Report Content, Media, Format and Layout

  • Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate, and New User
  • FH versions: V4, V5, and V6
  • In Topics: Reports and Books 

Introduction

Several Family Historian features involve the creation of Reports either standalone, or incorporated in Family Tree Website/CD/DVDs, or Books (in Version 5 or later.).

  • To adjust the features in an standalone Report, use its Options button or Report > Report Options command to display the Report Options window.
  • To adjust the features in a Family Tree Website/CD/DVD via the Wizard Family Tree Wizard ~ Step 3 – Choose Report Template, use the Options buttons. Alternatively, adjust a standalone Report and save it as a Custom report which you can then use in the Wizard.
  • To adjust the features in a Book via the Edit Book window, use either the Book Settings button, or select the Report in the Current Book Items and use the Settings button. Alternatively, adjust a standalone Report and save it as a Custom report before creating the Book.

The tabs listed below appear in different combinations in the various windows opened using the methods above.

Main or Contents Tab

The Main or Contents tab selects the main section contents, which varies significantly for different types of Report. The options are explained via its Help button.

Some types of Report do not support Alternate Names, Nicknames and Given Names but in ƒh version 5 and above the Adjust AKA Names for Reports plugin offers some workarounds.

On this tab you can choose to show or hide [[private]] Notes. On the Pictures tab there is a similar show or hide [[private]] Notes option for Multimedia when Use Note as Caption is enabled.

There are often additional configurable lists that fall into two categories:

Main Data Items

These lists have Add…, Edit…, Delete, Up arrow & Down arrow buttons.

Standard items are listed by default and cannot be altered, except that Edit… & Delete allows you to Hide or Show them. You can Add…, Edit… & Delete custom items that support any Expression involving Data References and/or Functions.

The Up arrow & Down arrow buttons allow the order of all the items to be customised.

Facts

These lists have All, List Only, and Exclude List options and an Edit List… button.

By default All Facts are included, but the other two options allow a subset list or an exclusion list to be edited.

Pictures Tab for Individual, Family, and Fact Linked Multimedia images

The Pictures tab controls how to display certain Multimedia images. In most Reports these are the images linked directly to Individual or Family records, or their Facts, but not those linked to Source records, which are controlled by the Sources tab.

The options are explained via its Help button, and vary slightly for different Reports.

The default settings often result in too few images that are too small. Each of the Max Pics, and Size/Height/Width settings will usually need to be increased.

If despite the above adjustments, some Multimedia images do not appear at all, then check their Exclude from Reports setting. Open the appropriate Property Box of the Record to which the Multimedia image is linked. Select the Multimedia tab, choose the Media item, and click the Edit button to open the Edit Media Item window. The Exclude from Reports tick option is near the bottom right corner.

The Multimedia tab Preference determines the order that images are displayed in the Report.

Sources tab for Source Citation Details and Linked Multimedia Images

The Sources tab governs what Source Citation details are presented, and how any Multimedia images linked to Citations or Source records are displayed. It does not affect images linked directly to Individual or Family records, or their Facts, which are controlled by the Pictures tab.

The options are explained via its Help button, and are the same for all Reports that have this tab.

Missing or Small Images

The default settings often result in too few images that are too small. Each of the Max. Pics Per Source, Max. Pics Per Citation, Max. Picture Height, and Max. Picture Width settings will often benefit from being larger.

The Enlarge Small Pictures to Max. Width option may also need to be ticked.

If despite the above adjustments, some Multimedia images do not appear at all, then check their Exclude from Reports setting. Open the appropriate Property Box of the Record to which the Multimedia image is linked. Select the Multimedia tab, choose the Media item, and click the Edit button to open the Edit Media Item window. The Exclude from Reports tick option is near the bottom right corner.

The Multimedia tab Preference determines the order that images are displayed in the Report.

Centralise Images

It is not obvious how to centralise Multimedia images on the page, so use the following advice:

Set the Max. Picture Height and Max. Picture Width to large values such as 9″ and tick Enlarge Small Pictures To Max. Width.

Click the Gaps… button and set both Gap to Left of Picture and Gap to Right of Picture to the same value such as 1″ or 2″ to centralise the image with that margin either side.

Index Tab for Optional Cross-reference Index

The Index tab allows a cross-reference index to be added to the end of a Report or Book.

The options are explained via its Help button, and are the same for all Reports.

Format Tab for the Font, Style, and Text of Headings

The Format tab specifies the Fonts and Styles and Text for Headings, and the Format for Dates whereas the Page Layout tab determines the Page Orientation, Margins, Header, Footer, Indents, Tabs, etc.

