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Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 02 Sep 2018 08:26
by E Wilcock
I have a custom report Journal Descendants Detail . I think it quite likely that Mike made this for me to replicate the report I always used in TMG.
I have just for the first time been called upon to use this Report to share full genealogy information about my family.
When I convert it to rtf (to open in MS Word) the end note references where there is more than one digit i.e. numeral 10 upwards fail to format properly.
The digits are shown one above the other. As if there is somewhere an allocated column for the end note figure which is only one digit wide.

I have found it quite hard this morning to follow this thread and use the links to it on the search - some of which are not live links it seems. The format options do not mention one can alter footnotes!
But in case anyone else is dealing with long reports with lots of end notes, the default width for a fh tab indent is 0.4" and I increased that to 0.8" and solved the problem.
I think it pretty lunatic for genealogy software to have a default tab set too narrow to handle more than 9 footnotes.

I also notice that tho in fh the option was for footnotes to each page (which would probably not involved a double digit reference) that did not seem to carry across to Word and even when Ii tried to change end notes to footnotes (each page) .
In the end I sent off the faulty report and then took a fair time to sort out the footnote problem.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 02 Sep 2018 09:24
by E Wilcock
A further note. Increasing the tab from 0.4 to to 0.5 is sufficient to allow double digit footnotes.
Increasing it further adversely increased other indents (I think) pushing the info to the far right of the page.
To tell the truth I dont think this report with so much indenting is what I used to have and use in TMG, but the best thing is if I actually output a TMG report and compare the two. I remember when this thread was discussed I was writing to a deadline and didnt have time.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 02 Sep 2018 10:37
by mjashby
Not at all surprised that some format problems were experienced when viewing a complex RTF file in Word, i.e. a document with many footnotes, or graphics etc.

The thing that needs to be appreciated is that although RTF is a proprietary standard developed by Microsoft for the interchange of rich text documents between products. As with GEDCOM there isn't a single specification in existence for an RTF format file. Microsoft has changed the RTF specification 'regularly', typically with each new version of Microsoft Word, so even when an RTF File is output in one Version of Word it won't necessarily look exactly the same if opened in another Version of Word and users can potentially experience similar differing dialect issues when opening/viewing RTF Files in different applications as are experienced when transferring GEDCOM files between different Family History products, or even when moving between different versions of the same product.

Of course, if if developers updated there own RTF output spec to match the changes introduced by Microsoft compatibility with the latest version of Word would be maintained, but that would then come potentially at the expense of losing full compatibility with earlier versions of Word and/or with alternative text processing applications that people continue to use. No doubt this is one reason why RTF has diminished in popularity in recent years and the development of alternative output formats for Text Processors have concentrated more and more on improving their ability to read/write alternative 'open' formats, e.g doc, docx and odt.

If you want to read more on the subject, I'd suggest starting here:


Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 02 Sep 2018 10:45
by DavidNewton
I agree with Mervyn that the problem is with rtf conversion. There was a discussion of the indent about 4 years ago


and in the final post Simon Orde stated that the problem would be resolved and it has, within the report preview window. I tried this out on a standard Descendants Narrative and the text line moves inwards to make room for the number but this is not carried over to the rtf. My report had about 160 source references and in the three digit ones the final full stop dropped down a line in the rtf. So it looks like the problem occurs in the rtf conversion.

For the record the problem did not arise in the Save as pdf output.


Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 02 Sep 2018 11:18
by Jane
If the formatting is just out in word and you need to send an editable document rather than outputting the pdf directly, can't you simply adjust the column in Word before sending it on?

RTF is not a very precise export method as the others have mentioned, you could always try using the HTML option and open that in Word saving it as a Word document.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 03 Sep 2018 12:01
by tatewise
The ease of editing the column width depends on the word-processor: MS Word, WordPad, OpenOffice Writer, etc.
It is compromised by the table format used by FH, where if Media are included, then a new table starts after each Media image, so increasing the column width requires multiple operations.

Another factor that impacts column tab settings is the chosen character font.
Smaller fonts are Ok with smaller tab settings, but larger fonts may wrap if the column is not enlarged.

