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Robin's Roots

TNG Ancestor Charts

Graphical formats

  1. "Standard" charts have a lovely graphical format that shows the name and birth/death years in a box for each person's box. Additional data for each person can be pulled down from that box. They are in the shape of a standard pedigree chart, with empty boxes for ancestors that are not present in the tree.. Unfortunately, they generate so much whitespace that they require a lot of scrolling to read, and are virtually impossible to print. (But see the "PDF" chart below.)
  2. "Vertical" charts are also lovely graphical charts. These flow down up instead of across the page. Since vertical charts do not use blank boxes for ancestors who are missing from the database, they are more compact than the "Standard" charts. But you cannot pull down additional data from each box. And depending on the number of ancestors in the tree, they can be too wide to print.
  3. "Compact" charts are like "Standard" chart in their shape, but their boxes are much smaller because they contain only names.
  4. "Box" charts are like "Standard" chart in their shape, but their boxes are bigger because they contain some of the data that is pulled-down from the "Standard" chart boxes. As a result, they are even more unweildy than the "Standard" charts.
  5. "Fan" charts are remarkable. All I can say is "try one".
  6. "PDF" chart are variants of "Standard" chart. They create a one-page PDF file that can hold up to six generations of data.
    Most PC's these days can generate PDF printouts of any web page, but PDFs are distinctive because they control the page margins and page breaks,
  7. The "Map" is not a chart. Rather, it is, well, a map. The places of ancestors' birth, marriage, and death are shown as pins on the map. It's pretty remarkable - you should give it a try, though the map would be easier to interpret if the pins were colored or numbered to represent generations.
(The graphical charts' connecting lines sometimes disappear at certain zoom level. When they are missing, you can use you mouse scroll wheel or hit control-plus or control-minus to change the zoom level.)

Text formats

  1. "Text" charts are shaped just like the "Standard" charts, with lines drawn from person-to-person. They just don't put each person's data into graphical boxes.
  2. "Text+" charts are quite distinctive, and unique to TNG. They are kind of a cross between the graphical and text formats. They are much more compact than the text charts, partly because they do not leave blank space where ancestors are missing. The ancestor tree extends to the right like typical charts, stretch vertically rather than horizontally, and can includes upwards of 15 generations in the width of one printed page (albeit sometimes with legal-length paper in landscape mode). They are also much more flexible than the other formats, with several (perhaps too many) run-time options.
  3. "Ahnetafel" charts follow a standard genealogical text format that is descriptive - more like prose than a 'chart'. They contain almost all of the data that I have for each person, including free-form notes. But they don't give the kind of visual overview of the family tree that the other charts give.
  4. "Media" charts are not focused on media, and they don't actually show pictures; they just indicate whether each ancestor's record has media item attached to it. (They don't distinguish between photos, scans of documents, and other types of media.) Their presentation of ancestors is very simple, and easy to read and print.
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