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#1 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 07:47 AM

Attached is a zip file containing the VCF palette and the accompanying practice and ColorMaster files. These are Visual Chartform files (charts) with the file extension .vc2. You can open and modify these charts in VCF. (Note that the VCF program has not changed from TMG v7 to v8.)

Opening .vc2 files:
Depending on your operating system you may not be able to click on a .vc2 file and open it in VCF like you can with files like .doc (open with Word). You may have to open the VCF program and then navigate to the .vc2 file and use File > Open to access the chart. To do that, first make a shortcut to VCF on your desktop. Go to the Windows Start menu > All Programs and cursor to The Master Genealogist v7 or v8 and under that to the VCF link (white chart icon). Rightclick on the VCF icon and select Send to Desktop (make a shortcut). This shortcut is handy for editing previously created VCF charts without going through TMG.

VCFpalette.vc2
A collection of over 40 custom colors for hand-coloring chart boxes, along with special characters like arrows, asterisks, and boxed numbers. Open the VCF palette chart concurrently with your working chart and copy/paste from the palette to the working chart the colors and characters you wish to use.

practice.vc2
Instructions and worksheet for using palette colors.

ColorMaster.vc2
An expanded version of the VCF palette with their Red-Green-Blue values for use in setting custom accent and chart colors in TMG. This chart file is easily modified to add and save your own colors. Print the ColorMaster chart to see how the custom colors will look from your own printer.

Virginia

paletteX.png

Attached File  Palette.zip   60.58KB   401 downloads


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#2 Mike Talbot

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 06:37 PM

Attached is a zip file containing the VCF palette and the accompanying practice and ColorMaster files. These are Visual Chartform files (*.vc2) which you can open and modify in TMG VCF.

VCFpalette.vc2
A collection of over 40 custom colors for hand-coloring chart boxes, along with special characters like arrows, asterisks, and boxed numbers. Open the VCF palette chart concurrently with your working chart and copy/paste from the palette to the working chart the colors and characters you wish to use.

practice.vc2
Instructions and worksheet for using palette colors

ColorMaster.vc2
An expanded version of the VCF palette with their Red-Green-Blue values for use in setting custom accent and chart colors in TMG. This chart file is easily modified to add and save your own colors. Print the ColorMaster chart to see how the custom colors will look from your own printer.

Virginia

paletteX.png


Thanks for the good ideas. I keep a VC2 chart called BoilerPlate containing disclaimer and note text that I use, often. Will add numbered boxes and a few symbols inspired by your post to it.

I'm not sure that I'm ready for color filled boxes, yet. Would you post a chart that uses them?

Thanks again,
Mike Talbot

#3 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 31 August 2008 - 04:26 AM

Mike, I make what I call 'little charts' - one- and two-page charts to give to relatives and also keep by the computer as working charts. Not only is it easy to keep track of multiple family members with identical names, my charts always include ID numbers so I can use Ctrl-I to quickly switch to someone further back in a tree without having to use the Picklist or Project Explorer.

For some charts I set the box colors from the report definition screen. More often for a working chart I will use the Palette chart to quickly hand-color boxes, for example to identify persons together in a census, or children who died young (light gray).

My original purpose in making the Palette chart was to save custom colors - which I use exclusively. I find that most of the colors in the Windows Color Lookup Table are too dark or garish for charts, and it is tedious to have to enter the RGB values for custom colors. With the palette chart, I simply copy a color box from that chart to the working chart and select/color the boxes I want. Quick and simple.

The ColorMaster chart can be used to color-coordinate Accents, FGS reports, and VCF charts. Rows and columns in the ColorMaster are labeled so you can keep a record of the colors used: A4, C7, etc.

There are many examples of color-filled box charts at vblakelock.com/little_charts.

On the WG sample report site, see

http://www.whollygen...mple=MANYCOLORS

http://www.whollygen...mple=DESCBHEARD

http://www.whollygen...CUSTOMBOXFRAMES

http://www.whollygen...ssboxchart2.jpg

There are also some nice examples on that site of using Frames in Box Charts.

Virginia
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#4 Mike Talbot

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 10:19 AM

Dear Virginia:

I love your chart example with "little charts." I wish that I could use them. Unfortunately, almost every VCF chart configuration parameter would have to be changed. This would be the work of around an hour each time one wanted a different VCF chart style. So many parameter changes would also be error prone.

Wish List addition: Named sets of TMG VCF chart configuration parameters. This would permit the change of your set of tiny chart parameters to my regular set of chart parameters and vs.vs. with a couple of mouse clicks.

Thanks for the great idea, hope Wholly is listening,
Mike Talbot

#5 GenerationGoneBy

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:05 PM

Another wishlist item
I was going to do a chart showing my great great grandfather's descendants, using a different color for each child. Unfortunately we can only have 10 accents. He had 13 children.

#6 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:27 PM

Another wishlist item
I was going to do a chart showing my great great grandfather's descendants, using a different color for each child. Unfortunately we can only have 10 accents. He had 13 children.


