Printing Large Format Family Tree Genealogy Walll Charts For You!
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How To Do Some Useful Things

How To . . .
. . .
attach a file to an e-mail message.
. . .
adjust the appearance of your photo for printing.
. . .
adjust the size of a photo while keeping a good resolution.
. . .
prune an unwanted branch in your chart.
. . .
show the direct line relationship between two people in your chart.
. . .
create a descendant chart that shows the "source" person's multiple spouses.
. . .
use Time Line Chart Perspective Event Sets.
. . .
select non-standard font sizes.
. . . compress a chart file.
How to attach a file to an e-mail message:
1. Address your message, add a subject, and compose your message.
2. Click on Attach button...typically a paperclip icon.
3. Find your file in the Select File dialog box that appears. The default chart file location for Reunion 9 and 10 is Documents/Reunion Files/Charts.
4. Select your file and click the attach/OK button. This should attach your file and return you to your message.
5. Click on the send button.
How to adjust the appearance of your photo for printing:
In order to get a good reproduction of a photo in print, the photo's brightness and contrast need to be the best they can be. Most beginners can see when a photo isn't quite right, and will go straight to the brightness and contrast controls to fix it. Unfortunately, the brightness and contrast controls are almost always the wrong settings to start with. A much better place to start in almost every case is the levels control.

To adjust the levels of your photo, open the photo in your favorite image processing application. It's likely it has a levels adjustment feature, and if you choose levels, you'll probably be shown a window with a graph that looks something like this:
This shows the levels of a photo with a poor distribution of tones. Moving the black arrow to the left edge of the curve will make the darkest parts of your picture a nice clean black, and moving the white arrow to the right edge of the curve will make the lightest parts of your picture a nice clean white:

This shows the proper placement of the black and white arrows relative to the levels curve. If the photo still looks a little dark to you, you can tweak it with minor adjustments to the position of the gray arrow. When the image looks the way you want it, click the OK button and save your photo. The vast majority of your pictures will look their best after this adjustment.

 

How to adjust the size of a photo while keeping a good resolution:
This discussion applies only to images placed in the white space around your tree. Images included inside a person box will automatically be acceptable for all but the lowest resolution images.

When a photo is placed in the white space of a chart, either by dragging it, pasting it, or by using the File-->Place command, Reunion places it at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch (ppi). This is the lowest resolution we can recommend for a picture in a wall chart. It will look acceptable on the final print when viewed from a few feet, but close examination will reveal its pixellation.

In general, a high resolution picture will be placed in a chart as a fairly large graphic object, and a lower resolution picture will be placed as a smaller graphic object. If it's the right size for your design, then all you need to do is move it where you want it to be and you're done with that picture. If you need to resize the picture to fit your chart design, you can grab the lower right corner of the picture with the finger cursor (it will change from the arrow cursor when moved to the correct place in the corner) and drag until the photo is the size you want.

Think twice about whether you need the picture any larger because the larger you make it, the lower the resolution will be and the more obvious the pixellation. If you want it smaller, the resolution will only get better. If you right-click/Ctl-click on the picture, you can choose the “50% of Original Size” option and change the resolution to 144 ppi in one quick action. This is at the threshold of “photo quality” resolution, and on a family tree wall chart, there's little benefit to increasing the resolution any further. Feel free to continue to reduce the size of the photo to improve your chart composition, but there will be little or no increase in photo print quality with any further size reduction.

How does this resolution thing work in Reunion? It's simple. Every image has a set number of pixels. Reunion puts the image into the chart while spreading the pixels out at 72 ppi. This pixel density coupled with the total number of pixels determines how far the pixels spread out and thus the size of the picture in the chart. Making the picture larger spreads the pixels out further, reducing the number of pixels per inch and decreasing the resolution. Making the picture smaller jams the pixels closer together and increases the resolution.

When you're done with your chart design, you can choose the “File-->Save as” command and check the “Compact pictures” option. This will reduce all photos in the chart that are over 150 dpi down to 150 dpi resolution, simultaneously optimizing photo resolution and reducing chart file size.

