An Overview of Diagrams and Charts

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


One of Family Historian’s strengths is its interactive Diagrams and Charts, which can be used in a number of ways:

  • Browsing and exploring your tree visually
  • Entering and editing data
  • Navigating to an individual of interest
  • Producing a Chart to share information with others

These possibilities as well as the differences between a Diagram and a Chart are explained fully at Working Diagrams and Charts.

The Diagram Window

Diagrams and charts are displayed in the The Diagram Window.

Key Information

Diagram Root

All Diagrams have a root. This is the person from which the diagram “spreads out”, so in the following Ancestor Diagram the root is Ian Robert Peabody as it his ancestors who are shown. In addition in the Diagram Options, the root box is shown in a different colour from other boxes.

All diagrams can alternatively be centred on a couple rather than a single person. This is done by selecting two people who must be the spouses within a Family Record  as explained by how to View Both Spouses’ Ancestors.

Standard and Custom Diagram Types

ƒh provides a number of core diagram types:

In addition there are some pre-configured Standard diagrams based on one of the core types.

You can use any of these core and standard diagram types ‘out of the box’ or you can configure them via the Diagram Options Dialog to have the appearance and content that meets your needs. If you’ve tailored them, you can save them for reuse with the same settings as a Custom Diagram Type using Diagram > Save Diagram As… > Custom Diagram Type and use them again (or delete them) from View > Custom Diagram Types.

Diagram Drag

One of Family Historian’s unique features is the ability to draw a tree interactively.

The following actions will work:

  • Drag down from a person to add a child
  • Drag left to add a spouse
  • Drag up to add a parent


  • The drags will only work on the appropriate diagram type so it is recommended to always work on a All Relatives Diagram to prevent unexpected results. The simple example is you can not add Children to the Diagram Root of an Ancestor Diagram.
  • If you change the direction of the chart (e.g. from top-down to left-to-right) the direction of the drags changes accordingly.

Backing Up and Restoring Diagram Settings

ƒh stores the settings associated with the core diagram types in the Windows registry, so backing them up is not simple. You should follow the advice at Family Historian Copy and Migration Guide to back them up (and restore them in case of a PC failure) or if installing ƒh on a new PC.


Last update: 09 Mar 2021