Saturday, May 17, 2014

Family Book Creator - the First Plug In for Family Tree Maker

Yesterday I mentioned A Plugin for Family Tree Maker so now I will start describing it. I say start, because Books take some time to create. I have created 15+ books in Family Tree Maker since that feature was first introduced many years ago. I haven't blogged about that feature because "it's complicated". 

I have always asked the question "What is the purpose of the book?" "WHO is the focus person for the book?" and "Who is the audience for that book?" Those questions will drive the layout and information to be included.

This new plug in makes that much easier. HOWEVER, there is some up front planning required before you start the plug in.

I am going to walk through the screens that you will see, options to use, so that when the book is generated it will come out the way you want. Pictures, Charts, Footnotes, and more. 

This is not the first screen you will see, but I will walk through all of that later. This Blog post will show what you need to be thinking about before you start.

The Title Tab:

This is easy. the Program will "fill in the blanks for you" based on who the book will be about.

The < > are the indicators as to what the title of the book will be about. This can ALL be changed later, as the output of this program is an Rich Text Format (RTF) file that your word processor can open and you can edit.

The Colophon Tab:

Again, this is publication information and the program will "fill in the blanks". There are Header and Footer Options for you to choose from.

The Dedication Tab:

This is where the work begins. You have an option and should consider writing a Dedication for this book.

The Forward Tab:

Like the Dedication, a forward would be a good thing to have in the book. Again, this is one of the pre-planning items to consider before you start the book. However, the Family Book Creator does offer you some suggestions. It will also autofill the Author Name, Author Place, and the Current Date.

Table of Contents:

Actually, you can let this one go by, as it will be created when the book is created.


The program will offer a suggested Introduction. It also includes some file statistics. Don't rush to re-write what is there, as it pretty well explains that format of the book. As mentioned earlier, you can always edit this in your word processor.

Main part:

Where is where you have the choices of who and what to include. I'll not spend a lot of time here with this, but there is a tab for Individuals to include, Items to include, Options.

These options are much link what is already in Family Tree Maker.. You can limit the number of generations or All generations. Lots of flexibility

Indexes Tab:

Bibliography or list of sources.

You can have the Index of Individuals, with options there

And, you can include an Index of Places, with choices.

Down the left side are three more tabs. Book Items, which I just covered, Preferences and About.

I will cover them in another Blog Post.

I think that it is important to thing about what Items you want to include in the Book.

The output of the book, is worth the wait.

More details may be found at There is an evaluation version available for you to try. There is no Mac OS X Version available.

Copyright © 2014 by H R Worthington

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