That is where hand-coloring with the vcf palette comes in handy. For that many people it might be a chore - although you could use the least prolific lines for the unaccented. After you generate your report with the 10 accents, open the vcf palette at the same time and copy the desired colors to your own chart. You can then manually select and color the 3 un-accented lines. The steps for how to do this are visible in the screen shot for practice.vc2 in the first message in this thread. The actual practice.vc2 file has other information, plus some empty boxes to practice on.

When hand-coloring a chart - or just rearranging boxes, Ctrl-Z (Undo) is invaluable. I also recommend saving the chart regularly - and not just with the same name, but with incrementing numbers added to the chart name with each save so you can revert to an earlier copy if need be.

That would be a really big chart. How many descendants are there?

Virginia
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#7 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 04:36 PM

Dear Virginia:

I love your chart example with "little charts." I wish that I could use them. Unfortunately, almost every VCF chart configuration parameter would have to be changed. This would be the work of around an hour each time one wanted a different VCF chart style. So many parameter changes would also be error prone.

Wish List addition: Named sets of TMG VCF chart configuration parameters. This would permit the change of your set of tiny chart parameters to my regular set of chart parameters and vs.vs. with a couple of mouse clicks.

Thanks for the great idea, hope Wholly is listening,
Mike Talbot


We can have named sets of VCF chart configuration parameters now, using the Add button under the configuration name - and it seems like we should be able to exchange configurations. Below is a screenshot of a simple Ancestor box chart with siblings. You can download the report configuration file for that report from vblakelock.com/AncSibLifespan.rpt. Save the file to your configuration file folder, located by default at:

Windows Vista:
C:\Users\username\Documents\The Master Genealogist v7\Configuration_files

Windows XP and Windows 2000:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\The Master Genealogist v7\Configuration_files

The report configuration named AncSibLifespan should appear in the dropdown list of configurations in your Ancestor box chart report definition screen. If you don't see the report listed, close and reopen TMG to refresh the list. Run the report just as it is, using someone in your project.

After generating the chart, make these changes:

File > Page Setup > Landscape

Tools > Diagram > Diagram measurements: 11 and 8.5

Select the chart title and move it to the center of the page, using arrow key

Ctrl-A and using left arrow key - move entire chart to the left as far as it will go.

Check Print Preview and see if the chart needs to be moved up and down or to the right to center.

The boxes in this example are not colored since I usually hand-color with the palette. You can set box and line colors in the report definition screen before you generate it if you wish.

Let me know if this works for you. Depending on the lengths of names in your project, you may have to drop a generation.

Virginia

Ancestors_of_Elizabeth_Keys_Fugate__45_.jpg
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#8 Mike Talbot

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 07:17 PM

Dear Virginia:

I love your chart example with "little charts." I wish that I could use them. Unfortunately, almost every VCF chart configuration parameter would have to be changed. This would be the work of around an hour each time one wanted a different VCF chart style. So many parameter changes would also be error prone.

Wish List addition: Named sets of TMG VCF chart configuration parameters. This would permit the change of your set of tiny chart parameters to my regular set of chart parameters and vs.vs. with a couple of mouse clicks.

Thanks for the great idea, hope Wholly is listening,
Mike Talbot


We can have named sets of VCF chart configuration parameters now, using the Add button under the configuration name - and it seems like we should be able to exchange configurations. Below is a screenshot of a simple Ancestor box chart with siblings. You can download the report configuration file for that report from vblakelock.com/AncSibLifespan.rpt. Save the file to your configuration file folder, located by default at:

Windows Vista:
C:\Users\username\Documents\The Master Genealogist v7\Configuration_files

Windows XP and Windows 2000:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\My Documents\The Master Genealogist v7\Configuration_files

The report configuration named AncSibLifespan should appear in the dropdown list of configurations in your Ancestor box chart report definition screen. If you don't see the report listed, close and reopen TMG to refresh the list. Run the report just as it is, using someone in your project.

After generating the chart, make these changes:

File > Page Setup > Landscape

Tools > Diagram > Diagram measurements: 11 and 8.5

Select the chart title and move it to the center of the page, using arrow key

Ctrl-A and using left arrow key - move entire chart to the left as far as it will go.

Check Print Preview and see if the chart needs to be moved up and down or to the right to center.

The boxes in this example are not colored since I usually hand-color with the palette. You can set box and line colors in the report definition screen before you generate it if you wish.

Let me know if this works for you. Depending on the lengths of names in your project, you may have to drop a generation.

Virginia

Ancestors_of_Elizabeth_Keys_Fugate__45_.jpg


Thank you. It will take a while to digest this procedure. Then a bit longer to buck up the courage to try it. Exciting!

Thanks again.
Mike Talbot

#9 Mike Talbot

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 08:18 PM

We can have named sets of VCF chart configuration parameters now, <snip>


You're a genius!!! "Little charts" worked first time out of the box without a hitch. It was just as easy to get back to and test my regular charts, also good. My last wish list item is fulfilled (the first one).