I have to admit that I don't understand what 'footnotes' and tab setting E Wilcock is referring to.
I think her Report is based on the standard Publish > Outline Reports > Descendant Outline report.
By 'footnotes' do you mean the Sources section of numbered Citations?
The Options > Page Layout tab setting for Tab Width has no effect in that Sources section, but the Para. Indent does.
Those Sources section 2-digit numbers appear OK in FH and in MS Word with the default 0.3" setting.
That is with the default Format tab font for Section Data of Time New Roman, Regular, 10 point.
Reducing the Para. Indent to 0.1" or increasing the font to 20 point is OK in FH but does cause MS Word to wrap the Sources section 2-digit numbers.
In summary, those default settings seem to be OK everywhere, but care needs to be taken with non-default settings.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 03 Sep 2018 18:01
by E Wilcock
Mike - As usual you seem to understand what I am doing.
Yes you are quite right. Yes that is the report I am using and it is the sources' section, the numbered citations.

I would like to customise this to exclude all images, as it is showing the only images that I have which are census pages!

Is there a pictureless report? I have used four programmes over the years and this is the first time I have had difficulty outputting a standard report from genealogical software to send family data to another researcher.

And it needs to be in a format which the person the other end (often, like me, elderly) can easily open and read. In the past that has usually been a word document.

So I am feeling very stupid.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 03 Sep 2018 18:47
by tatewise
OK, to exclude all Media images use the Report > Options.
On the Pictures tab set each Max Pics to 0.
On the Sources tab set Max Pics Per Source/Citation to 0.
That applies to all Reports and is covered in the Knowledge Base > Publishing Reports section for Knowledge Base > Report Tips and Tricks that refers to Knowledge Base > Report Content, Media, Format and Layout where the Pictures and Sources tabs are explained.

Can you please confirm that with default Format tab font for Section Data of Time New Roman, Regular, 10 point, and default Page Layout tab for Para. Indent of 0.3" that those Source Citation numbers are OK in both FH and MS Word.
What are your Report settings for those options that give you a problem?

I would strongly advise that you use Save Report As > PDF File format to send Reports because they open far more reliably than word-processor formats such as RTF, DOCX, ODT, etc, which typically require a compatible word-processor to be installed. Whereas PDF will open on virtually any device such as Windows PC, Apple Mac, iPad & Android tablets, without needing any software to be installed, as PDF readers are usually installed by default on all those devices.
Also PDF format Reports rarely, if ever, suffer from the type of problem you had with MS Word.
The only time you need to Save Report As > Word-Processor (RTF) is when you or your recipient need to Edit the Report.
That is covered in Knowledge Base > Report Tips and Tricks > Using Reports.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 07:32
by E Wilcock
Thank you Mike. I will go through this later today. And report back.
I save for Word because pdf files tend to be large. Not all elderly people I know have large data allowances nor speedy broadband

I do it mainly tho so researchers of the same family who have proved their identity to me, are able to copy and past the info into their own genealogy software.
I dont ever now send people Gedcoms since I once had one of mine stolen and published on the net with no authority and including my personal and confidential correspondence. I handed it to what I believed was a bona fide search for missing persons charity, and they passed it to a third party. I have never forgiven this.
Until now I have used fh mainly for place studies and the info I have been asked for or needed to pass on has been limited to small family grounds of about 3 generations.

But now having a few of my own family trees moved from TMG - the typical enquiry is to hear from someone in USA or Australia that they have just found out that they are descended from Jo Smoth on my tree, born in the1860s, and what can I tell them? For me it is useful as their info sent to me shows what became of a person who just disappeared from UK records.
And I periodically need to output a descendants report showing all the descendants of Jo Smith's father.

I will examine what I do, edit the default as you suggest and save the result as a custom report. I did look at the options but didnt think of reducing the figures to zero. I did not see the overall exclude images option you mention but will have another go.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 07:50
by Jane
> I save for Word because pdf files tend to be large.

This has not been my experience with Family Historian generated ones. So I just did a quick test
2018-09-04_084847.jpg (15.64 KiB) Viewed 2547 times
As you can see the PDF is considerably smaller, this is because unlike many historic document PDFs which contain scans PDFs from FH are text and pictures.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 08:35
by tatewise
As Jane says, a PDF file is usually smaller than the equivalent RTF file saved by FH.
So if data allowance is an issue, then a PDF file is much better.

However, if you use MS Word to edit the RTF then there are two outcomes.
1) If saved as an RTF then it usually gets much much larger.
2) If saved as a DOCX then it is little smaller than a PDF.

