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How to Manage Large Family Trees as PDF Files with FTM 2005

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How to Manage Large Family Trees as PDF Files with FTM 2005

Posted: 7 Nov 2012 12:24PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 7 Oct 2013 8:52AM GMT
I have spent more time than I would have liked researching how to get Family Tree Maker 2005 to generate and physically print large family trees as single page pdf files. As I work on the family tree only intermittently, I needed to write down what I have learned for the next time so I thought I may as well post it for the potential benefit of other users.

Although Family Tree Maker 2005 is now an old application, it does what I need it to do. I do not need all of the on-line stuff in the latest versions. In fact, if my relatives thought for one moment that any of their details was going on-line, I would have got little assistance in my research. Privacy for the discerning is golden. I also see many users report a steep leaning curve, poor 64-bit Windows compatibility and other issues with the newer versions, so I am not in any hurry to migrate to something new.

One of the limitations of Family Tree Maker 2005 is that it is not possible to alter the layout of an All-in-One tree and it is difficult to alter the layout of other types of trees if they are large. So I just leave them in the layout the program generated and focus instead on optimizing the scaling for printing.

I have a much more reader friendly version of this guide on a pdf file but the message board will not let me post it. In any event, here is the result of my experience:

I have a:

Epson Smart Panel Perfection 1260 flat bed scanner connected to a laptop with
Family Tree Maker 2005 and
CutePDF Writer Version 3.0 (free version) running on
Windows XP Service Pack 3 32-Bit with
Adobe Reader 9 (free version). I have indirect access (via pdf files) to a
HP Designjet T610 Printer which is part of a corporate owned system that also has Adobe Reader 9.

So if you use later or earlier versions of Family Tree Maker, Windows or Adobe or you use a 64-bit version of Windows, some or all of this guidance may not be applicable and you may require different solutions.


FOR REFERENCE MY TREE SETTINGS ARE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST


TOPICS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE

· Creating Sub-trees for printing from branches of the master tree in Family Tree Maker 2005

· Generating a pdf file from your tree chart using the in-built pdf generator

· Downloading and installing a free third party pdf generator

· Using CutePDF to scale and convert the tree chart to a single sheet pdf file

· Using Adobe Reader 9 (free version) to print the pdf file on the paper size of your choice

· Viewing the pdf file in Full Screen Mode on a computer or tablet

· Storing Data and Large Tree Charts


CREATING SUB-TREES FOR PRINTING FROM BRANCHES OF THE MASTER TREE IN FAMILY TREE MAKER 2005

I use a printer that prints on rolls of paper that are 42 inches wide with a custom set length. At that size I can squeeze up to 500 individuals on a chart. As I have close to 900 individuals in my master tree, I have to create sub-trees from branches of the master so that when they are printed on the 42 inch roll, they are big enough to be legible.

To do this, I export selected individuals and in most cases their descendants and spouses from my master tree to the sub-tree. This may appear daunting at first but if you are organised, it can be done quite quickly.

First, you need to navigate on the family view pages to the oldest/first ancestor of each branch you want to export. Make a note of the indiviuals name and date of birth. This is important as during the export process, you will not have access to the family view pages – you will only have access to the list of individuals. So you may have four individuals called John Smith. John Smith born in 1888 is easily identified from the list if you have noted the date of birth. However, if the individuals have no date of birth, then from the family view page of the individual, you need to go View/Index of Inviduals and that individual’s position on the index will be highlighted. Scroll up and down the index. If the name is unique, then it appears only once. If not, as in our case, there will be four individuals called John Smith, note the position on the index, for example the third John Smith of four from the top.

