Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Telling the story of your family in a Book

Charting Companion is the only program[1] that can create a book from your genealogy data, and output it in a format that is truly compatible with your word processor: MS Word, WordPerfect, Open Office, etc. There are several benefits to this approach.
First page of a Descendant Book (aka "Register")
You can fine-tune the font type, font size, margins, page layout, etc. to suit your tastes. You can add photos to the book, in addition to the ones that Charting Companion automatically includes for you.

Charting Companion embeds special indexing codes throughout the book. These codes are unseen by the reader, but they guide the word processor into creating an automatic index at the end of the book. This is important because, as you change the format of the book, the page numbers will change and will need to be re-calculated. The word processor does this simply and quickly, giving you the option of a single- double- or multiple column index.
Three-column index with multiple page references for each person
The index includes years of birth and death, to differentiate between all those "John Smiths". Women are indexed under both their maiden and married names. The index can be configured so that surnames are only shown once; only the given names appear of all the people with the same surname. This improves legibility, and reduces the number of pages.

Charting Companion also embeds special "footnote" codes for your source citations. This provides maximum flexibility for the word processor to place the footnotes at the bottom of the page (or the end of the book), a complex balancing of text and footnotes that the word processor will perform for you.

If you want to take your family history to a printing company to be published as a bound book, your printer will need the special format created by Charting Companion.
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[1] Other programs can output RTF, but do not include an index and footnote codes which are required if you want flexibility.

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