* NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

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NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 21 Mar 2015 17:11

I’m probably missing something obvious, and demonstrating my ignorance, but any help will be gratefully received.

When creating a diagram in FH v5, the choices are:

1. Ancestor Diagram;
2. Descendant Diagram;
3. Ancestor and Descendant Diagram; or
4. All Relatives Diagram

I’ve created an All Relatives Diagram and now I want to generate a narrative report to go with it, but the options for narrative reports are:

1. Ancestors By Generation;
2. Descendants By Generation; or
3. Individual Narrative.

None of which include all of the 196 relatives that appear in the diagram.

I’ve searched the FHUG Knowledge Base and the Forum, but I haven’t found anything that helps, so my question is:

How can I produce a narrative report that will match up with the All Relatives Diagram?

Thanks,

Eric
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by tatewise » 21 Mar 2015 20:04

The technique is similar to the one described in Knowledge Base > Create an export Gedcom based on a diagram. But instead of an Export you are creating a Report.

In the Diagram window use Diagram > Selection & Marks > Select All Boxes or just use the standard Windows Ctrl-A keyboard shortcut.
Then use command menu Edit > Add to Named List and name the list say Relatives.

Now use command menu Publish > Narrative Reports > Individual Narrative.
In Select Records window click Named Lists tab top left and choose Relatives (or whatever you named it).
Then click the >> Add All button to populate the right hand list.

QED.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 21 Mar 2015 21:05

Thanks Mike, that's brilliant - easy when you know how! :roll:

Now I'm really going to push my luck...

In the standard narrative reports, the individuals are set out by generation in a continuous list, whereas this report comes out as 194 pages (don't know which two are missing yet) of individuals - one individual per page.

I've managed to remove the page breaks, so it comes out as a continuous list, but can't figure out how to sort it by generation. Is there any way of emulating the format of the standard reports?

Eric
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by IanTS » 21 Mar 2015 21:57

I’d also like to know the answer to this. What you currently have is just an “all individuals narrative” report with no structure, just a huge list of individual reports, because the narrative report options for a structured report need a starting individual. You then choose whether it’s for descendants or ancestors of that individual. If you choose more individuals to be included in an ancestor or descendant report you end up with a report that could have many, many duplications.

So I think the answer is no, you cannot have a relational narrative report for a whole tree without having duplications, which leads to huge reports (you could then edit it in a word processor I suppose).

I have tried to do what you want and have not been able to do it within FH. In fact I believe that as good as FH is for many things it is now badly let down by the simplistic narrative reporting tool. As an aside FH does not even have the ability to produce small family tree diagrams that fit within an A4 report (at least I can't find a way of doing it). If you want to see what I mean by that download the trial version of The Complete Genealogy Reporter and see how well that produces narrative reports with build in tree diagrams for each family.

(oh ... If you are wondering why anyone should wish to produce such reports, a great many of my relatives do not own a computer, why ? They are over 80 years old and really like to hold and read old fashioned ink and paper books !)

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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by tatewise » 21 Mar 2015 22:53

OK, simple answers first.

Eric, I guess you unticked Report > Options > Page Layout > Start records on new page.

Ian, you are correct that mini-trees cannot be inserted in Reports, unless you create small Diagrams, save them as JPG, and link each one as Media to each Individual.

Structured Narrative Report for All Relatives
This is trickier than is sounds. It hinges on who is Root person and the complexity of the tree.
If you choose a distant Ancestor as Root, then most Relatives are Descendants.
If you choose a recent Descendant as Root, then many Relatives are direct Ancestors, but some of those Ancestors can have Descendant sub-branches.
If you choose someone in the middle then you get both the above.
If you choose a married couple it gets even more complex.
If some people have multiple marriages then it gets even more complex.

So, what do you mean by a structured Report?
What does listed by generation mean?
If you start the Report with the Root person, and there are both Ancestors and Descendants, what order should they be listed?
It is not easy to represent the relationships of a two-dimensional Diagram in a linear Report.

The best you can do is:
Create an Ancestors by Generation Report for the Root person.
Add a Descendants by Generation Report for each Descendant sub-branch with head of branch as Root.
Finally, combine them together in a Book with a single Index.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by AdrianBruce » 21 Mar 2015 22:56

IanTS wrote:... So I think the answer is no, you cannot have a relational narrative report for a whole tree without having duplications, which leads to huge reports (you could then edit it in a word processor I suppose).