On the family view pages, once the oldest/first ancestor is identifed in the Index of Individuals, navigate across the branch for any siblings by going up to the oldest/first ancestor’s blank Parent field and identify and note down the siblings if any in the same way. Now navigate down the branch. All descendants and their spouses will be exported automatically so we do not need to identify them. However with the spouses you need to navigate up the branch of each spouse again to the oldest/first ancestors of the spouse and identify them on the Index of Individuals in the same way. Walk down each branch at least twice so that you are happy you have noted down a unique identifIer for the oldest/first ancestor (unique name, name and birth date or position on Index of Individuals list relative to other individuals of the same name) of each branch and spouse sub-branch.

Now you may also want to export some individuals on their own without their descendants, for example on my family sub-tree, I include my wife’s direct ancestors and some other of her relatives. Again, note down a unique identifier (unique name, name and birth date or position on Index of Individuals list relative to other individuals of the same name) of each of these individuals.

Now you are ready to export your noted individuals. Click on File->Export File->Selected Individuals. In the Individuals to Include Box, give a new sub-tree a name and click on the << button to clear the list. In the Available Individuals list, scroll to and highlight an ancestor noted previously and click the Descendants> button to export them and their descendants. Repeat for each noted ancestor. Then scroll to and highlight each of the lone individuals noted previously and click the > button.

You will get warnings that duplicate individuals are being added. This is OK.
Individuals added in error can be removed by highlighting them in the right hand list and clicking on the < button.

Do not click on the << or >> buttons as these will remove or add all individuals.

When you have all the noted down individuals exported, click on OK, and enter a destination and file name for your new sub-tree and click on Save.

Open your new sub-tree and review.

Any individuals that were orphaned by errors in exporting can be re-attached using the People->Fix Relationship function.

Incorrectly added individuals can be deleted using the People->Delete Individual function.

Duplicated individuals can be merged with the People->Merge Two Specific Individuals function.

Individuals and their descendants ommitted from the export in error can be added. With both the master tree and sub-tree files open, go to the family view of the ommitted individual in the master tree and use the People->Copy Individual and All Descendants function in the master tree and then go to the sub-tree family view and put the cursor in the appropriate field and use the People->Paste and then Merge functions.


GENERATING A PDF FILE FROM YOUR TREE CHART USING THE IN-BUILT PDF GENERATOR

The first thing to do to ensure that Family Tree Maker generates a correct pdf file from a tree when you select the Export the Tree to pdf function is to set the Family Tree Maker Printer as your default printer. To do this, go to Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes, right click on the Family Tree Maker Printer and click on Set as Default Printer.

You can play around by trial and error with the paper size and margin settings in File -> Print Setup in the Family Tree Maker program to optimize the layout of the tree on the pdf generated by the Export command. If this gives you a pdf layout you are happy with you are good to go. See the guide below on how to print the pdf file using Adobe.

However I found that I could not get the Family Tree Maker Printer to reliably generate full or properly scaled one page pdf files of tree charts when the trees were large containing hundreds of individuals. Sometimes I got a good pdf and sometimes the tree would be truncated in the pdf although I was using the exact same settings as had got me success previously. I would end up with bits of my family tree chart missing on the pdf.

The problem is described here:

http://ancestry.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2272/~/...


So the solution which is well documented elsewhere in these excellent forums is to:

1. Download and install a free third party pdf generator.

2. Use the third party pdf generator to scale and convert the tree chart to a pdf file.

So some more detail on these two steps:


DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING A FREE THIRD PARTY PDF GENERATOR

I chose CutePDF as it is highly recommended by many users and it works well for me with Family Tree Maker 2005. However, when installing, watch out for the options and opt out of the Ask Toolbar or other bundled programs unless you really want to install them.

It is available as a free download here:

http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp

You also need to download the free converter (Ghostscript) from the same location.

Run the downloaded converter Ghostscript install program first (Administrator access required). It just runs and installs silently without an installation wizard.

Then run the CutePDF downloaded install program. Accept the EULA on the first page of the installation wizard but on the next page untick the Ask Toolbar EULA box, the Ask Browser box and the Make Ask.com your browser home page box – unless you want these products. Then CutePDF installs.