How to prune an unwanted branch in your chart:
There may be other ways to accomplish what you want by setting up the original chart creation so that the boxes aren’t drawn in the first place, but if all you need to do is a little editing on a chart, you can click on the offending box and hit the delete key on your keyboard. This will also rid the chart of any branches (descendants) that connect to the tree through that box. If you don’t like the space that's left behind, go to the Tree menu item and reselect your chart format. It’ll then redraw appropriately.
How to show the direct line relationship between two people in your chart:
Open Reunion, and select Help-->Contents, then find the “Using Lists and Other Features” heading. Under this will be a link to “Direct Lines Bold.” This will bring you to a very good discussion on the use of direct line functions. It includes topics such as “finding the common ancestor” and also using direct lines to prune reports and charts.
How to create a descendant chart that shows the “source” person’s multiple spouses:
Reunion will only create the descendants for for the source person and spouse on the Reunion family card you’re originating the chart from. Other spouses of the source person are on separate family cards and are ignored. To get all the source person’s spouses one must go back one generation so that the descendancy contains all your desired source person's families.

There may be a simpler way to do this, but here’s one way that works (and you might want to print this out for ready reference): start out in Reunion and go the the family card for the person you want at the top of your descendant chart. Choose Find—> Mark Groups..., click on the Mark tab, Click on the “Descendants of...” radio button, and check the boxes that say “Unmark Everybody First,” “Mark Spouses,” and “Mark this Couple.” Then click the Mark button, and then the Close button. You have just marked all descendants of that marriage. Repeat for each family card of that person (with each spouse), but uncheck the “Unmark Everybody First” box so you don't lose your previous work. You will now have a situation where your source and all his descendants by all spouses are marked, and no one else.

Now go to his parent's family card (where he is a child button). Choose Create—> Descendant Chart..., and check the Prune box that says “Marked Descendants Only.” Ensure the other settings fit your wishes, and then click the Chart button. If your desired source person does not have documented parents, just create a “dummy” parent to allow this procedure.

You now have a chart that has your desired “source” person’s parents at the top, and all the descendancy lines from each of the desired “source” person’s marriages.

Drag the “source” person’s parents’ box so it is right next to his, then put your cursor on the parents’ box and double click. Delete all the text in this box except for a word or two on the top line, then click on the chart background to deselect the box.  Click on the box once to reselect it, then in the chart editor tool bar select None for the Box line width, and for the Shadow line width, select None. Change the box fill color and text color to white. 

You now have a chart the way you want it, except there’s a line going to nowhere that’s coming out of one of the boxes containing your desired “source” person. Click on that box, then in the tool bar, change the color for “Line” to white. Voilà!

How to use Time Line Chart Perspective Event Sets:
To add one of the perspective event sets to your chart, create your Timeline chart in Reunion. When it opens in the chart edit window, select Timeline—> Perspectives—> Open Set... If the file selection window doesn’t come up with the event sets automatically, you can find them by navigating in the selection window to your Reunion folder, Charts folder, Perspective Event Sets folder. You can also add single events one at a time if you wish, using the Add One submenu item.

You might want to try looking at the Reunion site on perspective event sets. This has a number of event sets you can use to supplement the ones that come with Reunion, and gives instructions on where to save the sets so that Reunion can find them. It also tells you how to create your own.

How to select non-standard font sizes:
In the chart edit window select Object—> Select—> All Boxes and then choose your desired font size in the lower part of the chart editor tool bar.  Select “Other” and that will give you a dialog box that will allow you to enter the font size of your choice. Not only can you choose a small font, but some people might want to try a HUGE font (like 72 point) to make the charts readable at a distance at large gatherings (thanks to Steve Byars for the big font idea).  Your boxes may overlap after this, so simply choose Tree—> Orientation and click the Redraw/OK button to straighten things out.  If you would like to return to the default size, repeat the previous steps and choose 9 point size.
How to compress a chart file:
In OS X 10.5 Leopard and later, click the file icon on the desktop or in a Finder window and select from the Finder menu File—>Compress. From 10.3 or 10.4, select File—> Create Archive.
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