Most PDF readers, including the ubiquitous Adobe Acrobat Reader, can copy & paste text and images.

And as I said, if a suitable word-processor is not installed, then an RTF/DOCX file won't open at all.

Reducing each Max Pics setting to 0 is the way to inhibit all Media in specific Reports.

The "overall exclude images option" you mention, presumably refers to the Exclude from Reports tick option described in Knowledge Base > Report Options ~ Pictures Tab and Knowledge Base > Report Options ~ Sources Tab.
That is applied via any Property Box on its Media tab by editing specific images you want to always exclude from ALL Reports.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 09:41
by E Wilcock
I will report back to you Mike on my alterations and check of the settings - but I am having massive problems trying to save as pdf.
Let us deal with the fh report first.
On each tab I reset the Descendants by Generation fh report back to installation settings.
On the main tab I reset 3 generations to 30.
I then ticked to include all notes except Private notes.
On pictures I unchecked and reduced figures to zero.
On source tab, images I did the same.
Index . I did not enable index but for the large trees I have, that might be a good idea.
Format tab. yes the font is Times NR 10, but caption font is Arial.
Page lay out has Arial 10 pt for all headers and footers.
Para indent is 0.3" but at top, column inden 1, is 0.1" and para indent 2 is 1.5".

But when it came to saving as pdf, I ran into trouble and have wasted my working day.
Save as pdf opened 2 windows.
One to print out immediately with a wheel going round to show activity. Cancelling this provoked an fh not responding and sometimes fh then closed down.

There was also a Window top left to enable one to save the pdf. Using this, I failed to save the pdf either to my own adobe genealogy folder or to the default offered in fh public export. I click save and then the file is nowhere to be seen.

I have captured a screen shot of these screens which I can send you Mike as a private email attachment. But I cant post it on lne in a public forum as it showIs personal data from someone else's family.

So instead of having easy output of a complete descendants report (which is what previous programmes have given me) I am having to make all sorts of choices and failing to save as a pdf.

My experience of text in pdfs is in academic work where pfs cannot be edited or changed in any way. And my experience of their size relates to document images where a jpeg has proved easier than a pdf. I can understand that if Jane includes images in a fh report (the default), a pdf may well be smaller. My scanner and Adobe Photoshop elements will save as pdf but I do not have the paid for Adobe software to create pdfs. And my experience of previous genealogy software including TMG is that pdf causes problems with both windows and printer set up.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 10:56
by tatewise
When you use Save Report As > PDF File the following should appear, and you just click OK in larger top left window.
The smaller window will say it is Printing Pages. Do NOT Cancel this smaller window except to stop output.
In my illustration shown below the output ran to 267 pages.
(Saving to PDF always involves pseudo Printing to a File as opposed to actual Printing to a Printer.)
SaveReportAsPDF.png (51.69 KiB) Viewed 2530 times
I suspect your academic PDF documents were protected against editing, which is an optional feature of PDF.
But those saved by FH are NOT protected against editing.
As I said, most read-only PDF file readers support Copy to the Windows clipboard, and a subsequent Paste can be used into another product. A paid-for PDF editor is NOT needed.

Regarding file size, both Jane and I were comparing like for like, i.e. the same Report using Save Report As > PDF and RTF.
They would either both include FH Media images, or not, depending on the Report Options, but in all cases a PDF is smaller than an RTF.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 11:54
by E Wilcock
Yes that screen is what I get Mike.
However I had already tried ignoring the small window and since your post I have tried at least six times more to save as pdf. I am told the file has been saved in the fh default but cant see it in the directory using file explorer. Nor does it seem to materialise on a windows search.

I have spent a lot of time on this and feel it is pointless to continue. As in any case I dont want a pdf. I want an editable file, hence my use of Word.
And for some reason, saving this same report as rich text file and opening it in Word seems to have formatted everything fine, including the double numeral foot notes with which I previously had a problem.

I dont understand why this has sorted itself but somewhere along the line your suggestions have solved my problem. And I am grateful.

To be honest (left to myself) I dont choose to use pdf for reports and I dont think we should waste further time on it.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 12:09
by tatewise
When you have some spare time, I would like to investigate why the PDF file is not produced.
You should not have to search for the file as it should open automatically in your PDF Reader (probably Adobe Acrobat Reader).