I have tried to do what you want and have not been able to do it within FH. In fact I believe that as good as FH is for many things it is now badly let down by the simplistic narrative reporting tool. ...
You were right with the first conclusion (huge reports with duplicates), so I'm not sure how you then go on to imply there could be a more sophisticated reporting tool that does it. The problem with such a simple concept as stacking people in generations is that a family of any complexity is liable to have people on two generations - my 5G grandparents on one line are also my 6G on another. Which generation should the software put them in? And where should notes linked to multiple people appear?

A human will almost certainly be able to produce a much more sophisticated and readable arrangement of a specific family than FH does. The problem is that the logic the human author uses will almost certainly be inconsistent across the report and it will also be different from the logic used by the same person on a different tree. None of which translates very easily into a computer algorithm.

And just to make life even more interesting, what is a good report to one person is appalling to another. I'm not sure what you think about TCGR's reports but I know there are people who swear by them - I swear at them as being nothing like a narrative or even a readable formal report.

As for small family tree diagrams, I sympathise - for some reason I can never find the right numbers for the right items to get a small, single page diagram. However, there's a Diagram type on FHUG called Compact Ancestors Diagram that seems to have the right numbers - I've just got me and 3 generations on one page with it. Though I think one trick is to go portrait format (useful for a report anyway) and have the diagram running left to right rather than bottom to top. It may or may not be what you need.... (I know it says "Ancestors" but you can just change the tree type to Descendants if that's what you want).
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 00:25

Hi Mike,

You guessed right about how I got rid of the page breaks, and you're right about the difficulty of expressing relationships not only between the root and generations but also across sub-branches - the more you try to define them, the more complicated, and indecipherable, the report becomes.

I think probably the easiest way of dealing with my problem is to use the diagram as a visual reference document for the generations and supplement it with an alpha-sorted version of the narrative report you mentioned in your original reply for the detail.

Thanks very much for your time and help in coming up with a solution.

Eric


tatewise wrote:OK, simple answers first.

Eric, I guess you unticked Report > Options > Page Layout > Start records on new page.

Ian, you are correct that mini-trees cannot be inserted in Reports, unless you create small Diagrams, save them as JPG, and link each one as Media to each Individual.

Structured Narrative Report for All Relatives
This is trickier than is sounds. It hinges on who is Root person and the complexity of the tree.
If you choose a distant Ancestor as Root, then most Relatives are Descendants.
If you choose a recent Descendant as Root, then many Relatives are direct Ancestors, but some of those Ancestors can have Descendant sub-branches.
If you choose someone in the middle then you get both the above.
If you choose a married couple it gets even more complex.
If some people have multiple marriages then it gets even more complex.

So, what do you mean by a structured Report?
What does listed by generation mean?
If you start the Report with the Root person, and there are both Ancestors and Descendants, what order should they be listed?
It is not easy to represent the relationships of a two-dimensional Diagram in a linear Report.

The best you can do is:
Create an Ancestors by Generation Report for the Root person.
Add a Descendants by Generation Report for each Descendant sub-branch with head of branch as Root.
Finally, combine them together in a Book with a single Index.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by davidm_uk » 22 Mar 2015 10:22

One thing that I've done in the past is produce a diagram which includes the RecId for each individual in their diagram box, then produce an individual narrative report for all those individuals, but with the RecId included in the title, and sort the report by RecId.

That means that the reader can find someone of interest in the diagram, then using the RecId fairly easily find them in the narrative report.

I'd intended to get the narrative report into a Word document, and create a hyperlink index of all the people so that you can just click in the index and go straight to the individual, but I never got around to this final step. I'm sure a Word macro could be created to do this.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 13:27

The narrative report I've created includes an automatically generated index of names, places, occupations, etc. Adding hyperlinks to the index sounds like a good idea, but I'm not sure I want to go to that much trouble. I've sorted the report by surname, so if I want to look at the narrative for someone appearing in the diagram, I can simply go straight to their personal entry in the report or I can look for their name in the index and see all instances of where they appear.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by tatewise » 22 Mar 2015 13:45

Eric, there is no need to quote the immediately preceding posting that you are replying to.

I suspect David suggests using Record Id in order to differentiate people with the same or very similar names. Also some users have many thousands of people in their database, and a lookup shortcut is helpful.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 13:57

Thanks for that clarification Mike, and for putting me right on the protocol of posting a reply.

If you have a database of thousands, wouldn't the process of adding a hyperlink for each record ID be prohibitively onerous, or is there an easy way of doing it?
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by tatewise » 22 Mar 2015 14:00

Can probably be done automatically with a Word VBA script.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 14:16

So, unless you're familiar with Visual Basic programming, I guess the answer is no.

Since the report produced in FH already generates a fairly detailed index (so the cross referencing work has already been done), and pdf's support linked indices, is this something that would be worth adding to the wish list for future enhancements?
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by davidm_uk » 22 Mar 2015 14:20

I haven't tried this but I think:

Have the record ID as the first part of title line (e.g. 234 John Smith) in the narrative report.

