font sizes in Family Tree Maker 16

Setting font sizes and styles in recent versions of Family Tree Maker

Setting font sizes in Family Tree Maker

Family Tree Maker Chart Dimensions

As you go about fine tuning the layout of your family tree chart, you'll always be kept up to date by Family Tree Maker about the size of your chart. This will allow you to refer to our pricing page so you can determine what you're printing charges will be. Depending upon the country you reside in, the measurements will be in either inches (in the U.S.) or centimeters (in the U.K.).  If you're using Family Tree Maker version 16 or earlier, the measurements of your chart always show up in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen as you're designing your chart as shown in the first example below.  If you're using a more recent version of Family Tree Maker, your chart dimensions will appear above your chart preview window as shown in the second example below.

    Play videeoWatch video about understanding the dimensions of your family tree chart if you're using FTM 16 or earlier

Locating your chart dimensions in Family Tree Maker version 16 & earlier

Chart dimensions in FTM 16

Locating your chart dimensions in recent versions of Family Tree Maker

Chart dimensions in Family Tree Maker

 

Setting Your Date Preferences

FTM allows you to select the date format that will be used in your printed chart.  When you submit your order to us, it is essential that you let us know the date format that you prefer.  Although all of your other design choices will normally be saved within your FTW or FTM file which you send us, your date preference will not be saved in your file. There is a space on our order form for this information.  If you are not sending us a physical order form, and are instead sending us an e-mail with your FTW or FTM file attached, please let us know in your e-mail the date format to use. In Family Tree Maker version 16 and earlier, this option is accessed by selecting "file" and then "preferences" on your menu bar. If you're using a more recent version of Family Tree Maker, select "tools" and then "options" on your menu bar to bring up the box as shown in the second example below.

    Play videoWatch video about date preferences on your family tree chart if you're using FTM 16 or earlier

Setting your date preferences in Family Tree Maker version 16 & earlier

Setting date preferences in Family Tree Maker 16

Setting your date preferences in  in recent versions of Family Tree Maker

Setting date preferences in Family Tree Maker

 

We're so sure you'll love our family tree printing services that we confidently provide a complete money back guarantee on all family tree chart orders.

 

Please call us at 630-653-8400 or e-mail us at sales@ancestryprinting.com if you have any questions about any of our family tree chart printing services.  International callers can also Skype us if preferred; however, we ask that you email us to set up a convenient time for a Skype to Skype call. ¬†We are located in the central time zone of the U.S. (GMT/UTC-6 and -5 in the summer), and can make arrangements for incoming Skype to Skype calls up to around 10:00 PM local time on most nights. We only accept Skype to Skype calls that have been pre-arranged by email. And, if you haven't already done so please watch the full video about our services.

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