Posted by Ancestry Team on October 24, 2011 in Family Tree Maker

Over the years, we have received requests to include some charting features that were available in Family Tree Maker 2006/version 16. In Family Tree Maker 2012 we’re brought back two of them: direct-line descendant charts and generation labels.

Direct-line Descendant Charts

In recent versions of Family Tree Maker, the descendant chart showed all of an individual’s descendants. With only one or two generations, this chart can get quite large and difficult to understand. Now you have a simple alternative. You can create descendant chart that shows the direct-line relationship between two people you select.

Generation Labels

Another option available in 2012 is generation labels, which identify the relationship between the primary person in the chart and other family members (such as parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents). These labels appear above chart columns and help you identify relationships in a glance.

Text Boxes

A new feature in 2012 is the ability to personalize charts by adding your own free-form text boxes. Write a story about the individual, add a caption to a family photo, or include information that doesn’t fit elsewhere on the chart.


  1. Rebekah Mendoza

    How does the Direct-line Descendant Chart differ from the Relationship Chart currently available in 2011?

  2. Tana L. Pedersen

    #1 Rebekah

    You are correct that the two charts are similar. The Relationship chart lets you show the relationship between any two people in your chart, they don’t have to be descendants. But this chart can’t be customized and shows only the individuals the person is directly related to; the direct line descendancy chart can be customized and shows the parents in each generation that the person is related to.

    #3 Jay
    To access this chart, go to the Publish workspace. In Publication Types on the left side of the screen, click “Charts.” Then double-click the Descendant Chart icon. Make sure the chart is displaying the individual whose descendancy you want to see. When the chart opens, you’ll see all the formatting options on the right side of the screen. From the Descendants drop-down list choose the individual you want.

  3. Bill Fennelly

    I am currently using FTM 2011 and I want to print an “all in one tree” that was available in earlier versions of FTM. Is there a way that I can do this?

  4. I’ve worked for an hour trying to get that Descendant Chart for one line to look like yours.

    The main difference is the width of the boxes for each person. Yours look like they are about 2 inches wide, and I can’t get anything wider than about one inch wide.

    What’s the secret here? Obviously, I have not found the right button!

    Another comment: it takes a real long time to do 10 generations – the program loads every descendant of the first person… why not let the user select the two people like in the Relationship Chart?

  5. Andy O

    I have 2006 and 2012 on my computer because of the All-in-One chart Bill mentioned. I know 2012 has the Extended Family chart but it’s not the same. I printed an Extended Family chart for my girlfriends family, it was 12 pages long. The chart only goes left to right, it also breaks up families so it’s much harder to follow. I exported her family tree to 2006 to print the All-in-One chart which ended up being 4 pages long and 2 more rows down and so much easier to look at and follow!

    Another chart feature I miss from 2006 is the ability to overlap pages when printing a large tree. I found the option for ‘No Page Overlap’ under the Advanced button for Layout but that changes the way the tree looks and is not available on all charts (the Extended Family Chart for example does not include this option).

    One last issue with charting in 2012, under Box, Boarder and Line Options, there are only 3 Marked Boxes. I would like to have a different color for each generation but I have 6 generations and only 3 Marked Boxes to change the fill color of. How can I get each of the 6 generations to have a different fill color for their boxes?

    I hope some of these ideas/options show up in later versions of FTM. There is lots of room for improvement in charting in FTM 2012.

  6. noreen

    i having trouble for some reason if i add a second marriage for some reason the kids are listed under real father an second father why what am i doing wrong an how to correct it

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