No system re-boot is required after installation.


USING CUTEPDF TO SCALE AND CONVERT THE TREE CHART TO A SINGLE SHEET PDF FILE

Go to Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes, right click on the CutePDF Writer and click on Set as Default Printer. You can do this before you open the Family Tree Maker program or afterwards when you are ready to generate a pdf from your on-screen tree.

Once you have your Tree configured on you computer screen as you want it, you will want to use the CutePDF settings to optimize your tree layout on the pdf.

There are just three settings you need to play with – leave the other settings at default values (for example Overlap Pages should be left checked and Print Quality should be left at 600 dpi). The three settings are Margins, Paper Size and Scaling.

Margins - You can try the default margin sizes or choose others. I normally set them all to zero as I am trying to use every last inch of the available paper to maximize the size and therefore the legibility of my printed trees. Do not worry that this will result in no margin when the tree is physically printed to paper. Adobe Reader will add default margins at the time of printing.

Paper Size – First off, you must keep the paper size setting in CutePDF below 55 inches. This is not a CutePDF limitation, the paper size limit on CutePDF is 108 inches but as we shall see, we can still physically print on sheets larger than 55 inches or indeed larger than 108 inches.

The 55 inches is a limitation in Family Tree Maker 2005 which will truncate a tree in a generated pdf of length or width greater than 55 inches. More recent versions of Family Tree Maker may not have this limitation.

If you know the size of paper you are going to physically print to and it is less than 55 inches, you may as well set it as the size in CutePDF by clicking on File -> Print Setup in Family Tree Maker and selecting the size from the Paper Size drop down box.

If, on the other hand, you have access to a printer or plotter that uses paper on a roll giving a variable length of printed sheet, or you are generating a pdf file of your tree to be viewed on a computer or tablet or other screen by zoom and pan, then you can optimize your paper size setting to closely match the size of your tree meaning there will be little dead space left on the pdf generated and on the printed paper sheet.

What you need to do is pick a paper size setting with an aspect ratio (width to length ratio) that is equal to or slightly greater than that of the tree as displayed on your screen. You will see the dimensions of your on-screen tree in the lower right corner in Family Tree Maker.

So for example if your on-screen tree is 58 inches wide x 106 inches long (aspect ratio approx 1:1.83), set the CutePDF paper size setting to 24 x 48 inches (aspect ratio 1:2) as this matches and is slightly greater than the on-screen tree aspect ratio but it does not exceed the 55 inch limit.

If you are using a printer with a roll feed, we will see below how we can use it to match the aspect ratio of the physical printed paper to the pdf file and ultimately the on-screen tree. With a roll feed, the roll width can be designated the short side of the paper which is a fixed dimension. The long side of the paper can then set to give us the required aspect ratio.

By printing the tree chart to paper with an aspect ratio equal to or slightly greater than that of the on-screen original chart, we ensure that the chart can be scaled to the full amount of space available on the limited fixed short side of the paper. No scaling for the variable and effectively unlimited long side of the paper is required as our paper size specified is just long enough or more than long enough. By doing this we are maximising the size of the printed chart on the roll of paper.

CutePDF has a good range of preset paper sizes to choose from but if you cannot get a good paper size aspect ratio match with your on-screen tree, you can define a custom paper size. Remember, so long as the paper size is less than 55 inches, the size otherwise does not matter – it’s the aspect ratio that matters. You can pick a small paper size as later we will use Adobe to scale it up for printing.

To define a custom paper size in Windows XP, go to Control Panel -> Printers and Faxes. After that click on File (on Windows Explorer) and select Server Properties. You will see a window of Print Server properties, Click on Create a New Form, define your paper size (stay below the Family Tree Maker 2005 55 inch limit) and enter a name in Form Name above Create a new form. Don't forget to click on Save Form before clicking on OK and close Control Panel. Now you have a custom paper size to choose. The procedure is similar for Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Scaling – Once you have chosen the paper size, you need to scale the tree to fit the paper size on one sheet. For the example above where we want to scale an on-screen tree of 58 x 106 inches down to 24 x 48 inch, we know that will involve a reduction in scale to just under 50% so we would try a scaling value of say 45%. To do this, click on File -> Print Setup in Family Tree Maker and click on Options and Advanced and select 45% from the Scaling drop down box. Click on OK/OK/OK to exit Print Setup.

