Family Book Creator, a Plug-in for Family Tree Maker for Windows

Do you dream of publishing a book about your family’s history? Is your genealogy information already stored in Family Tree Maker 2012 or Family Tree Maker 2014 for Windows? If so, Family Book Creator may be the tool for you.

Family Book Creator allows the creation of family books by just pressing a button. It only requires that the family data be stored inside a Family Tree Maker database. You will immediately become aware that your research results presented in book format will give you a special insight of your family data.

Family Book Creator is a plug-in for Family Tree Maker. It creates an RTF document which allows you to publish a family book from data stored inside your Family Tree Maker database more or less on the fly in just a few steps.

NOTE: RTF, or “Rich Text Format” is a file format that can be read by almost every word processor used today, including Microsoft Word and many others. The plug-in is designed to work with Microsoft Word. You may use Apache OpenOffice as well, but then not all features of Family Book Creator are supported.

The Family Book Creator plug-in creates a RTF document which includes Table of Contents entries, index entries, footnotes and hyperlinks as RTF controls based on the descendants or ancestors of the selected person when you start the plugin. The pages by default are formatted to be printed double sided to be bound as a book. However, the default settings can be changed, if desired.

The goal of the plug-in is to generate the book from data available inside your Family Tree Maker database. The word processor should only be used for proper page pagination, Table of Contents generation, indexing and printing. If there is a need for adding new individuals it should be done only inside Family Tree Maker and not inside the generated book. A new book should then be generated with all the people automatically properly renumbered. The user may add text items to the proper places inside the Family Tree Maker database which make the narrative more exciting and interesting. The Family Tree Maker application allows storing a lot of 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 not.

Family Book Creator for Windows has the following features:

  • Sophisticated book documents are created including the following common book items: title page, colophon, dedication, foreword, table of contents, introduction, index of places and individuals.
  • Output languages available are Danish, English, German and Swedish. Depending on the selected language different text items are included for the title page, colophon, dedication, foreword and introduction.
  • The output is a file in Rich Text Format (RTF) which needs to be rendered and printed by your word processor (e.g. Microsoft Word).
  • The output of personal data for all ancestors and descendants of an individual will be placed inside a narrative report for every individual included.
  • Predefined styles are used for the generated text sections inside the narrative report. Styles are used to apply equal format definitions (bold, italics, etc.) to text sections like for example parent and children paragraphs, headlines and footnotes.
  • Data about the individuals included in the main part of the book can be inserted in the foreword and introduction.
  • The appropriate weekday will be 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 will also be included in the output.
  • If birth and marriage dates are known, the age of bride and groom will be visible in the output for the marriage fact.
  • 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.
  • 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 output of multiple identical source citations.
  • Portraits or other images linked to the thumbnail for an individual can be included in the output and are placed directly with the text next to the respective person.
  • Optional family charts allow the graphical representation of ancestors and descendants of a family including the thumbnail portraits. If your data includes wedding pictures or other images those pictures will be included in the family charts as well.
  • A photo album allows including media elements at the end of a family section which are linked to the primary person, linked to facts of the primary person, linked to the preferred relationship of the primary person or linked to source citations used for the primary person. Also it is possible to include media elements linked to the preferred spouse or partner.
  • Full control of supported 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 inside the narrative report.
  • For each supported fact type alternate facts and private facts can optionally be included.
  • For some fact types it is even possible to specify how fact values from description fields should be handled. They may be omitted, inserted as place detail inside the sentence or the contents may be inserted as additional sentences.
  • To allow faster navigation between parents and their children inside the generated document hyperlinks are used.
  • If you have recorded the place names in the 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 for 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.
  • The index of people can be grouped by surname or by the first letter of each surname.
  • The index of people may contain birth and family/marriage names as well as ‘Also know As’-names.
  • Non biological relationships like step mother or guardian are also mentioned in the narrative report if the information has been recorded properly inside Family Tree Maker.
  • Privacy protection options allow to easily protect the privacy of living or deceased people. You have full control of which individuals are protected and which are not. It is possible to omit details about people and all descendants of protected individuals.

All Family Book Creator settings are stored and are automatically available when the plugin is restarted again.
The plugin has been tested with an English version of Family Tree Maker for Windows. If you have selected German as the display language of your Windows operating system the user interface of Family Book Creator is also available in German. Otherwise only an English user interface is available.

