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Family Tree Creator: How To Use The Family Tree Prints Web App

Family Tree Creator: How To Use The Family Tree Prints Web App

Want to make a custom family tree using our online family tree creator? We've got you covered with this tutorial on how to use our family tree maker app to create your very own family tree print.

Feel free to either watch the video version or read on! 

 

1.Start from www.familytreeprints.com and choose a family tree template to start from. Once you've found a template that you like, choose the number of generations you'd like displayed in your family tree print and click "Start from this template." This will drop you into our family tree creator app.

2. Now it's time to enter your names into your blank family tree template. You can either do that manually or use our FamilySearch import or GEDCOM import functionality. If you're using the FamilySearch import, after you've authenticated with FamilySearch and been brought back to our family tree creator, you'll select who you want to be at the center of your chart. You'll have the choice of yourself, your spouse (if you've connected with them in FamilySearch) and "Child of [yourself]". If you want both your and your spouse's family history to be in the same chart you'll do "Child of [yourself],"  even if you don't actually have any children.

3. Next check to make sure all your ancestors' names are visible and aren't being cut off, and then customize the family tree template however you'd like to. Read this article about the most common tweaks you'll want to make in our family tree creator.

Ready to create your own custom chart? Choose a starting template here.

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Example of Family Tree: 5 Generation Family Tree Chart for Napoleon Bonaparte

Example of Family Tree: 5 Generation Family Tree Chart for Napoleon Bonaparte

When looking for names to use in creating examples of family tree charts to showcase (in this case, a five generation family tree chart!) we often turn to prominent historical figures whose genealogy is well-documented, because 1) we get to learn something about them and 2) there's normally a GEDCOM file we can import to have up to 9 generations of names pulled in in a flash--win!
With no further ado, we present a 5 generation family tree chart for Napoleon Bonaparte three ways.
5 Generation Family Tree Chart Variation 1: (Pictured above)
Initial Template: Evening Patriot
Font: Voltaire
Modifications:
  • Changed shape to be a 215 Degree fan (Advanced > Chart > Angle slider to 215)
  • Line width moved to 0 (Advanced > Chart > Line Width slider to 0)
  • Text decal added
5 generation family tree chart example
5 Generation Family Tree Chart Variation 2: 
Initial Template: Natural Stem
Font: Voltaire
Modifications:
  • Changed shape to be a 360 Vertical circle (Advanced > Shape > 360 Vertical)
  • Text decal added
example of family tree
5 Generation Family Tree Chart Variation 3: 
Initial Template: Dusky Iris
Font: Cinzel
Modifications:

Ready to get started making your own chart? Choose a starting template here.

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Family Tree Maker: The Impact of Changing Text Color

Family Tree Maker: The Impact of Changing Text Color

We've been talking a lot about explorers lately (as inspired by one of baby F's board books--you can read about Christopher Columbus or Leif Erikson) so I've been experimenting making different family tree prints for them. As someone who makes a LOT of family tree prints... let me tell you it's addicting. Whenever I design one I like to try to match the style and feel of the pedigree chart to the person at its center, so that it tells a story as well as x-generations of ancestral names: for King Henry VIII a royal purple, for Marilyn Monroe oh-so-many shades of pink, for Carrie Fisher a chart inspired by BB8 and for Leif Erikson a veritable Viking ship!

There are infinite ways to customize and personalize your family tree print--one of these is changing the text color. The two charts you can see above are both created using our Clean Blackboard circle family tree template, where the text is white by default. It looks fantastic that way, and there's no need to change it. But if you want to... it opens up an infinite world of possibilities. See how different the chart looks with just two different color choices: red and green-gold! For a step-by-step "how to" on changing your text color in our family tree maker app, visit this tutorial post, but don't worry it's easy!

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Family Tree Builder: A Dual Definition

Family Tree Builder: A Dual Definition

The phrase "family tree builder" has a dual meaning--both important, very connected, but vastly different. One is a tool, the other is a person. I'm no Webster, but I hope you'll bear with me.

Definition 1:

family tree builder: (n) a tool used to create a physical or digital family tree for display as a reminder of those who came before.

