Create a family history in PDF


Transforming your family tree data into a PDF file that you can send us for publishing as a book will help reduce the cost of your book. But how to do this? There are a few options, the starting point is to have your family tree data recorded on a computer using some genealogy software such as Legacy, this can be simply a record of ancestors (and other relatives) with birth, death and marriage details. It might also include any digitised images that you have, such as scanned photos.

You will need to create a GEDCOM file from your genealogy software, we have some instructions on how to create a GEDCOM that you will find useful. Prior to making a GEDCOM, check the data in your genealogy program to make sure it is accurate. Once you have that GEDCOM file, and possibly some additional digital images, you will need to use another piece of software to create a PDF file.

One option is to download a free trial version of Adobe software called Adobe Acrobat X Pro, the trial version is valid for 30 days, so only do this if you are ready to create your PDF. This software is not too difficult to use if you’re reasonably familiar with word processors, there is a lot of help available on the internet, Adobe has a help and support website and Adobe on-line help videos. A good alternative to Adobe is NitroPDF which only has a 14-day free trial but is much cheaper to purchase than the Adobe product.

Another option is Microsoft Word 2010. If you have this software you can create a Word document with all the text and digital images laid out just as you want them, then save your document as a PDF file. Microsoft publish a website explaining how to save to a PDF from Word (and other Office applications). If you’re sending us a PDF to review or for us to quote you for a book, it’s OK to save as “Minimum size (publishing online)” but your final PDF ready for publishing should be saved as “Standard (publishing online and printing)” to ensure best quality results.

Whatever software you choose to use to produce your family tree book as a PDF, the first step is to save your family tree information from your family tree program (such as Legacy) in the form of a PDF file or an RTF file (Rich Text File). Some family tree programs might let you produce a PDF file, with Legacy this is only available with the Deluxe version. This will usually be done using the Report feature of your family tree program to produce an Ancestor or Pedigree report, choosing PDF or RTF as the file format. For example with the free version of Legacy you could select Ancestor Book from the Reports menu, you then select “Rich Text File” rather than “Screen/Printer” and click “Create”. You will be asked to select a location to save the RTF file on disk, once this is done you can open the RTF file using Word 2010 or Adobe or Nitro. If you are going to use Word 2010 to produce your PDF, we would recommend saving from your genealogy program in RTF format so that Word can open and edit the file.

Once you have the RTF report file open in Word, Adobe or Nitro, you can format the information as you like, including media such as digital photos, digital images of certificates, or charts – these can be monochrome or colour.

If you think the information above is to complicated or perhaps you don’t have the time to do this, you can just send us a copy of your GEDCOM file and your digital images and we can do it for you. This work is charged separately from book or chart prices and is charged at £25 per hour, but we will give you a fixed-price quote before asgreeing to start, so that you know exactly what it will cost.

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