Ancestry.com

New features and a few clarifications

Posted by Ancestry.com on November 2, 2007 in Ancestry.com Site

First off, thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s AncestryPress webinar. We’ll post it in the Learning Center archive next week so that those of you who missed it can watch it at your leisure.

I’d like to clarify a couple of points that I didn’t explain quite as well as I might have during the webinar.

1. I mentioned that if you have four generations in your online tree, AncestryPress will auto-generate a book that is about 24 pages long. To be precise, if you have four generations of names with no records attached, AncestryPress will generate 23 pages if you choose the Standard Family Tree format or 22 pages if you choose the Combination Family Tree format. If you have records attached to those ancestors, AncestryPress will also create a page for each record. So the length of the auto-generated portion of your book will vary depending on how much data you have in your tree. Of course, if you don’t want to include 15 timelines because your information is sparse for some of those ancestors, you can delete some of the auto-generated pages. If you have more than four generations in your tree, AncestryPress will include only four generations when it auto-generates the book. You can pull in data for the other generations by adding pages using the Family Tree, Family Group Sheet and Timeline templates. You can add as many pages as you’d like, but keep in mind that if your book has more than 100 pages, you’ll have to break it into two volumes before you print it.

2. During the video clip about the embellishments, I said that you can do anything with an embellishment that you can do with an image, except maybe change the color (I wasn’t sure about that). It turns out that you can change embellishments to black-and-white or sepia. I’ve been playing around with that a little bit, and the results can be quite striking. It’s a good way to add some subtle decorations that don’t overwhelm the other elements on the page, especially if you’re working with black-and-white or sepia photographs.

3. The second-to-last slide noted that AncestryPress books must have a minimum of 24 pages. The minimum is actually 20 pages. The base price (currently $29.95) includes 24 pages, so if you order a book with only 20 pages, you’ll pay the same price you’d pay for a 24-page book.

If you’re confused about anything else I said (or should have said) during the AncestryPress webinar, please let me know!

If you have a comment about the Family Tree Maker webinar—or the software—please post it on the Family Tree Maker blog so that we can respond to it appropriately. You can make sure you’re on the right blog by checking the Categories in the Information and Links box on the right side of the page.

We’ve added several new features to AncestryPress over the past few weeks:

  • You can now delete the rule lines at the top of any AncestryPress page. This feature was added on October 11, so it only works for pages that were created after that date.
  • If you have a lot of images in your asset tray and you want to be able to view more thumbnails at once, you can expand the asset tray by grabbing the little tab in the middle of the splitter (slide bar) and pulling it to the right. You can also do the same thing for embellishments and Ancestry records.
  • We’ve made it easier to add text. It used to be that when you clicked the Add Text icon at the top of the AncestryPress interface, a text box would appear in the middle of the page and you had to move it where you wanted it. Now the text box appears wherever you click on the page.
  • We’ve improved the navigation of the Help section to make it easier for you to find answers to your questions.
  • We added a new batch of embellishments on October 24, including frames, journal pads, question pads, stamps and more flowers and pins (buttons).
  • Yesterday we launched Family Tree Posters that you can frame and display in your home. These make great gifts, and they’re very easy to create. I’ll discuss this new product line in more detail in next week’s blog.

As always, thanks for your comments. If you’ve ordered a printed copy of your family history book, we’d love to hear your reaction to the finished product. We’ve designed the print specifications carefully to provide you with an heirloom-quality book at an affordable price, and we want to make sure you’re happy with both the book building experience and the printed output.

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NOTE: AncestryPress is now MyCanvas

In October 2008, AncestryPress was relaunched under the name MyCanvas. It is still a free, online software program provided by Ancestry.com. For current information about products and features, please see my more recent blog posts.

19 comments

Comments
1 Pat BlanchardNovember 2, 2007 at 1:42 pm

I really enjoyed the webinar! I can see where I could have improved my two volumes that I have already had printed by some tricks you pointed out; however, I am still very happy with my first attempts with the Beta version of Ancestry Press, and am working on another book now. I happen to have Passage Express and found that I could create some really interesting images, save them to my hard drive as photos, and then upload them to my project at Ancestry Press. I am really looking forward to some more background options that you indicate are in the works. I still want to know where the font came from for the red titles on the sample military pages on the website, and shown again at the webinar. I can find nothing like it within the software. Is it a trick with italics and/or the bold feature?

Thanks again … keep posting ideas and tips.

2 Joycelyn MillerNovember 2, 2007 at 6:23 pm

I am nearing the end of my editing but had to miss the webinar. I have really enjoyed using the program, but have some suggestions for improvements. Nothing has frustrated me like the reordering of pages, especially since I have 100. They keep popping back to the end. Help me if you can, or fix this. The other thing is to have wraparound text. Any possibility?

3 CLEMENT A LAURENCENovember 3, 2007 at 6:15 am

I hope one day soon there will be a book forthcoming explaning how all this works.
clement

4 Linda RowlandNovember 3, 2007 at 11:02 am

Sorry to miss webinair. Wondering why only some of the photos I have in My Ancestry appear in the photos sidebar of my book in progress. Is there a limit to the number per person? I work around it by uploading directly to the project but hate the extra time it takes. Even so I welcome the software that allows me to publish for my family. Thanks, Linda Rowland

5 JamesNovember 4, 2007 at 2:20 pm

What a great resource! Thanks for this opportunity.