In this context, Family Tree Prints is a family tree builder. It's a tool that helps people create digital files of beautiful, custom family trees that they can then print anywhere they'd like. It allows you to pull in your genealogy directly from FamilySearch or a GEDCOM file to speed up the process, modify colors, add a text decal, etc. to end up with a gorgeous genealogy wall chart that's as unique as your family history is. We need family tree builders to help to create wall-worthy family trees while also in saving us time, effort, and stress in the creation process. 

But who is it looking to use family tree builders as defined in this first context? It's family tree builders in a second context.

Definition 2:

family tree builder: (n) a person who strengthens the bonds between generations, finds their ancestors who are lost and comes to know them, keeps a record of the current generation to aid posterity, preserves memories, etc.

As we look to our ancestors and have a desire to remember and know them better, we become family tree builders ourselves. Genealogy work has developed a reputation for being difficult, time-consuming and intimidating. Some aspects of it are. But some are not, so why not start where you are, with what you're comfortable with and then allow yourself to grow and stretch? Hang a family tree where you can see it and be reminded of your ancestors often. Allow yourself to develop curiosity about the names you see. Learn their stories. Record memories of your siblings, parents, and grandparents. Keep a journal and take pictures for your own posterity. When you feel directed and inspired to, ask for help in finding the names of your ancestors who are yet unknown. As you develop relationships with your own family, you are building your family tree.

When I think of my own process of becoming a family tree builder in my family, a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland in the April 2017 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints comes to mind: "Come as you are,...Don't plan to stay as you are." As you begin where you are, with what you can do, you can become a family tree builder for your own family and strengthen the bonds of forever. 

Want to get started making your own printable family tree? Read this post or get started immediately!

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3 Reasons to Use a Pedigree Chart Maker

3 Reasons to Use a Pedigree Chart Maker

Why bother using an online family tree maker? Mostly because it's no bother at all, only a lot of fun, but here are our top three reasons why!

1. It's faster than hand-writing on a paper chart (and easier to correct mistakes).

This is the way it used to be done. It's how my mom created her gorgeous genealogy wall chart 15 years ago (as well as one for her mother-in-law!) By hand. The final product? A wonderful heirloom. The process? Painstaking. And if you make a mistake there's very little you can do about it. By using a family tree maker online (like Family Tree Prints!) you can pull in up to 10 generations of genealogy in just a few minutes using one of our integrations, format to perfection and then click order. Want to make one for your mother-in-law? Just change who's at the center of your chart, click order again, and voila. It only took you 3 minutes to create a gorgeous and meaningful gift they'll appreciate forever. #timesavingwin

personalized whale family tree template for kids

2. You can personalize to your heart's content.

There are lots of family tree templates online you can buy and either print off and handwrite; add the names yourself manually using Adobe Photoshop or an equivalent tool; or pay the vendor to add the names for you after you fill out an Excel sheet with all your genealogy. But what if you like the idea of this template a lot, but you wish they had it in blue?

Note: If you'd prefer to fill out an Excel sheet and have us add the names for you, we'll do that too! Just visit our Etsy store.

Using Family Tree Prints you can start from any of our templates but they're just a starting point. From there you can change the shape of the chart, the color palette, the line thickness, the font, etc until you have something that perfectly matches your personality, family history, and home decor. What if your style changes in 5 years and the chart you picked no longer matches? Either move it to another room or just create a new one--you can do it in just a few minutes!

3. It makes creating your own genealogy wall chart completely unintimidating.

Anything you can do in under 3 minutes can't be that intimidating, right? Creating a genealogy wall chart used to require either copious amounts of time (to do it yourself) or copious amounts of money (to pay someone else to do it for you). Now, you can do it yourself, saving time and money, and still end up with a beautifully professional product? Get stuck with the process? Check out our tutorial help center!

 

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How To Use Our Family Tree Maker Online: 101

How To Use Our Family Tree Maker Online: 101

You're probably familiar with the concept of a pedigree chart and how it works--if not, read this post on how to fill in a family tree. What you may be more unfamiliar with, however, is how our family tree maker works online. The good news is, it's easy, and we're here to help!

