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Online Family Tree Maker Tips: The Most Common Tweaks You'll Make to a Family Tree Template

Online Family Tree Maker Tips: The Most Common Tweaks You'll Make to a Family Tree Template

Let's take a look at a couple of the most common ways that you'll need to tweak your family tree template to make your custom family tree chart. 
  • Name editing
  • Adding a text decal
  • Font (type and size)
  • Color 
  • Chart Shape

You can either view this video tutorial, or read on!

Once you have your names imported, most often the first thing you'll want to tweak in our family tree maker is just proofing your names to make sure they all look the way you'd like them. Check to make sure they don't have any weird characters, that they're not spilling out of their cells and getting cut off,  etc. I typically just check generation by generation as I go around. You can edit names in the Name text box on the main "Chart" tab as you would any normal document or email. What you see in the text box is how it will appear in your chart. For tips on fixing long names, check out this post. In all the hundreds of charts I've made, I have never seen a chart that didn't mean a little bit of name proofing so I highly recommend you take just a minute to do it.
Another thing you may want to edit is adding a text decal. You can do that with the "Text Decal" tab on the left-hand side. For more specific instructions on how to do that, visit this text decal tutorial.
To adjust the font, choose "Advanced" from the left-hand side of the family tree maker and then click on "Chart". (A tip to help you know where to look for functionality is to think about how many cells you want to change. If you want to adjust an individual cell, choose the "Individual" tab. For a generation-wide change (like adding dates to a generation!), you'll want the "Generation" tab, but if you want to make a chart-wide adjustment (like the font!), the "Chart" tab is where you'll live.) You do have to be aware that if you change the font you will have to go back and make sure that your names all fit again!
Depending on what font you choose and how big you're planning to print your chart you may want to adjust the font size. (Bigger is generally better). You can change font size a generation at a time either using the Generation "Font Size" slider either on the "Generation" tab within "Advanced" settings or on the main "Chart" tab. Again, changing the font size may require some modification of names to make sure everything fits!
Another common tweak is color. If I like a template in general but perhaps I want
to change one of the colors that are a part to of the color scheme,  I can go to the "Color" tab within the "Advanced" settings. The drop-down at the top will tell me
what cells I'm changing (one cell at a time, an entire generation, an alternating generation, all the ancestors of a specific person, or the whole chart). For more help on changing color view this tutorial.
This is a less common tweak, but you can also change your chart's shape. The most common change in shape is between a "vertical" circle and a "horizontal" circle. Pretty much the only utilitarian difference here is whether or not you want the center person included (a.k.a. whether it's a chart for an individual or group of individuals like siblings or whether it's a chart for just a couple).
Ready to create your own family tree? Choose a template to get started!

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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 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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Family Tree Template Feature: White Simplicity Fan Family Tree

Family Tree Template Feature: White Simplicity Fan Family Tree

This family tree template is one of our most popular templates, earning itself this special feature. Meet White Simplicity--the classic white fan without dividing lines. In preparing for Rootstech, we wanted to create and print off a 24" x 36" template for Kesler's grandpa and realized that this would be the perfect template for him: classic, highly readable, and could go in any room of the house since white matches everything. 

Why we LOVE this family tree template:

A white fan chart is the epitome of classic, but without the proper details it can look (let's face it) boring. Removing the lines in this family tree template modernizes the classic design, giving it an air of the clean minimalism currently in vogue. Our favorite detail to add to this family tree template is a text decal--it really brings it all together!

Want to see a real-life chart? Gorgeous, right?

white family tree template

Ready to get started? Start from this white simplicity family tree template or check out all of our other family tree templates and choose a different one!

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Family Tree Template Feature: Black Circle

Family Tree Template Feature: Black Circle

We call this our Clean Blackboard template and it's one of the most popular family tree templates on our site as well as a personal favorite. We have it hanging in our living room over the piano along with our wedding picture and a name plaque and it's an amazing conversation piece (that fits seamlessly with the decor). Win.

black family tree template

We also have a Clean Blackboard fan family tree template, and while it's popular as well, the circle version definitely wins the popularity contest hands down.

Why we LOVE this template (and you should too):

Whether your style is modern or supremely classic, black and white is a classic and classic combination that goes with pretty much anything color-wise, which is particularly handy if your style is still evolving. Plus, for the young or young-at-heart crowd, this chart is definitely on the modern side of classy. As a side note, having done a significant amount of frame shopping in my day, finding a black frame is SUPER easy, which is a bonus if you're looking to find a pre-made frame that matches your chart and decor perfectly.

Want to take a look at some real-life family trees created from this family tree template?

 black family tree

Here's a family tree created by @ldsfamilyhistory.

Ready to get started? Start from our black circle family tree template or choose another starting template! Need a little help on where to go from there? Check out this "how to" post.