Trial Edition
The Family Book Creator plug-in is distributed on a try-before-you-buy basis, which gives you the opportunity to test the demo version to make sure it works right on your computer and you really need it. To continue using it after the trial period is over you have to license the product.

You can test the plugin without a license for a limited period of time. The trial limitations are:

  • only the data of seven families are shown
  • every page contains a watermark on the background
  • the button ”Save Settings“ is not enabled

If decide to purchase the full version, it is available for $54.95 USD.

You can find a lot more information and also download the demo version at http://www.familybookcreator.com/en/.

20 Comments

Many of us have some German ancestors. FamilyTreemaker doesn’t allow umlauts. Will it be possible to insert them via one’s word processor.?

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    I use umlauts in FTM. I made an umlaut document in Word (umlaut letters are from Insert/Symbols) from which I copy & then paste the letter into my Kühn or whomever in FTM. Children added are automatically umlauted. You can also copy the umlaut letter/name from a surname already in FTM. Umlauted names are indexed sans the umlaut.

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    Why should it not be possible to enter umlauts in FTM? Does ‘Edit’, ‘Insert symbol’ not contain German umlauts? Which FTM Version are you using?

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    Thanks Stefan. I’m using v.2014 & it works great.

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Just what I’ve been looking for! Sadly, I’ve just moved everything to a new Mac, and don’t use Windows any longer. Maybe one day there’ll be a Mac version …

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Can’t download because it can’t see my family tree 2012 and the website has no “help” contact so I can find out what to do. This must not be a product owned by family tree since there is no info on their site.

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    Bonnie, the ‘About’ link at the top right of the website provides details about the owner. Please send support request to support[AT]familybookcreator[DOT]com.

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I’ve used the make a book feature on the ancestry.com web site. It’s awful. I’m writing my own book. And a bonus is that I’m fact checking and finding any holes in research as I go.

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    Family Book Creator has no relationship with the ancestry.com website. So why do you blame them here?
    The Family Book Creator plugin helps creating your own books…
    It is always required to preview your pages, proofread your document and get all issues fixed. This is independent from the tool you are using. Or?

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Brother’s Keeper has had this feature for about twenty years. I have published several books using it.

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I’ve been using this feature in Brother’s Keeper for over twenty years as well. I thought FTM had already added this, but I guess not. I’ve seen books created by other programs and found them to wordy (Ten sentences beginning with “He was …”). At least this one (like BK) has the photos on the right side. Most place them on the left, and it interferes with the columned number system.

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I had FAMILY BOOK CREATOR on my computer and it was working good. I did a refresh on my computer and the FAMILY BOOK CREATOR got deleted. I did not think this would happen, but it did. I am unable to reload FAMILY BOOK CREATOR. Can you help a senior citizen who has limited knowledge about COMPUTERS? If I could get FAMILY BOOK CREATOR program disc, this would be a great-great help. If not I need simple FAMILY BOOK CREATOR install instructions. This is an expensive program, I don’t want to be unable to make book. Please help a struggling computer person to load FAMILY BOOK CREATOR .
Donald Kennedy
E-Mail DEKMHK@gmail.com
phone # (804) 794-4029

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When I bought my computer, I only got Microsoft Word Starter, which has now expired. Do I need a full copy of Microsoft word? Will this program work with Google docs.?

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    Hi Leland,
    Sorry, but you will need the full version of Microsoft Word, because the starter edition of Microsoft Word includes only basic features for authoring and editing. It is not possible to create tables of contents, footnotes, citations and indexes etc.
    You need a full copy of Microsoft word to be able to use all features of Family Book Creator. Currently there is no direct support for Google docs.
    If you have any further questions please send your messages to support [at] familybookcreator.com

    Kind Regards,
    Stefan

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I loved the program and paid for it. It appears that the site has been down now for several weeks as there is an update I need to download. Any ideas as to when or if the site will be back up?

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    Hi Jim, The website is bak online. Regards, Stefan

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    Thank and Yes I was able to do the download. I now need to update my Word skills as my wife like to be able to read the entire census pages. That requires the pages to be 8×14 or maybe larger. Just changing the margins is not working. I enjoy and love the program.
    Keep it coming!

    Like

I Have done genealogy for 25 years, published a Book 500 pages many pics included, 2004 with Family Tree Maker version 2011. Now on 2nd book & I cannot insert photos to the page anylonger from my scrapbook or file. HELP J. Webb

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