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The goal of the Family Book Creator plugin for Family Tree Maker is to create a book document that allows you to publish a family history book from data stored in your Family Tree Maker database, more or less on the fly – in just a few steps.

Family Book Creator has been developed over a long period of time, and because of the enhancements suggested by various family researchers and included in new versions of the software, it is now easy to present your data to other family members in lovely books. Even complex family relationships can be represented, and the books will be enjoyed, even by those who are not interested in genealogy at all. In particular, the additional graphical output from family data in the form of diagrams, and the integration of existing family portraits into genealogy reports, can lead to wide admiration of your work.

This extension has nothing to do with the book building feature of Family Tree Maker and it is not possible to include those books or book elements in a book created with Family Book Creator.

All you need is Family Tree Maker 2012, Family Tree Maker 2014, Family Tree Maker 2014.1, Family Tree Maker 2017 or Family Tree Maker 2019 and the Family Book Creator plugin on your Windows machine. You may need a word processor like Microsoft Word if you are going to add additional content to your book document. You may use Apache OpenOffice as well, but then not all the features of Family Book Creator are supported. Family Book Creator for FTM 2019 on macOS is under development and going to be available soon.

The Family Book Creator plugin creates full-featured, sophisticated Book Documents in multiple formats including RTF, DOCX, DOC, PDF and EPUB, without the need to have Microsoft Word or any other word processor or PDF application installed. The book includes table of contents (TOC) entries, index entries, footnotes and hyperlinks as invisible elements based on the descendants, ancestors or relatives of the selected person when you start the plugin. The pages by default are formatted to be printed double sided to facilitate bookbinding.

The goal of the plugin is to generate the book from data available in your Family Tree Maker database. If you create documents in Word document (DOCX, DOC) or PDF format, pagination is performed by the plugin and all fields are automatically updated. This means that the book includes a table of contents, index and cross references, automatically.

Only after you add additional content to your book document you will need to update all fields with the help of your word processor. The word processor should only be used for pagination, TOC generation, indexing and printing. If there is a need to add new individuals, it should be done in Family Tree Maker and not in the generated book. Then a new book should be generated, and it will have all the people automatically renumbered. You may add text items to the appropriate places in the Family Tree Maker database, and configure the Family Book Creator options to include them, which makes the narrative more exciting and interesting. The Family Tree Maker application allows storing extensive details concerning facts and individuals, allowing the user of the Family Book Creator a great deal of flexibility in specifying what should be included in a book document and what should not.

The plugin enables you to create sophisticated book documents for family members without significant effort on your part.

The following features allow you to specify the content of your book and to specify which details should be included. In addition, Family Book Creator offers multiple ways to present your family history.

Included Families and Content:

  • Family Book Creator is able to create the following types of books:

Ancestors of the starting individual
Creates a book about the ancestors of the starting individual. It is possible to limit the number of generations shown. The following numbering and sorting systems for ancestors are available: "Sosa–Stradonitz System", "Ancestral Lines Pairing System" and "Patrilineal/Matrilineal Lineages".
Descendants of the starting individual
Creates a book about the descendants of the starting individual. It is possible to limit the number of generations shown. The following descendant numbering methods and styles are available: "Register Style", "NGSQ Style", "Henry System", "Modified Henry System", "D'Aboville System", "Modified d'Aboville System" and "Descendant Lines System". Descendants can be either shown "Organized by families" or "Organized by generations".
Relatives of the starting individual
Creates a kinship book about individuals related to the starting individual. It is possible to limit the degree of kinship shown and you may decide to use civil law or canon law rules for calculating the degree of kinship.
Alphabetical family register
Creates a book about all individuals found in your database. The individual families are arranged in alphabetical order according to the husband's surname and receive an order number.

  • Sophisticated book documents are created including the following common book items: title page, colophon, dedication, foreword, table of contents, introduction, and indexes of places and individuals.
  • The output of personal data for all ancestors, descendants or relatives of an individual is placed in a narrative report for each individual.
  • Data about the individuals included in the main part of the book can be inserted in the foreword and introduction.
  • Non-biological relationships like stepmother or guardian are also mentioned in the narrative report, if the information has been recorded properly in Family Tree Maker.

Included Details:

  • Family Book Creator allows full control of all predefined and custom facts to be included in the family section for the primary person, their partners and respective children.
  • Person notes, research notes and fact notes (also private ones) can be included in the narrative report.
  • For each supported fact type, alternate facts and private facts can optionally be included.
  • The appropriate weekday is included in the text for the birth fact if the exact date of birth of an individual is known.
  • If birth and death dates are known, the age of the deceased person is calculated and included in the output.
  • If birth and marriage dates are known, the age of bride and groom is included in the output for the marriage fact.
  • For some fact types, it is possible to specify how fact values from description fields should be handled. They may be omitted, inserted as place detail in the sentence, or inserted as content in additional sentences.
  • For selected facts, it is possible to include source citations as footnotes. When a source is identical to previously given citations, cross-references are used. This feature reduces the inclusion of multiple identical source citations.