If you have a moment, could you try a standard Report for one Individual from the Family Historian Sample Project.
The default location should be in ...\Family Historian Projects\Family Historian Sample Project\Public\ folder.

Sorry to have wasted your time.
We thought you only wanted your recipients to be "able to copy and past the info into their own genealogy software" and that can be achieved with a smaller PDF file.
It now seems that you need an editable report file, which does require RTF.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 12:39
by E Wilcock
I have found out what is happening. By searching with Windows.
The pdf saves (saved from the screen as per your illustration, Mike) are repeatedly being saved as the file type Chrome HTML.

This could be user error - as I had previously seen this and assumed I had selected the wrong option in fh, i.e. to save as HTML. But for it to happen so many times when following your instructions so carefully?

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 12:40
by E Wilcock
Posted this before seeing your suggestion to use the sample project which I will do.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 12:44
by E Wilcock
The same report using the sample file
Tony Monro has also saved as a Chrome HTML file.
And seems to open the browser window to view it -Yet when I download or try to view pdf files, it is Adobe reader that normally opens.
I will check my default for reading adobe,

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 12:47
by E Wilcock
Chrome was set as Windows 7 default for opening pdf - Dont know how that happened. but I will retry fh now.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 12:52
by E Wilcock
The sample report now opens in adobe, and has saved as an adobe file.

The odd thing is that through all the repeated savings, both with my own project and the fh sample project, I was each time warned that there was already a pdf file of that name saved and asked whether I wanted to over write it.

Since it seemed to have been reclassified as html that doesn't make much sense to me. And the conversion to html file type happened each time , even when I chose not to open and view the outputted file.

I will now try with my own Project.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 13:12
by tatewise
I think I can explain what you were observing.
This is what your Windows Explorer displayed, but the Type column is governed by your Default App setting:
ChromeHTMLDoc.png (9.44 KiB) Viewed 2498 times
This is what the file type is under the hood. It always was a .pdf file.
FileTypePDF.png (11.97 KiB) Viewed 2498 times
I expect your Type column now says Adobe Acrobat Document.
But that column simply shows the Default App assigned to the .pdf file type, and can be misleading.
For this reason I always set Windows Explorer to show the file type extension in the Name column.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 14:23
by E Wilcock
Mike. Thank you for explaining. I will now do the same. I didnt know that.
No need to apologise - as I have wasted your time too. And I do have the choice to work and not to come on this forum!

I have saved the edited report now with those options (to show all generations and all notes but no images) as a custom report for next time. And will be using it to send the info within a few days.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 14:38
by E Wilcock
And yes you are right. Mike. Now I have done that, they are all there as pdf files. I am so sorry. I didnt know that.

I know this is not a thread about the strengths of fh - but this is case when I have been very glad to have a Project in fh.
I may be useless at producing reports (lack of practice) but I find fh is brilliant for looking at and clarifying data.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 04 Sep 2018 15:02
by tatewise
I'm glad you are still happy with your move to FH, and that the Save Report As > PDF File is working correctly.
Don't worry about the detour to achieve the success.

Re: Published Report styles for discussion

Posted: 12 Sep 2018 15:18
by E Wilcock
Thanks to your help Mike, I sent a diagram and a descendants report in pdf file form.

However, reverting to the general topic of this thread - was it ever decided how to produce the sort of descendants report illustrated from e.g. Family Tree Maker?

I have this afternoon re read the thread, yet failed to output what I would like to send as clear report of Descendants of a primary ancestor.
Using a narrative format, as Cole Valley girl suggested, I put the line break code in the sentence for my census results.

That works well. But I need a similar code to provide a break before my general fh note and on the person, which at present runs straight on from the death entry. I have been using the fh Note facility rather a lot. As it doesnt have a sentence, nor allow formatting codes?

When I try a descendants outline report, I once again encounter problems with indents and lines. Can one get rid of the lines?
Calico Pie really need to sort out their example Diagram which is of far too few generations to demonstrate the usability.

I then looked in the knowledge base for Custom reports to download and couldnt find any.

My favourite so far is the Journal report Mike made for me, called Journal Descendants Detail. I need to reduce the indents on that but I dont want to lose that.

I would appreciate if there were follow up to this thread. Because my experience is that the reports are the weak point of fh software. Enough to deter one from using it.