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FTM Charting Tips

IMPORTANT! When you make your chart, make sure your text doesn'tCharting overflow the boxes. If the the text overflows, the words will be truncated when you export your chart to a PDF file. To correct this problem, you can click the Text Fonts and Style button on the right side of chart editing window. Choose the guilty data category (most likely a Date/Place) and make the font one point smaller. Repeat until all or nearly all of the boxes have no text overflow, and then you can export your chart.
Save a copy of your chart view for future reference!

For reunions, a descendant chart of the ancestor of most of the attendees will be most meaningful. An All in One chart also may work for you.

When creating a standard descendant chart, try the 1-Column format option to make your chart a little better proportioned.

The Compact template will indeed draw a small chart for you, but you might find the font size a little hard on the eyes. Try the Elegant template or Scenic template for a chart that will be well received at a reunion!

Ensure the Boxes overlap page breaks checkbox is checked. Your chart will be printed on a single sheet of paper, so there will be no page breaks to accommodate!

The single most effective thing a person can do to improve the appearance of a photo in a chart is to adjust its levels in an application such as PhotoShop Elements before adding it to the scrapbook. You can adjust levels manually (How To... ), or just use the Auto Levels function, which does a great job on most photos with a minimum of fuss. If at all possible, avoid the use of contrast and brightness controls (such as those found in FTM)—levels will do what you want, and do it much better.

Stick with common fonts in your charts. There are reasons why fonts like Arial and Times are so widely used: they’re clear, extremely readable, and have a professional flair. Make them work for you! If you still feel your chart needs something just a little different to spice it up, try a fancy font in your chart title.

To ensure you get the best product, print a proof copy of your chart at home. Most folks have a photo quality printer nowadays, and while your output may not be exactly the same as ours, it will be close enough to get a fresh look at potential problems. This includes such things as overlooked typos as well as photo resolution and darkness. If your chart’s too big to print in its entirety, find some of the likely trouble spots and just print those pages. Doing a second export to PDF using multiple pages will help. A little extra effort here can have significant payoff later.

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