Layout and Presentation:

  • Each family is presented in its own section containing a graphical family tree (family chart) as well as a description with information about each referenced person and the respective children. Additionally it is possible to include a photo album for that family.
  • Portraits or other images linked to the thumbnail for an individual can be included in the output, and are placed directly next to the respective person’s section.
  • Optional family charts depict graphically ancestors and descendants of a family, including the thumbnail portraits. If your data includes wedding pictures or other images, those pictures can be included in the family charts as well. In case you are using the Color Coding feature of FTM 2017 or FTM 2019 it is possible to include colors assigned to individuals in family charts as well.
  • Optional it is possible to include information from recorded facts and events in table style format in a list of facts and events paragraph.
  • A photo album allows including media elements at the end of a family section. It is possible to include media elements linked to the spouse or partner as well. It is also possible to specify which media elements should not be included in your books. Please note that only media elements in image file format (JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF) or pages from documents in PDF file format (Portable Document Format) are supported right now!
  • Page size and margins can be set by the user. It is also possible to insert additional page breaks before family sections or to select the usage of mirrored page margins.

Index of Places and People:

  • It’s easy to find individuals in your books, because the index of people can include birth and family/marriage names, as well as ‘Also know As’ names. The index of places can include geographical coordinates and individuals associated with those places as well.
  • The index of people can be grouped by surname or by the first letter of each surname.
  • Optional it is possible to include references to media elements in the Index of Individuals. If you have for example a group photo (A group shot of several people) included in your photo album and this media element has references to multiple individuals all those individuals are going to be included in the Index of Individuals.
  • If you have recorded the place names in the hierarchical format that Family Tree Maker provides (different segments for city, county, state and country, each separated by a comma), it is possible to suppress the output of equal segments from the place name information.
  • The index of places can be created in original format (city, county, state and country) or in reverse order (country, state, county and city). It is possible to include all mentioned individuals in the index of places and geographical coordinates of the location may be included as well.
  • Index entries for both places and individuals are produced. Those entries allow updating the index of places and individuals at any time within the text processing application. Note: Index entries for places are not supported if OpenOffice Writer is used as word processor.
  • In case you are using the Color Coding feature of FTM 2017 or FTM 2019 it is possible to include colors assigned to individuals in the Index of Places and in the Index of Individuals as well.

Privacy Protection:

  • Extensive privacy protection options are included. You have full control of which individuals are protected and which are not. It is possible to omit details about specific people, or all descendants of protected individuals.
  • It is possible to specify what should happen in case an individual is protected. (Exclude protected individuals, show just the names, use of 'Living', 'Deceased' or «private» instead of names.)

Advanced Features:

  • The plugin is tightly integrated into Family Tree Maker and can directly access the information stored in your Family Tree Maker database.
  • Family Book Creator supports the output of book documents in multiple formats. You may create your book documents directly in word processor file formats (DOCX, DOC, RTF) or platform independent file formats (PDF, EPUB, JPEG, PNG), without the need to have Microsoft Word or any other word processor or PDF application installed. You may also create files in Rich Text Format (RTF), a format that can be read by a wide variety of word processing programs.
  • By default, Family Book Creator automatically creates table of contents and index pages, without the need to do so in your word processing application. Depending on the selected file format, it is possible to specify whether all fields (Table of Contents, Cross-References, Index of Individuals etc.) should be automatically updated while the document is being created or not. Updating all fields on document creation is optional when the file format is DOCX, DOC, ODT or RTF. Updating all fields is still possible with the help of your word processing application, even if you add additional content to your book document.
  • If you are using DOCX file format, it is possible to break a long document into smaller documents in order to work on these individually. A master document is created that contains links to individual subdocuments containing the family data.
  • Predefined styles are used for the text sections in the narrative report. Styles are used to apply common format definitions (bold, italics, etc.) to text sections, such as parent and children paragraphs, headlines and footnotes.
  • It is possible to specify the resolution and quality of the embedded images to reduce the size of the generated document.
  • Output languages available are Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish and Spanish. Depending on the selected language, different text items are included for the title page, colophon, dedication, foreword and introduction.
  • The plugin has been tested with an English version of Family Tree Maker for Windows. The user interface of Family Book Creator is available in German and Swedish as well. You may select the user interface language as needed.
  • To allow faster navigation between parents and their children in the generated document, hyperlinks are used.
  • All Family Book Creator settings are stored and are automatically available when the plugin is restarted again.
  • A help system is part of the product. The ‘Help’ button allows you to open the integrated User Guide. If you select a tab page in Family Book Creator and then press the function key F1, the help system provides context-sensitive help and jumps to the specific help topic of the currently selected tab page.

Additional features are frequently added. Please check the Change History document inside the Family Book Creator Support Center and update your installation frequently. You can update an existing Family Book Creator installation free of charge. (For more details please look at: How do I get Program Updates?)

This plugin is distributed on a try-before-you-buy basis, which gives you the opportunity to test the Evaluation version for a period of 30 days to make sure it works on your computer and to allow you to preview its many features. To continue using it after the trial period is over, you have to license the product.