Posted by Ancestry Team on November 5, 2007 in Website

For up-to-date information about family tree posters, please read my post from March 4, 2009. The post below, which was published on November 5, 2007, contains some obsolete information.

I hope you’ve had a chance to check out the family tree posters we launched last week. If so, you’ve noticed that you can use most of the same tools you’ve been using to create your family history book. The chart automatically pulls data from your online family tree. You can add and edit text, images and embellishments just as you would for a book. And the images you’ve already uploaded for your book are automatically available for your poster. These posters display six generations of family tree information. We’re currently offering one size, 24 x 18 inches, but we plan to offer 16 x 20 inches and 24 x 36 inches in the near future. We also plan to offer additional formats so that you can create a poster with only four generations or with as many as eight or nine generations.

With so much data on one page, you’ll find it difficult to edit your tree without mastering the zoom function. Fortunately it’s super easy to use. When you click the Zoom icon in the top left corner, a little box appears with a red panning tray in the center. The box is essentially a miniature version of the entire chart, while the red tray is a miniature version of the part of the screen you’re seeing at any given moment. So you just move the red tray to the area of the page that you want to see up close.

I’d like to respond to a few questions about specific features of the book building application. We received an e-mail from a customer asking if there is a way to split a book into two books. He has created a book that includes two lines of his family tree, and a cousin is interested in getting a copy of the book with only one of the lines. At the moment AncestryPress doesn’t let you split a book, but you can get the same result by making a copy of the book and then deleting the pages you don’t want from the new copy.

Joan mentioned that she is having trouble selecting a specific person from her online tree as the starting person for a book. Joan, you can designate anyone in your tree as the starting person. Do you have more than one tree? If the person you’re looking for isn’t showing up, it’s possible that you’ve inadvertently selected the wrong tree (the trees are listed alphabetically, and AncestryPress defaults to the first one unless you select the one you want). It could also be that you have a long list of names and the one you want is so far down the list that you aren’t seeing it. When you type in the first letter of the person’s name, you’ll see a list of all the people whose names start with that letter. If the name you’re looking for is near the bottom of that list, it may not appear on your screen until you narrow down the list by typing in a few more letters.

Joan also asked about using PDFs in AncestryPress. Currently the only types of image files you can upload are JPGs and PNGs. You can convert a PDF to a JPG by opening the file in Microsoft Picture Manager and clicking “Save As.” This gets a bit tricky if the PDF is more than a page long, however, so you may need to first open the file in Adobe Acrobat and break it into separate pages. If you find text on the web that you want to include in your book, in many cases you can just copy and paste it directly into AncestryPress as a text box. If you still have a subscription to Heritage Quest, that may be an easier solution. Before you copy text from any website, remember to pay attention to the copyright restrictions to make sure that you’re not infringing on any copyrights.

Pat, the beautiful cursive font you saw in some of the examples of the Family, Military and Immigration templates is not one of the fonts we offer through AncestryPress (we don’t have a license to it). You can bring in other fonts for specific words or phrases by creating an image file in JPG or PNG format and uploading it to your Images tray, which is what the designer did who created those examples. If you don’t have access to an image editing program like Adobe Photoshop or Macromedia Fireworks, you can just create the text in Microsoft Word, print it out and then scan it as a JPG.

Joycelyn, I’ve noticed too that the reordering pages function is a little buggy. I’ll pass your comment on to the developers so we can get that fixed. Wraparound text is on my wish list as well. Unfortunately making text wrap from page to page is quite an involved process, so it isn’t something that we can offer in the near future. We’re currently doing some market research to find out which potential new features are most important to our customers. The feedback we get from survey and focus group participants—and the comments we’ve been getting through the blog and the Feedback link—will help us determine the product development roadmap. In a poll we took during the webinar, about a third of the participants indicated that they’re interested in creating a narrative family history book. That’s a significant number, but we’ll need to weigh it against the level of interest in other possible enhancements and output options.

In case you missed the AncestryPress webinar last week, you can view the event archive by clicking here. The program is about an hour long, including a 45-minute presentation and a 15-minute Q&A session. Before you view the program, be sure to click the “Test Your System” link to make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements. There’s also a link to download Real Player, which you’ll need to play the video clips.

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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 For current information about products and features, please see my more recent blog posts.


  1. Ron Chard

    The last paragraph notes if you missed the AncestryPress webinar last week …”clicking here” will take you to the archive where you can view the program ….either I am missing something, or the link to the webinar is not on the page that is accessed by …”clicking here”!

  2. Stefanie Condie

    Ron, the webinar archive wasn’t actually available until this evening (sorry about that). It’s up now, so please try again. The link takes you to a landing page. To play the webinar, just click the “Launch Presentation” button at the bottom of the page.