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Family Tree Template Feature: Golden Bands Family Tree

Family Tree Template Feature: Golden Bands Family Tree

In getting ready for Rootstech 2018, we wanted to create a chart Kesler's grandma that we could use in our display that would be both sophisticated, and show off some of the fun functionality of our online family tree maker. When we picked it up from the printers and unrolled this 24" x 36" beauty, we fell in love and knew we had to make it into a pre-made template so that you all could enjoy it as well. Introducing... our Golden Bands family tree template! 

golden bands circle family tree template

To create your own custom family tree using this family tree template, you'll want to either start from this Golden Bands fan chart family tree template or this Golden Bands circle family tree template. Alternatively, if you've already started creating your chart in our family tree maker app, you can change to this gold banded color palette by choosing Advanced > Palette and then scrolling down to where you can see a preview of this gold banded chart and clicking on the preview (it's near the bottom!)

family tree template


Who is this template good for? Well really anyone, but specifically people who are looking for a family tree chart that's extremely classy (and even classic) that has just a little pop of modern sophistication. The gold banded color scheme looks absolutely gorgeous in a wooden frame, so if you have a lot of warm tones in your decorating space, this a great choice! 

Ready to get started? Start with the circle or fan golden banded family tree template, or choose one of our other templates to get you started! Need some instructions on how to proceed from there? Check out this "How To" post!

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Why To Use This Online Family Tree Maker To Create Your Custom Family Tree

Why To Use This Online Family Tree Maker To Create Your Custom Family Tree

There are lots of family tree templates out there and ways that you could choose to make your family tree print. If you want to be able to

1) import your names directly from FamilySearch or via GEDCOM (and save yourself hours of typing and mistake finding)
2) customize your family tree chart and
3) have it look modern and professional without paying someone hundreds of dollars to make it for you

our family tree maker is for you. Basically, save time, save money and get EXACTLY what you want. Win, win, win.

Let's take a closer look.

Entering Names: Save Time

We founded Family Tree Prints as the result of our experience creating a 8 generation family tree fan for my mother-in-law after being inspired by my mom's handwritten fan chart hanging in our living room. We spent 40+ hours painstakingly typing 8 generations of genealogy (that's 511 names!) using Photoshop into a PDF template we purchased off of Etsy. The worst part was definitely trying to get the angle just right on every text box so it was center in the cell. The end product was gorgeous, but the process was mindnumbing! We realized how much our grandparents would enjoy having similar charts in their home, realized that none of our work would transfer and knew there had to be a better way... hence our online family tree maker that will pull in up to 10 generations of genealogy directly from Family Search or a GEDCOM file in under 2 minutes. Life changing. You could, of course, have someone else do the painful formatting for you, but in most cases you still have to enter all your information in an Excel sheet... which is still time-consuming.

Full Customization with a Modern & Professional Look: Get Exactly What You Want

It took us a long time to choose our original chart off Etsy. There was lots of "I really like ... about this template, but I wish it had ...". That's why we wanted to make it super easy to customize using our family tree maker, while still keeping everything modern and super professional looking. This is not your great-grandmother's family tree chart. Love this color scheme, but want to add a text decal? Or make it a different shape? Or change the number of generations? Or change the font? Or add or remove dates? Or tweak some of the colors to match your decor? Done, done and done. You can visit our tutorial help center for more help on customizing your chart as well. 

DIY: Save Money & Maintain Control

There are people who will enter all your names for you--actually, if you visit our Etsy shop, we're some of those people who will do it for you--but it costs more because you're paying for someone's time. Unfortunately, having help entering the information doesn't always save you much time because you still need to fill out all your genealogy in a spreadsheet, which is why doing it yourself in our online family tree maker (regardless of whether you enter it manually by hand or use our slick import functionality) saves you time and money, while still giving you the control to customize. Plus, since ours is a digital family tree print, you control how much you spend on printing and framing based on your priorities: a huge archival quality giclee print or a smaller version printed out at Costco. It's your call!

Ready to make your own family tree? Choose one of our templates to get started!


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3 Ways To Add Pizazz to Your White Family Tree Chart

3 Ways To Add Pizazz to Your White Family Tree Chart

White family tree charts are a classic, beautiful, and popular choice! And with the right touch, they're anything but boring. Here are three simple ways you can use our family tree maker to add a little pizzazz to your white family tree chart!

1. Text Decal

white family tree chartAdding a text decal is a great way to add a little personality and statement to your chart, regardless of what color you've chosen for your genealogy wall print. Since adding a text decal highlights whatever font you've chosen (although technically you can use a different font in the text decal than in the actual chart, we don't recommend it!), be sure to choose one that fits your decor mood.

Tips for adding a text decal that looks great:
1. Match the font of the text decal to the font in your chart.
2. Choose a color from the color picker swatches. (Our family tree maker automatically pulls in the colors currently being used in the chart, so this will give you consistency.)


