An Overview of Reporting

  • Skill Level: Advanced, Intermediate, and New User
  • FH versions: V5, V6, and V7
  • In Topics: Reports and Books 


Reports allow you to view your data (or a subset of your data) in various formats that you can use to check aspects of your data entry, or and/or share that data with others.

They also form the basis of Family Historian’s facilities to generate Books, Websites and Family Tree CD/DVDs.

Creating a Report

To create a report, use the Publish or the Publish > Publishing Tools Finder… menu and select the report you want to create.  ƒh offers a wide selection of Standard Reports; you can also use any of those Standard Reports as the basis for a Custom Report.

Selecting Report Records

Once you have selected the report you wish to create, you will often be presented with a list of records to select those you wish to include in your report. After you’ve made a selection (if necessary) the Report Window will open to display the report. You will then be able to modify the records in the report by using the Records… button in the right hand panel in the Reports Window.

Reports on Individuals

In the Select Records dialogue choose one or more Individual records using the:

  • Individuals tab to choose any Individual records
  • Named Lists tab to include anyone from Named Lists
  • Add Relatives button to include Ancestors or Descendants or Spouses
  • Add/Remove using Query buttons to include/exclude anyone via a Query

Reports on Named Lists

In the Select Named List dialogue choose one of the lists.

Reports on Media

In the Select Records dialogue choose one or more Media records using the:

  • Media or Thumbnails tab to choose any Media records
  • Named Lists tab to include Media from Named Lists
  • Add/Remove using Query buttons to include/exclude media via a Query

Reports on Sources

In the Select Records dialogue choose one or more Source records using the:

  • Sources tab to choose any Source records
  • Named Lists tab to include Source records from Named Lists
  • Add/Remove using Query buttons to include/exclude Source records via a Query

Setting Report Options

In the Report Window use the Report > Report Options command, or the Options button in the right-hand panel, to open the Report Options customisation dialogue, and review the advice via the Help button on each tab or at Report Options Dialogue.

Further advice is given here:  Report Content, Media, Format and Layout. We also have Report Tips and Tricks that cover some little known areas.

Saving or Printing a Report

Once you’ve created a report with the record set and options you require, the right hand panel in the Records Window gives you various options for saving or printing.

Print… and Printer Setup… allow you to print to the printer of your choice, with options that will be very similar if you’ve ever printed from another Windows programme.

Save Report As… allows you to choose:

  • A PDF file, which you could send to somebody by email, or use to proofread your text before sharing it.
  • An Web Page (HTML)  which creates a very simple one page website. This is probably most useful if you want to send details of one or a few individuals to somebody else; if you include more than a few individuals, it’s a very unwieldy format.
  • A word-processing document (in rtf format). Again, this is useful if you want to proofread your data (including spell checking), or if you want to edit the report before sharing it.
  • A plain text file, suitable for sharing with somebody who can’t use any other format.
  • As a Custom Report. This allows you to save a standard report with a predefined settings — useful if you want to create a report exactly the same every time, for example for inclusion in a book or a website. Note: It does not save record selections; if you want to use a specific set of records, add them to a Named List and use the Named List tab to select them when running the Custom Report.

Using Reports

Reports have a lot of uses, not all of which may be immediately obvious.  Here are a few suggestions to help new users get started and avoid major pitfalls.

  • Custom Reports preserve the customised settings of Standard Report Types across all Projects. It is advisable to keep the Standard Report Types at their Installation Settings, but use Custom Reports to your own preferences when constructing Books, Websites and CDs/DVDs.
  • See Download Type: Reports for some predefined Custom Reports. These will be supplemented with report styles that closely mimic reports derived by people migrating to ƒh from other products, and will provide some guidance on how they can be further customised.
  • Reports can be printed directly to a printer. With a report displayed, see the Print, Print Preview & Print Setup commands on the File menu, and the Print & Printer Setup buttons on the right that do the same. Unfortunately, printer setup settings are NOT preserved from one ƒh session to the next.
  • Alternatively, use the Report > Save Report As > PDF File option to save as a Portable Document Format file that can be printed or sent to virtually any device electronically.It seems that the PDF Nova print utility upsets Adobe OpenType fonts, but other OpenType fonts and TrueType fonts are OK. Microsoft Print to PDF is even worse, but Utility ~ Primo PDF via Print > PrimoPDF and Utility ~ CutePDF Writer via Print > CutePDF are fine.
  • Reports can be combined in Books. It is advisable to customise the desired Reports beforehand. Some settings can be independently customised for each Report in a Book via the item Settings button. However, the Book Settings button adjusts the Sources, Format, Page Layout & Privacy tab settings for all items throughout the Book.
  • Reports are used as templates when you want to Make a Family Tree CD/DVD or Website. The Family Group Sheet (for Web, CD or DVD) and Individual Summary Report (for Web, CD or DVD) are specifically reserved for this purpose by default, but any can be selected. Use the Report > Save Report As > WebPage (HTML) option to view the Report in a browser and visualise its style, especially as some settings are not applicable to HTML files.
  • Unlike Diagrams there are no Report > Save Report As > JPEG/PNG Image File options. Instead use the menu Report > Copy Page options to copy to the clipboard and save in an image editor, but that only works one page at a time. So for multiple pages use Report > Save Report As > PDF File and convert using a PDF to image file utility.

If ƒh cannot deliver what is needed, the following options and workarounds may be helpful.

  • Use the Report > Save Report As > Word-Processor Document (RTF) option to save as a Rich Text Format file that can be post-processed in a word-processor such as Microsoft Word, OpenOffice Writer, etc, and then printed or saved as a PDF.
  • ƒh does not have its own spell-checker, so one solution is to save customised Record Detail Reports in Rich Text Format as above, and use the word-processor spell-checker.

More tips and tricks will be added here from time to time, based on what comes up on the Forums for getting particular presentation and formatting features, or other uses for reports that we haven’t thought of.



Last update: 21 Feb 2024