Now to make a few different versions...

Thank you so much,
Mike Talbot

#10 GenerationGoneBy

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:26 AM

Another wishlist item
I was going to do a chart showing my great great grandfather's descendants, using a different color for each child. Unfortunately we can only have 10 accents. He had 13 children.


That is where hand-coloring with the vcf palette comes in handy. For that many people it might be a chore - although you could use the least prolific lines for the unaccented. After you generate your report with the 10 accents, open the vcf palette at the same time and copy the desired colors to your own chart. You can then manually select and color the 3 un-accented lines. The steps for how to do this are visible in the screen shot for practice.vc2 in the first message in this thread. The actual practice.vc2 file has other information, plus some empty boxes to practice on.

When hand-coloring a chart - or just rearranging boxes, Ctrl-Z (Undo) is invaluable. I also recommend saving the chart regularly - and not just with the same name, but with incrementing numbers added to the chart name with each save so you can revert to an earlier copy if need be.

That would be a really big chart. How many descendants are there?

Virginia


He has 1200 that we know of. Give or take a few that I will get Sunday. :)

I ran the chart and it was 24" wide by not sure how long. My boxes could be shrunk some. I think I am going to stick to the Indented Descendant Chart for one more year. Another problem I have is there are several marrying cousins, so I would want to show that in accents as well. To hand do it would require me to go back and forth checking to see if they were cousins. I have a lot of issues with a large chart and VCF crashing on me, so I am not sure my patience this week is up to the challenge.

#11 Mike Talbot

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 03:26 AM

He has 1200 that we know of. Give or take a few that I will get Sunday. :)

I ran the chart and it was 24" wide by not sure how long. My boxes could be shrunk some. I think I am going to stick to the Indented Descendant Chart for one more year. Another problem I have is there are several marrying cousins, so I would want to show that in accents as well. To hand do it would require me to go back and forth checking to see if they were cousins. I have a lot of issues with a large chart and VCF crashing on me, so I am not sure my patience this week is up to the challenge.


A 1200 people chart would be huge. You might want to consider doing a separate chart for each of the 13 children. Perhaps the resulting 13 charts would be more manageable in size, with more color flexibilty. You could then paste g...grandpa and wife onto each of the 13 charts.

Doing an Indented Descendant Chart, in addition, is not a bad idea.

Good luck,
Mike Talbot

#12 GenerationGoneBy

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 08:55 AM

I did one a few years ago landscape and it was about 6 ft wide. We have room to hang it and people loved finding themselves. I just don't have the desire to do it today. Not really in a genealogy mood for some reason. I think it's because I feel like I have to do something impressive and I feel stressed.

#13 Virginia Blakelock

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Posted 20 September 2008 - 03:31 PM

We can have named sets of VCF chart configuration parameters now, <snip>


You're a genius!!! "Little charts" worked first time out of the box without a hitch. It was just as easy to get back to and test my regular charts, also good. My last wish list item is fulfilled (the first one).

Now to make a few different versions...

Thank you so much,
Mike Talbot


You can make and save as many report configurations as you wish, using the Add button and saving the configuration with a unique name. A report configuration is saved as a simple text document with the name you have assigned and the extension .rpt. The file I sent you was the text document for my ancestor sibling little chart report.

'Little charts' are just barebones charts on standard-size paper, with no exhibits, minimum data and using a small font size with appropriate box sizes. Any of the VCF box charts can be sized as a little chart. I start with some general options and experiment from there:

--------------------
Chart Style:
Orientation: left to right
Generations: say 5
Locations/Gap: 5,5 - 5,5 - 5,12

Boxes:
--- Width: from about 147 for 8 pt font to about 185 for 9 pt (depends on average name lengths)
--- Minimal height: 0
Box Fill: Color, white or choice
Frame: None; no Grey shadow
Box border: solid line, 1 pixel (depending on printer output, may need 2 pixels)

Lines:
Connector and Sibling both 1 pixel solid lines; black or choice; dashed looks good for sibling line but may not print; gray or other light color helps differentiate sibling lines

Text:
Title: say 10
Names: 8 or 9 regular (not bold)
Data lines: 8 or 9 regular (not bold)

Background: Solid

Images: Off

Data Types: minimal for all, for example only Lifespan

Other:
User choice in most cases; may want to select 'Remove blank lines'
'Overlapping generations' saves space; does not work with 'Include siblings'
--------------------

Little charts are fun and easy, but compared to handsome wall charts with photographs - rather mundane. This is where the creative use of color can make a difference. For inspiration, see the web sites

Color Schemer online
Color Schemer schemes
Color-wheel-pro color schemes (good explanation of the logic of color harmony and schemes)
Colourlovers palettes

There is also a free Firefox extension ColorZilla, an eyedropper tool which will give you the Red/Green/Blue values of any color on the screen, and allow you to save colors to a Favorites list.

Virginia
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