For up-to-date information about family tree posters, please read my post from March 4, 2009. The post below, which was published on January 25, 2008, contains some obsolete information.
This week I’d like to offer a few tips for creating family tree posters. You can use AncestryPress to create a standard tree poster including 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 generations or a combination tree poster including 4, 5 or 7 generations (a 6-generation combination tree poster is coming soon).
Creating a poster is a pretty simple process, but here’s a quick overview:
- Choose a poster type: Click “Get Started” from the AncestryPress home page or “Start a New Project” from the My Projects page. Select “Family Tree Poster” and then choose a poster type: standard or combination. A standard family tree is a pedigree chart starting with an individual. A combination tree has a bowtie shape: it starts with a couple and shows their children and ancestors on both sides. You’ll see the prices for the various poster sizes, but you won’t be asked for a credit card number until you’ve finished your poster and clicked the “Order” button.
- Choose your options: Select the number of generations you want to include and the online family tree you want to use to create your poster. Then enter the name of the starting person for your poster. This person could be anyone in the tree—it doesn’t have to be the same as the starting person for the online tree. Type in the first few letters of the person’s name and wait for a list of names to appear. If you have a large tree, it may take a few seconds for the system to find people matching the letters you entered. Select the correct person from the list of names.
- Create your poster: In the “Name Your Product” field, enter a working title for your poster. This title will not actually appear on the printed poster, so don’t spend too much time thinking about it. Then click the “Create” button. In a moment, your family tree poster will appear in a new window.
- Edit your poster: Click the Backgrounds icon at the top of the page to select the background you like best (there are currently 16 options). Add photos and embellishments by dragging them from the content wells on the left onto your poster. Images attached to your online tree will automatically appear in the “My Photos” content well. You can also upload images directly to AncestryPress.
- Preview and print your poster: When you’ve finished editing your poster, click the “Preview/Print” button to preview your poster and, if you wish, print a proof page. Please note that printing on 8 ½ x 11-inch paper will not give you an accurate preview because the poster templates are designed for a much larger format. When you’re ready to purchase a professionally printed poster, click the “Order” button in the top right corner. If you’re ordering multiple copies, you’ll automatically receive a volume discount (no coupon code needed).
Before we leave our discussion of family tree posters, I’d like to call your attention to one feature of AncestryPress that I absolutely love: the Zoom tool. You can use it to edit book pages, too, but it’s particularly useful for editing posters. It really comes in handy if you want to read and edit text—especially on the right-hand side of the poster, where the fonts are smaller.
Click the Zoom icon in the top left corner to get a close-up view of any area of your poster. (NOTE: Please don’t draw any conclusions about the quality of the printed posters from these grainy screen shots. The posters are printed at high resolution and the text comes out very sharp and clear.)
Click to enlarge image
When you click Zoom, a little box appears just under the Zoom icon. This box is a miniature version of your poster. You can navigate to a different area of the page by moving the red tray to the corresponding area of the box.
Click to enlarge image
To zoom in even further, slide the cursor on the Zoom icon to the right (toward the plus sign).
Click to enlarge image
Thanks for your comments in response to last week’s blog. I can’t address all of them, but I would like to answer Jackie’s question about a larger format for the family history books. We are working on a larger book (roughly 13 x 10 inches) that will be available in early April—just in time for Mothers Day.
Finally, I’d like to remind our readers that this blog is dedicated to a discussion of Ancestry’s self-publishing application, AncestryPress. Of course I’m always interested in what our customers have to say about other Ancestry products and services, but I want to make sure your comments get channeled to the appropriate forum so that the right product mangers can benefit from your feedback.
We currently have Ancestry blogs focused on seven topics:
- Ancestry.com Site
- Family Trees
- Searching for Records
- Company News
- Family Tree Maker
In addition, if you click the Community tab on Ancestry.com, you’ll find thousands of message boards where you can post requests for assistance with research questions.
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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.