Get the report into a Word document.

Format all of the titles as Heading 1 (there might be a slick way of doing this, VBA or they may already have a unique format that could be changed to Heading 1)

Use Word to create a table of contents based on Heading 1, each line is then a hyperlink to relevant heading in the document (just hold Ctrl and click the contents item).

Once the table of contents is there you can just click the update button if you add any new entries.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 15:11

Sounds feasible David, but I know my limitations. As someone who spent his entire career telling IT teams what he wanted and waiting for them to come back with their version of the specification, what you're suggesting is beyond my limited IT skills - I can't even find a way of getting the RecId into the name header, let alone write a macro. :?

But thanks anyway.

Eric
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by davidm_uk » 22 Mar 2015 15:47

Something like this (for the FH part):
Capture a.JPG
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Capture b.JPG
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Maybe without some of the detail in the diagram boxes, just name and dob/dod maybe.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by davidm_uk » 22 Mar 2015 16:03

and now in Word with a table of contents that hyperlinks to the headings in the body of the document, and no macros or programming needed, just used standard Word features:
Capture c.JPG
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If you're interested let me know and I'll try and remember how I did it :? !
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 16:07

I've been able to get the record id into the diagram and after the name in the narrative of the report, but not in the name header. My guess is that you have to insert a command into Heading section of the Report Options > Format tab.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by davidm_uk » 22 Mar 2015 16:11

Just so:
Capture d.JPG
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 18:27

I was close in my efforts to get the Record Id where I wanted, but not close enough. It now works!

Now on to the MS Word side of it...

Having saved the report as an rtf document, and opened it in Word 2007, I dropped the cursor where I wanted to create the table of contents, then went to References > Table of Contents and selected Automatic Table 1. As if by magic, a table of contents appeared. Holding down the ctrl key and clicking on the name of the individual you're looking for takes you direct to that person's entry in the report.

In order to get the page numbering correct in the Contents Table, it was necessary to right click in the table, left click on Update Field, select Update Entire Table, then left click OK.

Similarly, in order to correct page numbers in the Index, it is necessary to go to the end of the document and right click in the Index Table and left click on Update Field.

The report can be saved as an rtf, docx or pdf file, without losing the hyperlinks, and works for reports sorted by Record Id and by name (and probably any other type of sort). If you think you may want to edit the file at a later date, remember to keep an rtf or doc/docx version.

If you do subsequently edit the document, it is important to remember to update the Contents and Index tables afterwards.

So, I now have two reports, one sorted by Record Id and the other by Name, where the Contents table is hyperlinked to the individuals. Not a position I expected to be in today.

If an IT ignoramus like me can do this, so can anybody else. :!:

Many, many thanks to David and Mike for their help and patience.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by davidm_uk » 22 Mar 2015 18:41

Well done Eric, pleased you've got a result!
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by tatewise » 22 Mar 2015 20:01

While you were doing it, I was thinking that might be a solution, and glad to find it worked.
I might add a short Knowledge Base article on the technique to help others.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 22 Mar 2015 20:21

It was embarrassingly easy... IF you knew how to do it, which I didn't.
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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by IanTS » 24 Mar 2015 14:00

Excellent thread :) Thanks to all the above for sharing their ideas, there are a few things there that I may work on. As for The Complete Genealogy Reporter I would agree that it is not perfect and yes, the readability of the reports can be frustrating, but the ability to insert simple, small, readable trees is a huge plus for me.

Although the issue I have is that instead of researching family history I usually end up playing around with programming and scripting rather than the actual researching ! :lol:

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Re: NARRATIVE REPORT FOR "ALL RELATIVES"

Post by Fruitbat » 24 Mar 2015 20:14

Having successfully created the report, I thought I'd try to refine it, so far without success.

In the diagram I have shown the individual's relationship to the root person. The data appears in the named list but I can't find any way of adding this relationship to the report.

As a preference I'd like to add it as the first line of the section data - something along the lines of <Name of Root>'s <relationship> (eg John Smith's great grandmother). Any suggestions, please?

UPDATE 1 - I've managed to get it into the individual name header, but not into the data section.

UPDATE 2 - I've now generated a report with the relationship in the name header, saved it as an rtf file and opened it in Word. Having created a Table of Contents I've now realised that the relationship shows next to the individual's name in the Contents, which I now think is a useful addition. It does mean that it's necessary to reduce the size of the font for the name headers, in order to reduce the incidence of the header scrolling over two lines, but it doesn't detract from the overall appearance and readability of the report.
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