The first question to ask yourself is what you'd like your chart to look like aesthetically. We've got A BUNCH of templates to choose as your starting point, including more classic black and white family tree templates, bold and colorful family tree templates, some soft neutral templates and, of course, animal family tree templates designed specifically with children in mind! View all templates here.

family tree template

The second question to ask yourself is how you'd like to get your personal genealogy names into our family tree maker. You have a couple options:

  1. Importing the names directly from FamilySearch. We HIGHLY recommend this avenue if you have a FamilySearch account. If you want yourself, your spouse, or your children to be at the center of your family tree you can simply choose who'd you'd like from a drop-down menu or you can choose ANYONE to be the center of your chart using their FamilySearch ID. Easy peasy. View a tutorial here.
  2. Importing the names from a GEDCOM file. Just as easy as #1, although not quite as common. You'll be able to choose ANYONE in the entire GEDCOM file to be the center of your chart. View a tutorial here.
  3. Typing in the names manually. This is more time consuming that #1 and #2, but definitely doable--after only creating a couple charts manually I can do a six generation chart in about 30 minutes. View a tutorial here.

Note: You don't have to be a member of the LDS church to have a FamilySearch account--they're available free to anyone who would like one. You'll want to select that you're not a member when that option comes up in the sign-up flow so that you don't have to put in a membership number (which you won't have!) and you'll have access to all the same data except for information relating to LDS temple ordinances.

tutorial help center

The third thing you'll want to know is how to make minor edits to your chart. For that, we'd recommend heading on over to our Tutorial Help Center where you can learn how to do things like edit an individual cell, choose whether to display dates or not, make really long names fit, or add a text decal.

Once you've got your chart looking picture perfect using our family tree maker, it's time to order your chart and then you can print it anywhere you'd like.

 

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How To Make a Family Tree In 3 Easy Steps

How To Make a Family Tree In 3 Easy Steps

Create a custom family tree used to be time-consuming. And intimidating. And... Well, it doesn't matter how it used to be. Now, using our family tree maker app creating a custom family tree chart is fun, easy, and fast. To borrow a common expression, it's a simple as 1-2-3. Here's how to make a family tree in 3 easy steps.

Step 1. Choose a template you'd like to start from.

You can browse all the available templates here. Templates vary by shape (fan charts, circle charts, animal shaped charts designed with kids in mind, etc.), color palatte (classic black and white, subtle nature hues, bright and bold, etc.) and number of generations displayed (anywhere from 3-10, just select this once you've chosen a template shape+color combo!)

Step 2. Import your names in minutes

If you have a FamilySearch account or GEDCOM file with your genealogy, this is where the MAJOR time savings comes in, since you can import up to 10 generations of genealogy from either source in just minutes. (That's way faster than manually entering 2047 names... not that you'd do that anyway.) For more in-depth instructions on how to import your names from FamilySearch of a GEDCOM file see below. If you want manually enter your names, that works too, and it's honestly not too bad either. Entering 5 generations typically takes one of us about 30 minutes.

import from FamilySearch import from GEDCOM

 

Step 3. Check and download

Once you have all of your names entered, all that's left is a quick check to make sure everything is picture perfect and then download your chart!

The biggest thing to watch out for is names that are too long for the size cell they are in. Here are some tips for making extra long names fit and look great. If you want to make any other adjustments (color, font, etc.) and need a little guidance, visit our tutorial help center!

tutorial help center

And there you have it--how to make a family tree in three easy steps. Ready to try it for yourself? Start browsing our templates here.

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Make a Family Tree Using GEDCOM Import

Make a Family Tree Using GEDCOM Import

To make a family tree in our family tree maker, one of the first things you want to is get your ancestors into your chart--there are several ways to do this including manual entry, import from FamilySearch and GEDCOM import. This video will walk you through how to import your names from a GEDCOM file (.ged) downloaded onto your computer. For this example of a family tree we'll be using Ronald Reagan as our subject, hence the patriotic palette!

 

Some points to note:

  • In order to import a GEDCOM file, you'll need to start on the "Import" tab.
  • Once you click "Import GEDCOM" and choose your .ged file from your computer, you'll need to actually open the drop down menu and click on the name you'd like to be the center of your circle or first generation.
  • A GEDCOM import (unlike a FamilySearch import) pulls in all the generations available at once, so you can increase or decrease the number of generations without re-importing. If cells are blank that means that there was no data to import.

Want to use this patriotic family tree template?

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