Now we can test if we have scaled correctly to one sheet by clicking on File -> Print All-in-One (or Descendant or Ancestor, etc.) Tree and look at how many pages is flagged to print. If it shows 1 to 2 or 1 to 3, etc. we know we need further scale reduction to get to a one sheet pdf. Just cancel and revise the scaling down further as above. If it is scaled to one sheet, the Pages boxes will show 1 to 1 and will be greyed out. This may also mean the scale is over reduced so you can increase the scale in 1% increments until you just keep within the one page limit. By trial and error of scaling percentage increments, we can determine that the correct scaling is 41%. (We could of course also calculate it – 24/58 x 100 = 41%).

Now you have scaled your tree to fill out as near as is possible one page of your chosen pdf file paper size.

Generating the pdf – Now we are ready to have CutePDF generate a one page pdf sheet from our tree. Click on File -> Print All-in-One (or Descendant or Ancestor, etc.) Tree and Click on OK. Do not tick the Print to File option and do not attempt to use the Export to pdf function. You will be prompted by CutePDF to enter a filename and destination for the generated pdf file and then hit Save. Large trees may take some time to generate the pdf.

If you have a third party firewall installed on your computer, it may request permission for CutePDF to generate the pdf or more problematically, it may silently block it – just something to watch out for.

One other thing to note. CutePDF will list whatever is your sub-folder name in the Documents and Setting Folder as the pdf document author in the document ‘Properties’. If the sub-folder is your name, then your name appears as the author and changing your account name will not change this. Just be aware of that from a privacy point of view. If the sub-folder name has been left as the default ‘User’, then the author is named as ‘User’.


USING ADOBE READER 9 (FREE VERSION) TO PRINT THE PDF FILE ON THE PAPER SIZE OF YOUR CHOICE

Open the pdf file that was generated by CutePDF with Adobe Reader. We can now use Adobe to scale up or down the pdf chart to the size of the physical paper we are going to print to. Print setup menus can be very confusing but all we need to do is:

File > Print
Select the Printer
Click 'Properties' then select the output page size we want to print to
Click 'OK' to return to the main Print window
Select the paper scaling to be 'Fit to Printable Area'
Put a Check in the box next to 'Auto-Rotate and Center'
Click OK.

The 'Fit to Printable Area' will mean that margins as dictated by your printer will be automatically added. The scale zoom will be shown as a percentage under the print window preview box with scale up shown as greater than 100% and scale down as less than 100%. If you set the scale setting to 'None' for a moment, you can check the size of the pdf document as generated and the new paper size it will be printed to. Make sure you set the scale back to 'Fit to Printable Area' when done. 'Auto-Rotate and Center' takes care of portait/landscape issues.

Now if like me you have access to a printer with a roll feed of paper, you can customize the paper size to the same aspect ratio as the chart originally produced on your screen by Family Tree Maker. This optimises the spacing of the tree on the page so that the tree appears as large and therefore as legible as possible.

So in the previous example, our tree on-screen was 58 inches wide x 106 inches long and we pretty much preserved the 1:2 aspect ratio when we generated the pdf file by selecting a 24 x 48 inch paper size on CutePDF. The generated pdf shows that we have kept the tree chart tight with very little margin on the short side which is what we want.