The options are explained via its Help button, and vary slightly for different Reports.

There is no obvious option to make Headings start on a new page, but every Hdg Style has a Keep with Next option, that if set to 99 lines will effectively force a new page. Web Page (HTML) reports cannot honour this option.

If you use Tab characters to tabulate multi-line text such as Text from Source transcript fields, then the default Format and Page Layout settings usually result in poorly tabulated data in Reports. See how to Tabulate Multiline Text in Records and Reports for advice on settings that will achieve tidy tabulated results. However, this is only effective for PDF File or Word-Processor (RTF) format reports. Web Page (HTML) reports do not support Tab settings.

Page Layout Tab for Page Orientation, Margins, Indents, Tabs, Headers and Footers

This tab determines the page Orientation, Margins, Header, Footer, Indents, Tabs, etc, whereas the Format tab specifies the Fonts and Styles and Text for Headings, and the Format for Dates.

The options are explained via its Help button, and vary slightly for different Reports.

If editing the Header or Footer ensure the special values such as =Page() and =Date() adhere to the Tip: formats shown towards the bottom of the tab.

The Start records on new page option is often misunderstood. If only one Record was selected when composing the Report then this option has no effect, even if the details from several Records are included in the Report e.g. a Family Group Sheet. Only if multiple Records were originally selected will each selected Record start on a new page.

If you use Tab characters to tabulate multi-line text such as Text from Source transcript fields, then the default Format and Page Layout settings usually result in poorly tabulated data in Reports. See how to Tabulate Multiline Text in Records and Reports for advice on settings that will achieve tidy tabulated results. However, this is only effective for PDF File or Word-Processor (RTF) format reports. Web Page (HTML) reports do not support Tab settings.

Privacy Tab for Excluding Private and Living Details

The policy for privacy depends on the target audience for your information. A CD/DVD or Book may only be distributed to close family members, whereas a website may be accessible worldwide. So when creating a website, it is usually advisable to hide all information, except possibly for basic details, about people who are still alive.

See the advice available via the Help button for further details about each option on this tab.

Initially the default settings should be used until a clearer understanding of what details need to be hidden has been established.

It is important to set the default Private Flag and Living Flag on all appropriate Individual Records beforehand. Otherwise it will be difficult to make use of these options. Also in Main, Contents and Pictures tabs it is possible to hide or show Notes marked as private within [[ double square brackets ]].

The section on how to Delete Data For Living People suggests ways of setting the Private and Living Flags on Individual Records, and other more advanced processes for achieving your privacy policy.

The Downloads and Services & Utilities pages offer Queries and other techniques for managing living people data.

After satisfactorily customising a Standard Report it is advisable to click the Save Report As button and select the Custom Report Type… option in order to preserve the settings without disrupting the Standard Report style.

Some Report Options, such as Picture Gaps, the Format Fonts & Styles, and Page Layout do NOT affect HTML Reports used in Family Tree Website/CD/DVD, so the Family Tree Tips ~ Alter CSS Default Styles  technique must be used.

Content and Index Hyperlinks

It is useful to have shortcuts from the Table of Contents or the Index to the associated item within a large multi-record Report. To create such shortcut hyperlinks in the electronic version of a Report use word-processor and PDF features as explained in Forum posting Narrative Report for “All Relatives”.

First use Save Report As > Word-Processor Document (RTF) and edit the .rtf file with a word-processor such as MS Word. A contents table can be inserted using References > Table of Contents and both the Contents and Index will be composed of hyperlinks. When finished, use Save As > PDF and the resulting .pdf file will retain the hyperlinks.

Sharing Settings Across Projects

The Report Options for all Reports are shared by all Project via the Family Historian Program Data Folder.

The Wizard settings for Family Tree Website/CD/DVD are saved per Project in the …\{projectname}.fh_data\Settings\ folder. So to get another Project to inherit those settings, use Windows File Explorer to copy that Settings folder to the other Project folder.

The Book Settings are saved per Project in the …\{projectname}.fh_data\Books\ folder within a sub-folder with the same name as each Book. To migrate Book Settings to another Project perform the following steps:

  • Use Publish > Books, select a Book, and click the  Clone button to create a dummy Settings book.
  • In that dummy Settings book, delete all but its Contents and Index sections.
  • Use Windows File Explorer to copy that Books\Settings folder to the other Project folder.
  • In other Project, use Publish > Books, select Settings book, and click Clone button to create a new book

 

Last update: 14 Sep 2020