I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I was on vacation the last two weeks of November, but during my absence there were several exciting improvements to AncestryPress.
In response to customer demand, we’ve added a series of military backgrounds based on specific wars. You can now create pages honoring family members who served in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, Desert Storm and Iraq War. Simply click the Backgrounds icon at the top of the AncestryPress interface to access these new backgrounds. Here are a couple of examples:
Vietnam War Background
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World War I Background
Click to enlarge image
Many of you have been asking for the ability to create family history books based on descendants rather than ancestors. That feature is now available in AncestryPress. Just click “Start a New Project,” select “Family history book from templates,” choose the Ancestry tree you want to use and then select “Descendant List” from the available book types. If you’d like to add a descendant list to an existing book, click “New Page” from the top navigation, select “Family Tree Layout,” choose the tree you want to use and then select “Descendant” from the layout drop-down menu.
If you’ve been using foreign characters in AncestryPress, you may have noticed that some of them weren’t displaying properly, depending on which font you were using. That problem has been fixed. Foreign characters from most European languages should now display correctly in any font available in AncestryPress. Cyrillic characters will not display correctly, however, so if you have Russian names, etc., you’ll need to transliterate them into a Latin-based alphabet.
In case you don’t know how to access foreign characters, here are a couple of easy places to find them:
- In Microsoft Word, go to the Insert menu and select Symbol. You can copy the symbol you’re looking for and then paste it into a page in your AncestryPress project.
- If you’re using a PC, another option is to use the Windows character menu. Go to the Start menu and select All Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools and finally Character Map. Again, just copy the symbol you want and paste it into your AncestryPress project.
I’m also pleased to announce that we recently launched a line of scrapbook products for family history enthusiasts in partnership with K&Company. These include two 11 x 8.5-inch scrapbooks that you can use to preserve and display pages you’ve created in AncestryPress. You can check out the entire product line by visiting the Ancestry Store and clicking the Scrapbook tab in the top navigation.
Family Tree Posters
Finally, a quick word about Family Tree Posters. Robyn Johnson commented on the poor output quality of a 5-generation tree that she printed on her home printer. It’s very difficult to get good results when you try to fit that much data on letter-size paper, and since the posters were designed to be printed in a larger format, printing on 11 x 8.5-inch paper will not give you an accurate preview of what a 24 x 18-inch poster will look like. Robyn, I’m confident that you’ll be thrilled with your professionally printed poster. Our general manager — a former executive at Kodak — is fanatical about print quality and insisted that we not skimp on the resolution or paper quality for the Family Tree Posters.
Please note that if you are using AncestryPress to create holiday gifts, you must place your order by December 9 for guaranteed delivery by December 24 with standard shipping. If you’re willing to pay for expedited shipping, the order deadline for Christmas Eve delivery is December 12.
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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.