The HP Designjet T610 printer I use prints to standard rolls of 42 inch wide paper. So my ideal paper size to preserve the 1:2 aspect ratio is 42 x 84 inches. So I set up a custom paper size of 42 x 84 either using the in-built custom paper size option on the HP driver print window or else using the Define a custom paper size in Windows procedure described above. Actually, in practice, I would customize a size of 42 x 85 inches or so just be to sure that the tree was scaled to the 42 inch width limit which is fixed and is not in any way limited by length dimension which I can vary. I then select the 42 x 85 inch custom size as my paper size to print.

In this scenario therefore, although Family Tree Maker 2005 limits the generation of a pdf file to 55 inches, we end up with an 85 inch long printed sheet. The overall net scaling effect is to reduce the width from the original 58 inches to a printed 42 inches – a 72% zoom scale factor. As I have set the font size to 8 instead of the default 6 on the original tree, it is still easily legible as this scale.

The above chart example is actually one branch of my family tree containing the birth, marriage and death dates and locations as applicable of a total of 453 individuals over seven generations. Around 30% of the individuals have thumbnail photos.

With Adobe and Windows, we can print up to a limit of 200 inches. There are also other products which print in excess of 200 inches. Now 200 inches is over 16 feet. Sheets any bigger than this size are of no practical use to me so I do not have to worry about this limit.


VIEWING THE PDF FILE IN FULL SCREEN MODE ON A COMPUTER OR TABLET

Often it is just nice to show a relative a tree chart on a portable device like a laptop which may not have Family Tree Maker software installed. So the obvious thing to do is to save a pdf file of the tree chart to the portable device. If the chart is large and busy, it helps to remove the side clutter from the screen. On a device such as a laptop that can run Adobe Reader 9, you do this by selecting View -> Full Screen Mode. The default full screen view is the full page. The following commands apply in full screen mode:

Ctrl 0 full page view
Ctrl 1 zoom to 100% (actual page size)
Ctrl + zoom up
Ctrl - zoom down
Ctrl Y zoom to a percentage selectable in the drop down box (Ctrl M on earlier versions of Adobe)
Esc exit from full screen mode

In full screen mode, you can also zoom with the mouse wheel and pan around the screen with the mouse.

Another useful feature of full screen mode is that you can preview and assess on your screen the tree chart at the size it will be finally be printed on paper to assess legibility.

To do this with good accuracy, you need to ensure that your screen display has the correct pixels per inch (ppi) setting in Adobe. You may be able to find the ppi of your display by internet search or you can work it out in XP (and similarily for Vista and Windows 7) by going to Control Panel ->Display->Settings and in the Resolution window noting the screen width in pixels. Then physically measure the screen width (from end to end – not on the diagonal) and divide that into the pixel width count. For example a 1680 pixels wide screen that is 17 inches wide = 1680/17 = 99 ppi.

Next open any pdf document with Adobe Reader 9 and anywhere on the screen right click and select Page Display Preferences. Enter the correct resolution in the Custom Resolution box.

Now open your tree chart pdf file with Adobe Reader 9 and select full screen mode as described above. Use Ctrl Y to zoom to the percentage scale of the final printed paper. What is on your screen is now the size of what will be printed.

So in our example above, we generated a pdf from our tree chart that was sized at 24 inches wide x 48 inches long. We know we are going to print it on 42 inch wide paper roll so we will be scaling it in theory without any margins at 42/24 x 100 = 175%. Now in practice Adobe reduces the scale very slightly to add printer margins so when you go to full screen mode and use Ctrl Y, you manually overwrite a pre-set percentage setting with a number just under 175% such as 173% in the ‘zoom to’ box.

A pdf file can also be viewed in full screen mode on an Apple or Android based tablet. I have synced via iTunes my tree chart pdf files to my iPad 2. I find it is very easy to walk relatives through a tree with the pdf file opened in full screen mode using the paid for Documents to Go Premium Office Suite app on the iPad. The iPad 2 can open and show the pdf file of my master tree which contains hundreds of photos with some at full resolution although it takes it close to a minute to get there. Documents to Go Premium Office Suite is also available for Android tablets. However, I have found that the free Adobe Reader app on Android works fine to open a large family tree chart as a pdf file using a Toshiba AT300 tablet.