Can you/anyone direct me to where I can find out more about the book, I.E. paper quality, size of book? type of binding…

6 Stefanie CondieNovember 5, 2007 at 11:06 am

James, the paper size is 8 1/2″ x 11″ landscape. For more details about the paper quality and binding, go to the Ancestry Press home page and click the “see details” link in the middle of the right-hand column. Eventually we plan to offer additional sizes, but I’m not sure how soon those will be available.

7 Marie CouryNovember 6, 2007 at 3:27 pm

I finished my publishing and ordered my books on the 29th. And they arrived today. And I just love them. The quality of the printing is excellent.
This is a great service and if you can keep the price down I think it will grow in popularity.
The reordering of pages is buggy and I found I had to upload photos to my tree and then I could get them to the book, but I could not upload them directly to the book.
Do please keep this all available to people who use systems other than Microsoft Windows. I would love to be able to use Family Tree Maker on Linux.
Thanks for a great service. Marie

8 matt mosleyNovember 6, 2007 at 6:37 pm

Couldn’t attend the webinar. Where is it located exactly so that I might see what I missed?

9 John MogannamNovember 11, 2007 at 3:04 pm

I am working, with a group of volunteers, on a large family tree project. Ultimately there will be about 50,000 names in the database.

We plan to publish geneology books of the entire clan and sell them to members of the family as a charity fund raiser. The new FAMILY TREE MAKER 2008 does not allow crating books. Is this feature coming back? If not how can we get these books published?
Thanks

10 Chris HanksNovember 12, 2007 at 11:49 am

When I click on “get started”, then select “make a family tree print from templates” and continue I’m only given the option for the 6 generation print. Where’s the combination tree option?

Thanks.

11 Sue KellerNovember 13, 2007 at 5:20 pm

I just received my first book today and it is beautiful. I love it. I learned a few tricks on the webcast a day after I completed the book, which could have made it even better. I renumbering of pages was the toughest part. I pick where I want to insert the n ew pages (ie page 5) and click “new page”. The blank page is then inserted as page 6. I then design page six and don’t move it. I added lots of new pages into various spots where they were wanted, such as new pedigree sheets as page 3 or 4. It worked well that way. The photos came out really sharp in the book and I’m very satisfied. Sue

12 JudyNovember 13, 2007 at 6:01 pm

When editing text last night, the ‘overwrite’ feature was suddenly enacted which deletes the ‘next letter’ to what I was working on. Frustrating. I don’t know how that feature got turned on . . how do you turn it off?

13 lynnehartungNovember 13, 2007 at 6:29 pm

I just logged in to look at the AncestryPress items. If I do not have a tree online, how do I bring names, dates, media into the online tree without retyping everything?

14 John E. Tyler, Jr.November 14, 2007 at 11:08 am

I hope you eliminate Ancestry Press. I have over 5,000 names in my genealogy. How many pages would that require? I am only an amateur genealogist but wonder who thought this boon-doggle would work? People have made comments that they have four generations. I have 11. Thank heavens I held on to FTM 16. At least you should have given us an alternative in FTM2008 so we could use the FTM traditional method of making a family book.

15 Richard FlachNovember 15, 2007 at 8:48 pm

I have been working on my book for weeks and have managed to upload many pictures.
However, I am using a MAC and in order to get the pics up I have to back out of Ancestry press each time (every pic) and then the new pic will appear upon restarting.
Any suggestions on what is wrong? It is a painfully slow process to build each page.
Thanks,
Richard

16 Joan ScribnerNovember 25, 2007 at 5:37 am

This is in response to John Tyler’s suggestion to eliminating Ancestry Press. Please do not even consider eliminating such a wonderful and easy-to-use program as Ancestry Press. My husband’s families trace back to the 1400′s. Ancestry Press gave me an opportunity to create a Family History Book that is easy to read and share with my children and other family members. As for a genealogical book on our family, that has been prepared NGF in FTM 2006. It is a compilation of volumes of each family and all their generations, some are 17 generations in length. This was printed on my home printer, edited, amended and is being prepared for professional printing and book binding at a quite a hefty cost. I suggest Mr. Tyler look into that for his project. I add that not all family members are interested in genealogy at that level and are much happier with our Ancestry Press book. I might also add that should Mr. Tyler want to take the time, he could create quite an extensive book using Ancestry Press by just adding the primary lineage and can back as far as he would like by adding pages for each of his 11 generations. Ancestry Press is only limited by the imagination of the author. Keep it coming!

17 mandyDecember 9, 2007 at 2:32 pm

I’m looking for family history for a homework assignment. Can you tell me any website that will actually help me UNLINKE THIS PIECE OF CRAP!?

18 Jill DychesJanuary 14, 2008 at 5:04 am

Hi
Are we able to put together a book with 33 generations? If not, can you recommend a site able to do this?
Many Thanks,
Jill

19 Ken MutchJuly 7, 2008 at 3:25 am

I am sorry to say that I wish I had not upgraded to 2008. The Book Writing, an essential part, has been taken over by a poor commercially driven facility. Please reinstate the old version for us. As a New Zealander it is once more evident that a USA corporate has grabbed and ruined a wonderful product for its own gain. Ms Condie may have all the techo stuff but is she a long suffering genealogist.
K Mutch

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