2. The Center Symbol

Adding an ampersand, plus sign, or large initial to the center of the chart can be a fun way to personalize and add a statement! If you need some direction on how to do this (don't worry, it's easy!), check out this tutorial.

3. Bands

gold band family tree chart

This is a slightly larger diversion for a plain white chart, but the affect is simply gorgeous and you can make the bands as subtle or vibrant as you'd like! This gold is a favorite and will be available as a template soon!

To add bands, once you're in the family tree maker choose "Advanced">"Color" and then choose from the drop-down menu which band colors you'd like to change. Most often you'll want to choose "generation" or "chart" to modify bands all at once!


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Come Visit Us At Rootstech!

Come Visit Us At Rootstech!

Rootstech is right around the corner--come visit us!


Expo Hall Hours:
Wednesday, Feb 28: 6-8 pm
Thursday, Mar 1: 9:30 am - 6pm
Friday, Mar 2: 9:30 am - 7 pm
Saturday, Mar 3: 9:30 am - 4 pm


Booth 1947 (By the Discovery Zone!)

Salt Palace Convention Center
100 S W Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

What about pricing, you ask?

Well, turns out you can get a free pass for Saturday, March 3 (Family Discovery Day) that includes access to the Expo Hall, the closing event, 12+ classes, and more! You do need to sign up for a pass though, so be sure to do that here. Plus, if you come on Family Discover Day, you'll get to enjoy lots of activities planned specifically with kids in mind. We've got one of these activities planned too, and will also be opening up our little Family Discovery Day event to those #NotAtRootstech, so be sure to watch for a post of that next week! It involves creativity and the opportunity to win a free chart (plus a little publicity!), so if you want to be sure not to miss it, sign up for our newsletter here.

What's going on at the booth?

If you'd like help creating your chart, we'll be able to help you (or a loved one) in person at our booth with a free consultation. You'll also be able to check out lots of examples of Family Tree Prints that are printed, framed and on display so you can see the finished product! Plus, we'll be giving out a 20% discount code at our booth, along with a chance to win a free chart! 



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How To Make a Family Tree: How to create a chart for a family's genealogy (parents and children)?

How To Make a Family Tree: How to create a chart for a family's genealogy (parents and children)?

This blog post details how to create a chart 

featuring a family (parents and children) at the center. If you would like to format your chart to feature a husband and wife as the center of the genealogy chart, click here. If you would like to create a chart 

featuring a single individual at the center, click here.

If you're trying to create a family tree for a family, there are a couple things you should take into account when considering your formatting, but the primary consideration is if your family is still quickly growing and changing?

If your family is still growing...

and more children are expected with relative frequency, you may not wish you add each of the children's names to the chart in case it becomes outdated too quickly (depending on how often you want to update and reprint!) We find that it works for many families to simply treat the chart as they would if they were creating a chart for a couple, and then add a text decal such as "The Doe Family" to tie it together as a family chart.

add text decal to family chart

If your family has stopped growing...

(in terms of no longer adding additional children to the family, in-laws and grandchildren won't affect the chart formatting), you can continue to treat the chart as it were just for a couple as described above, or you could choose to follow the shape choices and recommendations for creating a chart for a single individual, and place all your children at the center. 

Pro tip: You may need to increase the center generation's radius to help all your children's names fit. Do this using the "Generation Width" slider at the bottom of the main "Chart" tab.

how to make a family tree with all your children's names

If you're looking for a run-down of many of the different options available for formatting a family tree chart for a little family, we'd recommend this blog post about creating a family tree chart for your parents, which is broadly applicable in terms of formatting!


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How To Make a Family Tree: How to create a chart for an individual's genealogy?

How To Make a Family Tree: How to create a chart for an individual's genealogy?

This blog post details how to create a chart featuring a single individual at the center. If you would like to format your chart to feature a husband and wife as the center of the genealogy chart, click here. If you would like to create a chart featuring a family (parents and children) at the center, click here.

If you're looking to create a genealogy wall chart for an individual, here are some recommendations for formatting. The good news? It's pretty straightforward! And you can modify ANY STARTING TEMPLATE to be for an individual, regardless of what shape and with what formatting it starts.

For a circle family tree chart:

To make any chart into a circle featuring an individual at the center once you're in our family tree maker app, you'll want to navigate to the "Advanced" tab in the left side bar. Then choose "Shape" and select "360 Vertical" by clicking the mini preview.

how to make a family tree for an individual

This is in contrast to the "360 Horizontal" family tree chart, which features 2 people (aka a couple) at the center of the chart.

For a fan family tree chart:

To make any template into a fan family tree chart featuring an individual at the center, you'll want to choose "Advanced" > "Shape > "192 Fan Chart". (The majority of fan charts will be this shape already, but is in contrast to the "Half Circle" fan chart which removes the center circle entirely).

fan chart for individual

If you're importing your names from FamilySearch, you'll just want to select yourself from the dropdown. For more detailed information and instruction on that, click here.



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