STORING DATA AND LARGE TREE CHARTS

First off, if like me you have spent valuable time collecting, inputting and configuring the family data, you need to have it well backed up. Family Tree Maker makes a backup copy but this is vulnerable to a hard drive or other computer failure or computer theft. You need to copy your family tree files to a separate storage device like an external USB hard drive. I have copies on two external hard drives, one of which is kept at my work location.

For the physical printed sheets, I store each large 42 inch sheet rolled and held with elastic bands on a 2 inch outside diameter plastic pipe core with a straight sleeve connector on the plastic pipe at either end to act as a protective hub to prevent the edge of the roll from damage. This assembly is then placed in a large plastic drawing tube (a Jakar Telescopic Drawing Tube – Jumbo – 7305, Diameter: 105mm, Length: 690 to 1230mm) that is more than long enough to fit my rolled 42 inch sheets.


MY TREE SETTINGS (applicable to Family Tree Maker 2005 – may not apply to your version):

ALL-IN-ONE-TREES

Maximum box width = 2.5 inches
Maximum width of pictures in box = 1 inch

Box/ Outline/ Fill/ Shadow/ Style
Females/ Dark Red/ White/ Light Gray/ 2ND from left
Males/ Indigo/ White/ Light Gray/ 2ND from left
Unknown/ Dark Gray/ White/ Light Gray/ 2ND from left

Border Colour/ Background/ Style
Black/ None/ Top Left

Line Colour/ Style
Dark Gray/ Middle


Text/ Font/Size/Style/Colour/Alignment/ Options
Name/ Times New Roman/8/Bold/Black/Centre/ Word wrap
Line in Box/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Black/Left/ N/A
Picture/Object/ Times New Roman/8/Italic/Black/Centre/ Date/location
Birth Date/Location/ Times New Roman/8/Reg/Dark Green/Left/ Date/locat/wrap
Marr Date/Location/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Blue/Left/ Date/locat/wrap
Death Date/Location/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Red/Left/ Date/locat/wrap
Title/ Times New Roman/18/Bold/Black/Left/ N/A
Footnote/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Black/Left/ N/A

Show Page Lines Unchecked


DESCENDANT AND ANSCESTOR TREES

Maximum box width = 2.5 inches
Maximum width of pictures in box = 1 inch

Box/ Outline/ Fill/ Shadow/ Style
Females/ Dark Red/ White/ Plum/ 2ND from right
Males/ Indigo/ White/ Blue Gray/ 2ND from right
Unknown/ Dark Gray/ White/ Light Gray/ 2ND from left
Pictures/ Black/ White/ Black/ 2ND from left
Captions/ Black/ White/ Black/ 2ND from left


Border Colour/ Background/ Style
Black/ None/ Top Left

Line Colour/ Style
Dark Gray/ Middle


Text/ Font/Size/Style/Colour/Alignment/ Options
Name/ Times New Roman/8/Bold/Black/Centre/ Word wrap
Line in Box/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Black/Left/ N/A
Picture/Object/ Times New Roman/8/Italic/Black/Centre/ Incl caption/date
Birth Date/Location/ Times New Roman/8/Reg/Dark Green/Left/ Date/locat/wrap
Marr Date/Location/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Blue/Left/ Date/locat/wrap
Death Date/Location/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Red/Left/ Date/locat/wrap
Title/ Times New Roman/18/Bold/Black/Left/ N/A
Footnote/ Times New Roman/8/Regular/Black/Left/ N/A

Show Page Lines Unchecked
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Dellhell 7 Nov 2012 7:24PM GMT 
keithnuttle 8 Nov 2012 5:06PM GMT 
Dellhell 8 Nov 2012 8:31PM GMT 
keithnuttle 8 Nov 2012 9:37PM GMT 
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