  3. Peter Ibison

    A few items for the wish list…

    a) More than 100 pages – it would be so much better to be able to print off larger books. Currently, my family data will need to spread across two books

    b) A3 books – an A4 sheet is a bit limiting, and something a bit bigger would be most welcome

    c) Backgrounds – these are great but need to be extended (especially the military background which features an American flag and plane – not appropriate if your ancestors fought for New Zealand in the Galipoli attack, for instance!

    d) The place-finding facility looks good but it is puzzling why the program in some cases is able to find a place on the map but then be unable to ‘reconcile’ the map place.

  4. Stefanie Condie

    To access the Large Family Tree Prints, just click the orange “Getting Started” button on the AncestryPress home page. You’ll see three options: make a family history book from templates, make a family history book from scratch, or make a family tree print from templates. Currently you cannot make a family tree print from scratch–you must have an online family tree.

  5. Angela Gilmour

    I’m trying to do a combination family tree print but I can’t figure out how to do it. I can only get one person for six generations…

  6. Stefanie Condie

    Angela, the 6-generation standard (pedigree) format is currently the only option for the large family tree prints. We’ll be offering additional formats early next year.

  7. Maud-Marie Lönnberg

    I cannot find any longer how to put a scanned photo on the top och each persons personal sheet. Before I could choose on pressing an icon weather I wanted to have the photo on top or lined up below.

    What to do? I really miss it.

  8. Rich

    For extra backgrounds, anyone with Photoshop, etc, can use a photo and resize to needed size. Then by adjusting the opacity and fill, you now have a “background.” Save the pic as a .jpg file, upload it, place it on your page, and click on bring to back. Just make sure to make it light enough so you can read any writing over it.

  9. Judy Kish

    You have a good start on a family history book, but it lacks so much that I feel it was premature to launch the product. I put hundreds of hours into photos for each person, media, etc. and none of it uploads automatically. Everything associated with each person should upload.

    Also, since I have media photos for each person already, I should have the option for a photo album for each person in my history book – right along side all the other template options. What’s the point of having other reports created if you can’t put them in the history book as well? Guess I expected to utilize all the info I’ve put in my database to better use.

    Everytime I add a fact or new media image, I have to re-upload the entire program and re-do all the special effects I want. Books will always be in need of updating and people shouldn’t have to start from scratch each time. Example: what if someone dies after I publish my book? Say I want to publish a new book every two years; I would certainly hope that the updated fact for the person who passed away or the new baby that was born would be updated without losing all the other info.

    Pictures and media for the individual you are working on in the book should be instantly available. Uploading or finding them in a default list that includes everyone seems silly — if you’re on a particular person, their information should be visible.

    You’re getting there. If you could accomplish these things, I think it would be fabulous. I’d also like a publishing version that is not tied to the web where I could save my published book to a DVD.

    Thanks for listening and your improvements are moving in the right direction.

    Judy Benson Kish

  10. Donald Mosley

    How can I order a Ancestry poster 24×18. Will it import from my FTM file. I assume you will send a CD or do it on the web. Cost?

  11. Patrick Luepke

    I have been paying $30.00 a month for almost a year and have spent many many hours doing research on a data base that has a welth of info but a very weak search engine which I suppose is designed that way so customers have to burn time in search of information.
    I want to print my tree but i don’t want to pay for sections or bit’s and chunks of my research sience I have put out almost $300.00 in accsess time plus my personal time ? I don’t want to be taken for a ride after all the work I have invested in my research.

  12. Eileen Manza

    I am creating a 5 generation family tree poster and would like to know how to auto populate the information i’ve already put in regarding generation info.

  13. Marilyn Mosson

    Is there any way to access info in my family tree stored in my The Master Genealogist? I hate having to transfer that info to Ancestry tree in order to get all the “little” info and comments and pictures to publish. Also, is there a way to print from publish in a continuous way without having to select each page to print? It takes a lot of time.

  14. i’m a noobie and am having trouble figuring this out. how do you add cousins? is there a page that just has an option to add father, mother, brother,sister, cousin — all that stuff to the tree? the laout is a bit confusing — though, i love the concept of the site!

  15. Cia de Lawrence

    For AncestryPress, my file size cannot exceed 75 MB if I want to start a Book or create a Family Poster. Can you please tell me how to upload a portion of my family tree? My saved file is 141 MB and I only want to print out my Mother’s side of the tree. HELP?!

  16. Nancy Carver

    When will the six generation poster be available. Five is too small and seven is too large. It looks bad when all the seventh generation slots are empty.

  17. Stefanie Condie

    Nancy, we do have a six-generation poster, but it’s only available in the Standard (pedigree) format, not the Combination format.

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